Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sturgeon Falls - Manitoba, Canada

So two weeks ago I took a trip to Canada with a few other paddlers (Scott, Scott, Jeff, Danielle, Bill, and Brian). It was about a 10 hour drive the the cities with two stops to switch cars/pick up paddlers. We arrived around midnight and set up camp in the dark. The next morning we got all set by 10AM and went to go check in but the office wasn't open for another hour! With no self check in we had no choice but to wait. And when we checked in we found out we'd set up our tents in the wrong site! So that was another hour delay of carrying tents to our new site. And then there was a slow paddle out on basically a lake with these waves in the distance. They didn't look so big from far away but as we got closer they got bigger. Imagine ocean waves that stay in one place and are in the middle of a lake. That's what it was like.

One of the coolest feelings was getting into the waves. You'd turn your back to the wave and be looking at this glassy lake. Slowly you'd start to feel yourself slide down into the trough. This roaring sound starts and gets louder and louder until BAM the pile of surf just hits your back and shoots you forward. The anticipation and thrill made me think of an amusement ride.

Here's a video of me surfing Chameleon (one of the waves). Scott told me to do something cool but I just couldn't perform on demand like that.

There were also surfers there that would get towed into the waves behind jet skis. Luckily the waves they liked and we liked were different so everyone got plenty of surfing. I think we were out there for 5-6 hours just surfing and hanging out. I even had packed a watermelon in my boat to share but we didn't eat that until the 2nd day.

The 2nd day was windy and rainy but with all our paddling gear on it wasn't too noticeable unless you got out of your boat. Here's a clip from that day that also has a 360 pan so you kind of get an idea of what the surroundings were like (beautiful).

WARNING: Make sure to turn your speakers down because the wind noise is really loud!

The wave behind Chameleon where you see people also surfing was called Triple S. It was another fun spot to surf and we even got 4 kayaks on it at once. There was a bit of bumper boats going on but we had fun.

There were other waves we played on too, including one called Big Mouth. It had this really weird pattern of building up (almost like a huge hand coming out of the water) and then crashing down suddenly. The thing to try to do is surf right next to where this mouth forms and just before it crashes slide over into it and get shot forward. Easy to say when you're sitting on shore. A whole lot harder when you're staring at it. There were times where I was just hanging on for the ride. Amazing how much power there can be.

The weekend was a blast. Okay weather, great waves, and awesome company. Looking forward to going back again some time.

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