Looking for a killer surf wave? (Boise, Idaho) - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-11-2006   #1
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 17
Looking for a killer surf wave? (Boise, Idaho)

If anyone is heading to Boise this spring, here is a wave for you to check out. I is downstream from Lucky Peak Dam but with our insane snowpack, they are dumping water this spring like crazy. The wave is about 1/2 a mile from downtown. Here is the article from the Idaho Statesman:

The wave is back. When high flows hit the Boise River this month, the legendary 36th Street Wave mushroomed out of nowhere and lured surfing kayakers from as far away as Washington State and northern Idaho.

"It's pretty fun," said Tim Tuttle, a Boise kayaker, who plays on the wave, which is formed by an irrigation diversion.

The wave is on the river between the Main Street Bridge and Veterans Park.

The wave is causing such a stir that Idaho River Sports, a local kayak shop, is offering free demo days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The shop will let expert kayakers try 2006 playboat whitewater kayaks for free, said shop owner Stan Kolby.

Expert is the key word because of the high and fast flows and icy water. The huge, strong wave has the capability of flipping and bouncing a paddler underwater.

The flow in the Boise River hasn't been high enough for good surfing conditions on the 36th Street Wave since 1999 because of the drought.

But more snow this winter and the need to flush Boise River reservoirs has caused the high flows in the river through town.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expects the high flows to continue through the end of the month. The snowpack will be evaluated again, which will determine flows later this winter and spring.

As water pours over the diversion, it spews up into a large river-wide wave. As flows increase the wave becomes silky green, which is ideal for surfing. Most of the wave at the river's current flow, of 4,000 cubic feet per second, is white and a crashing washing machine.

The wave gets greener and better for surfing between 7,000 and 8,000 cfs and can handle up to six kayakers at a time, Kolby said.

In 1998, the river ran at 8,300 cfs and in 1999 at 6,500 cfs.

"In 1998 it was absolutely beautiful. You could put six kayakers on the wave," Kolby said. "It was big and green and totally awesome."

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