Surfing is one the greatest sports ever. Only surfers can understand what they get out of paddling out into the shark infested waters and catching waves. These waves don't even have to be big, just surfable. We as surfers cannot even imagine planning our vacations in landlocked areas. (disclaimer: I am a surfer and love it).
But imagine surfing next to an apartment complex in Montreal. You say impossible, I say Surf's Up. This actually is perpetual view along Habitat 67, where a crowd of surfers regularly catch standing waves along the St. Lawrence River.
River surfing is, apparently, a growing sport among river towns in places like Colorado, Ontario, Alberta and, as pictured, Montreal. According to enthusiasts, it fosters "exactly the same feel as on an ocean wave," except that you carve along the water (which pitches back and upward) going back and forth.
To catch the standing currents, surfers either paddle into it or swing by a rope until they get into position. You're essentially going against the current, which could make the dynamic a tad confusing for the uninitiated. According to surfers in Montreal, however, the consistent wave of the river allows people to foster speedier gains than they normally would in the open seas.
The sport is still in its infancy, with very few places currently able to support both the necessary water conditions and weather to permit river surfing. Along the Habitat riverfront, overcrowding is reportedly already becoming a problem during peak summer weekends.
Interested? If you're in Montreal, you should head on over to one of two surfing schools in the Habitat 67 area, Imagine Surfboards and KSF. If you live in a river town, it may be a good use of time to try finding new spots to pioneer it on.