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By Stephen Wright

October 23, 2006

After a week of rising levels, the mighty Ottawa has risen to the magic
levels of the Mini Bus. I have spent the past week with Pikey, Jen, and
Jeremy playboating, squirtboating, teaching a few clinics, and taking care
of my gimpy-kneed girlfriend. But now, this is the place in the world to be
for big waves right now: HUGE air, TONS of water, BALMY-warm snowstorms,
ARM-WRENCHING tow-ins, and more FUN than you can imagine. Jen’s forced to
stay home on the couch after her 2nd knee surgery. If you’ve never surfed
the awesome Buseater Wave, here’s are some fun facts:

  • Buseater forms just downstream of summer-levels-GARB, next to the Waikiki
  • Mini Bus[eater wave] forms on river left when the levels are between 14 and
    16 1/2 feet on the gauge–most of the footage you’ve seen in videos of
    Buseater is on Mini Bus.
  • Big Bus[eater wave] forms in the middle of the river once it’s too high for
    Mini Bus at levels between 19 and 22ish feet.
  • Mini Bus is actually steeper than Big Bus, though Big Bus is a little bit
    taller and wider.
  • To surf Mini Bus, paddlers generally hold onto a wake-boarding handle which
    is tied to a rope and anchored over 100 feet upstream. This enables them to
    swing/surf-out from the eddy, rather than having to walk back up for each
    ride. The rope requires one paddler to always be on shore to retrieve it
    for paddlers in the eddy. This all happens from the river left eddy, behind
    a large island.
  • To surf Big Bus, paddlers generally use the river right eddy and either
    walk up the island or paddle-claw their way up next to the island.
  • When it’s snowing and windy at Buseater (like today), it’s a lot warmer
    paddling than it is working the rope on shore, but every one takes a turn
    anyway…it keeps things working.
  • The river right side corner of Mini Bus is often referred-to as "the toilet
    bowl", due to the swirling, crashing, bubbling nature of the wave there.
    It’s a great place to get slammed, sucked under water, tumbled, scared, or
    turned inside-out.
  • In 2 days of buseating, we’ve seen 2 broken paddles and 2 imploded skirts.

I spent today on the wave in my New FUN, which is a wave-surfing machine! I love how fast it is, how it carves, and how smooth the ride is. The New
Fun also takes-off easily and helixes great. I can’t wait to get into a 2
Fun (which is more my-size)! Enjoy the video (QuickTime 5.3 MB) from today, provided by Jeremy
Laucks of

Live from Jen’s house in Beachburg,
Stephen Wright