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Close your eyes… Well, not yet because then you can’t read what I’m about to share, but pretend you’re closing your eyes and imagine a river… a wide river, like probably the widest river you’ve ever been on. Then, add a rapid, like… a really big rapid with big waves. Then add kayakers, like… really good kayakers, like Claire O’Hara, Nick Troutman, Bren Orton, Dane Jackson, Kalob Grady- kayakers coming from all over the world. Then add a competition, like… a really fun competition with really fun people organizing it.

Then picture this… You, sitting in an eddy, next to a tiny rock island with one small tree in the middle of the river. A jet ski towing a sled rides up to you and the driver says, “climb on.” You pull yourself up the back of the sled, and then he takes off! You are riding the jet ski… bump, bump, bump- farther out into the middle of the river… then the jet ski slows and you slide off. Now you’re in the middle of a river sliding downstream, with nowhere to go, except to surf a huge wave.

You catch the wave, you get to the top, you come crashing down and get the biggest bounce of your life and throw the biggest trick of you’ve ever thrown. After a few more tricks you flush and start floating down towards downtown Montreal, but out of nowhere the jet ski pulls up and takes you back to the eddy by the small island with the mall tree in the middle of the river. That was just your first of eight rides in today’s competition. That is what day 1 of Montréal Eau Vive feels like.

The next day, a jet boat takes you out in the middle of the river, you jump of the boat, and race downstream through the big waves with all of your friends- many who you just met.

I went last year, and it was so fun that this year, my dad and I decided to drive 24 hours to get there this year. If your drive to Montréal is any shorter than ours, we hope to see you there on August 12 and 13. Come compete, get to learn from some Pros, or just watch. You’ll have an amazing time, too!

Check out my videos from last year.

-Kaelin Friedenson