Local Waves

When visiting any wave in Alberta please introduce yourself to other surfers and respect that they are there to enjoy surfing.  The waves exist because the Alberta River Surfing Association and Surf Anywhere built them and protect them.  You can improve the experience for everyone by being friendly and cheering for others when they push their abilities.  Please clean up any garbage you find.  CMS means cubic meters per second.

Good progession when learning surfing is:

  • 10th Street in Calgary - Beginner - Low Risk
    • Learn how to control your board and get up
    • Easy to catch, close to emergency response if needed
  • Santa Claus in the Kananaskis - Intermediate - Medium Risk
    • Learn how faster rivers work and how to control yourself and your board in rapids
    • Deeper river section, no emergency response
  • The Mountain - Advanced - High Risk
    • Shallow with a lot hidden dangers
    • Very dangerous for beginners without river knowledge
    • No emergency response

10st. Wave - BEGINNER - LOW RISK

Louise Bridge, Calgary

  • Wave Report
    • Wave Camera
    • Flow Graph
    • Flow Forecast
  • Spot Info
  • Flow Info
    • <60 cms shallow, 80-100 cms good, 100-160 cms great, >200 cms wave is flat

Known Dangers

  1. City Water: Avoid this wave on high water advisories, during or just after large rainfalls.  The sewer drains run directly into the river and can be hazardous to your health.

  2. High Water: If the water clarity is brown or unclear you will be unable to spot hazards floating down river like a tree.  Entrapment hazards exist in high water and will not be visible

  3. Ice: Avoid surfing in any icy conditions.

Vibe

This is a beginner wave and should be treated as such. Everyone here is happy and friendly.  It has a big eddy and a deep water channel making it safe to learn.  It is still best to take a lesson or go with a guide for your first time but you won’t find localism here.  When surfing this wave please don’t take yourself too seriously, make it fun for everyone.

 

Santa claus - intermediate - medium risk

Lower Kananaskis River, Alberta

  • Wave Report
    • Flow Graph
    • Flow Forecast
  • Flow Info
    • Add 30 minutes to forecast flow times for water to reach the wave
    • 25 to 35 cms is good, >50 wave is too flat
    • Flows are Transalta dam controlled
    • River flows and levels can change without warning
    • NB - Summer flows are expected to be 2 hours per day.  This is due to a flood prevention program by the Alberta Government.  Rain will increase the flow times.

Known Dangers

  1. Hard to see upstream users

  2. Fast Current - do not attempt to stand on the river bottom in even a slow current.  Paddle your board to the calm water in the river’s edge.

  3. Removed from society and cell service - go with a guide your first time and don’t surf alone

  4. Ice: Avoid surfing in any icy conditions.

Vibe

This is an intermediate wave and a good introduction to more aggressive rivers.  should be treated as such.  There are good eddies and deep water.

 

The Mountain Wave - HIGH RISK

Kananaskis, Alberta

  • Wave Report
    • Flow Graph
    • Flow Forecast
  • Flow Info
    • Add 30 minutes to forecast flow times for water to reach the wave
    • 25 to 35 cms is good, >50 wave is too flat
    • Flows are Transalta dam controlled
    • River flows and levels can change without warning
    • NB - Summer flows are expected to be 2 hours per day.  This is due to a flood prevention program by the Alberta Government.  Rain will increase the flow times.

Known Dangers

  1. Very Shallow - keep feet, ankles, knees and legs as close to the surface as possible.  The safest place is on top of your board that divides you from the rocks.

  2. Fast Current - do not attempt to stand on the river bottom in even a slow current.  Paddle your board to the calm water in the river’s edge.

  3. Removed from society and cell service - go with a guide your first time and don’t surf alone

  4. Shifting Rocks - don’t assume you know where the rocks are, this river is known to change without notice.  Also do not move rocks on your own, this can cause serious injury.  Please notify the Alberta RSA of any dangers so they can be properly and safely resolved.

Vibe

High Risk & Advanced wave.  Mistakes here can result in serious injury or death.  New surfer should become skilled at 10th Street and Santa Clause before surfing here.  This wave was built by river surfers for river surfers.

 

Introducing New Surfers to the River

If you bring someone new to the river they are your responsibility and not the responsibility of the other surfers in the lineup.  If you are not able to save a beginner surfer from a dangerous situation it is best not to bring them until you have the skills and experience to do so.  Lessons are available to beginners in Alberta and taught by instructors trained with First Aid, Swift Water Rescue and River Surfing Instruction & Safety.

Safe Progression for New Surfers

10th Street in Calgary
Santa Claus in the Kananaskis