Select Page

May 23, 2005

Just back in from a whirlwind trip up to Canada after
Cheat Fest, and
while the infamous ‘Mini-bus’ had dropped out, I managed to find plenty

of action. Stopped off to surf in Watertown on the way up and
re-discovered how high the Super-star can loop! Crossed the border
that night, then met up with Tom and Jane from the UK and Brian from CO

in the Owl parking lot and hit the water with high hopes. But running

the ‘Middle Channel’ proved to be quite a let-down that first day.
Perhaps influenced by the late-night driving, finding the raft
companies closed, and the frost IN my truck when I awoke – it just
didn’t live up to the ‘big water play’ run I was seeking. At 11.5′
ponds separate small channels with small holes and waves and then
Garvin’s appears and looks downright nasty. We walked, then played on

down and were ferrying to the take-out before we knew it. So, off to
the Gattineau!
The famed ‘High Tension’ wave was in so we zipped up and found the
big-water play run had been seeking. The run is short, but the huge
green waves and punchy holes make the 2 hour trip from Cobden more than

worthwhile. After several big rapids with great surf, the ‘High
Tension’ wave appears: a 6′ wall of water curling into a diagonal hole

so you can huck huge time after time. The surfer’s left shoulder is
steep, green, and perfectly clean of chop or turbulence – it’s like a

cross between ‘Corner Wave’ on the Ottawa and Skook in BC. The rib
send you launching high so you can right blunt without touching your
bow or Pan-am over into Silly Flips with ease. Dave N was throwing
lefty Helix’s and Mcnasty’s while Billy Harris worked on his clean-spin

to clean blunt combos. I tried out some Mystery Flips and regular loops

and also caught an unintentional Lunar Orbit while trying a clean 720.

So we stayed 2 more days. At one point, Ben built a fire right next to

the eddy to keep us warm while waiting our turn. It wasn’t that the
river was frigid, just that the sub-freezing nights in the trucks were

taking it’s toll (you know it is cold when the dog-bowl freezes solid

in the truck by your bed). Great river and a great place to hang out –

camping at the take-out or put-in and restaurants in the nearby town
serve dinner till midnight.

Back to the Ottawa, we hooked up with a big group of
‘Locals’ and hit the Middle Channel again, this time at 8.5′. Still no
big-water surfing, but the features had improved and it’s hard to argue
with 4 loop spots and a sweet class 5 drop. The rope-like ribbons of water
flowing into the ‘Dragon’s Tongue’ at Garvins is a sight to behold and
paddling into them is a view to remember. At this level some turbulence
in the landing made threading the two lower holes a bit tricky, but it
all came out smooth and that view paddling in is certainly worth some
extra time scouting and the setting of safety.

After a brief stop in Watertown once again to log a
little Super-star flight-time, I headed down I-81 and branched over towards
Fayetteville, WV . . .where we pick up next issue.




Click to view larger image

High Tension, Gattineau River

Click to view larger image

Cold day at high tension

Click to view larger image

Keeney’s Accept Reality entrance shot

Click to view larger image

Keeney’s ‘Accept Reality’