Surfing has been Alberta’s little secret for the past decade or so and in the last few years it’s suddenly become popular.
Sorry guys, the secrets out! I remember looking into it about 10 years ago and was so excited to discover that Alberta had some of the best river surfing in Canada if not North America! I was so excited I actually set off to buy a surfboard.
I was also in the middle of transitioning from living in Calgary to living in Vancouver so I was hoping to use my new board in Tofino along the Pacific Coastlines.
During this time my father was also planning a trip to see my brother who was studying in Hong Kong. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to buy a cost effective surfboard and maybe find some surfing in Hong Kong.
I began to do some research, for surf spots, board rentals, manufactures and shops. (Yes, the Internet was in existence during this time.) I happened to find an Australian Surfer that decided to set up a design surf studio in Hong Kong and was getting them made in china.
The name of the company and my board is Peking Duck Surfboards. It’s funny his website still looks the same 10 years later! I guess he’s still kicking around. I remember dragging my brother and his friends and going on this adventure.
Imagine BEFORE smart phones! All I had was an address on a piece of paper and an email. My brother was able to navigate us into this dark industrial neighbourhood and into this dank seeping building. We all thought we were going to be murdered.
This was the real Geocaching or Pokemon Go, back in those days. It took us probably 3 hours to find this place and when we walked through those heavy metal doors…. I was so happy to see that there were surfboards along all the walls! I don’t know what we were expecting but I can tell you, after the places we walked through, the last thing we expected was surfboards.
Now. Full circle. I’m living in Alberta again. I found a soul mate that wants to do all the things with me. And I have a surfboard.
River surfing in Alberta, has suddenly become a long lost tick on my list that’s getting ticked.
We learned about the standing wave on 10st in downtown Calgary a couple weeks ago and we’ve made a trip to my fathers storage to retrieve my old – new surfboard.
Today we tried our hand at surfing for the third time in the past 4 days and it’s freaking fun. I always knew I would love it. It’s funny, I’ve surfed in three countries and never in my own back yard.
It’s the hardest sport I’ve ever had to learn and the learning curve is steep. At least with river surfing the wave doesn’t go anywhere and you can have as many attempts as you are phycially able. Whereas ocean surfing you have to wait sometimes for an hour before you even can attempt to try catch a wave. Thus making it much harder to pick up the sport.
There’s several places in the Kananaskis region that offer standing waves for surfers to frequent. However, for those looking to just catch a look or try it out without the one hour drive, Calgary has a standing wave right downtown off the 10th st bridge.
If you ever want to check it out, I’m sure you’ll be seeing me out there. Come say hi and if you want a go at it, I’d be happy you lend you my Peking Duck! (Though definitely not conducive to river surfing it’s what I have at the moments) basically….. Look for the surfboard that doesn’t belong.