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Photo Credit: Mark Zielonka

STAKEOUT!!! The most wonderful time of the year for big wave paddlers when the giants in the Ottawa Valley and Northern Quebec come out for us to enjoy for the month. It always starts on the Ottawa River and Gatineau river with the amazing classics coming in when the snow melts. This year we got to enjoy minibus, high tension, big bus, the ruins and Gladiator. I got to surf all but Gladiator which I have yet to go there when levels are good, hopefully next year! The ruins is what everyone really looks forward to, it is fast, super green, scary and has massive trick and combo potential. This year the ruins was only in for a few days but it was epic with a ridiculous amount of people surfing it. It was one of the longest lineups to surf I’ve ever been in which made for an epic time but I never really got into a rhythm and my rides weren’t great.

Next after a day of high tension Jess and I decided to rally right up to Molly for it to hopefully be in. We were the first to arrive by about a day and we got epic prime levels up there! Soon mostly everyone rallied up as well and enjoyed Molly for another epic day. Levels unfortunately now got too high for us to surf in our short boats.

Photo Credit: Alex Guimont

Now there was a period where levels were really really bad and we surfed low side you youcattobekittenme, and drove around trying to find waves that were in. At this point unfortunately Jess had to leave to catch her flight but now Albie, Quinton and Mark had all come up and I started to van life with them! We went to detonator, land of the lost, pillars ,arcan, and check some smaller places to look for new and more unpredictable waves but kept getting skunked with nothing surfable. We did joy laps on the river which are always super epic and huge but did wan5 something to actually surf. At this point we did notice there was 1 wave that was in, it is called Bridge wave. Bridge Wave had only been surfed twice before, by Kalob Grady and Dane Jackson during a break day of the 2014 Whitewater Grand Prix.

It must be one of the most intimidating waves in the whole world because the massive Bridge Rapid lies right behind in. The Bridge Rapid is a massive class V big water Rapid with huge holes and a super tight and pushy line, only a handful of people have ran the rapid before and in creekboats. The wave is aroundWith this being the only wave in at the moment and a craving for a big wave myself and Mark Zielonka decided to surf it. When you surf the wave you have about 6 second to get to the eddy on the river left or run the river left (still huge) sneak line that avoids the holes. Also it has a weak surfers left shoulder so if you carve off that side you are in deep trouble and likely have to run the main line of the rapid in a playboat when the hole is closed out, this would suck. My first surf was not long but I got a decent blunt and got a feel for the wave and the sneak line below. Mark surfed next and was going for Sasquatches on it and nearly plugged once or twice on them, he then flushed and styled the sneak. My 2nd and last surf I tried some stuff, Th surf was 4 and a half minutes long and I managed to get a righty back blunt, an airscrew, a lefty clean, some sasquatches and some sidekicks. I was super stoked on this, surf and managed to surf off the wave into the eddy, so stoked!!!

Photo Credit: Wally Mistassibi

After this the waves started to come in again, Molly came back in and was epic, black mass came in although unfortunately I was at Molly instead.
After all the good times in Dolbeau and Lac st Jean we headed back to Ottawa for some more Ottawa Valley surfing. The stakeout season concluded with minibus and high tension being in for a long time with levels slowly dropping out and people slowly heading home from the epic spring.

Stakeout 2018 edit:

– Luke Pomeroy