Sunday, July 23, 2006

Eastern Canada: Big Wave Landia

Lachine Freestyle Air Video (13mb) Ed Smith Goes Big, Period.
Just got back from a nearly 2,000 mile road trip from my home in Virginia to Foresters Falls (aka the Ottawa River) Ontario, then to Montreal, Quebec, and then all the way back home again. After some 25+ hours in the car driving and many uncountable hours on the river, I still wish I could have stayed longer.

Chris Doing His thing.

The trip started Saturday the 15th at 5:30 AM. The pilgrimage north had begun. Billy and I stopped at Hole Brothers on the Black River in Watertown, NY and decided that it looked too good not to paddle (plus we would go nuts if we drove any farther). So, we paddled; after a short sesh at Hole Brothers, we went grocery shopping and continued our trek north, passing through the border without problems, landing safely at the Ottawa late that night.

The next couple of days were spent mostly at Garb, with a quick Corner Wave sesh in there somewhere. For those of you who have not yet surfed Garb, it beckons with unspeakable force. If you spend more than 4 hours there, paddling straight through, you leave shot, feeling like a wrinkly, tired, old man. Nonetheless, a great feeling.

Stay tuned soon for some video and photos from the recent Ottawa Trip. But, for now, Lachine!

After a few days at the Ottawa, we drove east towards the wicked confusing city of Montreal. If you don't know or live in Montreal and venture into the deep, dark depths of the city with a destination in mind and take one wrong turn, guess what: Game Over. One detour or construction zone can throw you off *so* much. But, its all good if you know where your going (alas, we did).

We spent our days taking 6-8 hour sessions out at the wave. Lachine is located on the 300,000 cfs St. Lawrence River. It can be anywhere from 1/2 a mile to 2 miles wide in some parts. Where the wave stands, it is roughly a mile wide just in that particular channel. Additionally, the wave is located right in the middle of it all.

Just for reference: 50 yards up-trail from the parking lot there is a water fountain and bathrooms right next to the local paddling shop. There usually are not any port-a-jon's near the parking lot. Additionally, there are two wooden changing rooms for kayakers to change in next to the chain link fence.

If you go to Lachine, its best to hook up with a local and go out there, because there can be some fairly nasty pourovers if you head downstream to the wave in the wrong place. The wave has a top eddy and a bottom eddy, then you can use a rope system to pull yourself up a series rocks without having to get out of your boat. It would be a hassle for any 'normal' spot, but Lachine is no normal wave.

Adam Styling With The Water Droplett.

The main wave is referred to as Big Joe. There is a 'setup' or 'staging' wave where you can front surf and be chill (sometimes referred to as "Little Joe"), then, connected with this wave, there is 'The Pitt" where most of the moves are thrown. In a few words: Stupid Good. Let the video do the talking:

Lachine Freestyle Air Video (13mb)

Lachine Freestyle Video (Low Res, Dial-Up Only)

Stay tuned for more later. See you on the river,

-Adam Johnson

PS- Big thanks goes out to everyone at the Riot Factory for helping us out. Thanks fellas'!

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