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Folks have been surfing rideable waves like Lunch Counter and Big Sur for 30 years. So it's nothing new. With the proliferation whitewater parks, you might see more alternative types of users (SUP boards, boogie boards and -gulp- PWCs), but generally these types of rideable waves aren't common enough to cause all the SoCal surf brats to move inland & get their asses beat down in a river with current.

Yeah, maybe online videos like this will expose these river waves to a few more surfers, but I think 99% would rather take a trip to Puerto Rico or Panama before travelling to Jackson for 1 wave that's only rideable at certain water levels. Plus - If you have ever tried it, it's not easy to paddle into a wave like Lunch Counter on a surf board. If I lived near Glenwood, I'd get a SUP for sure.
 

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That guy who did all the talking seemed really self-important. Why didn't they interview Eli Mack? Hasn't he been river surfing for like 20 years? I remember seeing photos of him on skook and number 11.
 

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I wish these guys/gals would wear life jackets. I don't want kids to see this stuff and think they don't need use safty gear because they are on a surf board. The river dosen't care and will eat you if it can.
 

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He says "You fall you feel like your going to drown every time but somehow you don't" Sounds like someone inside his head is trying to get him to put a PFD and helmet on.
 

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He says "You fall you feel like your going to drown every time but somehow you don't" Sounds like someone inside his head is trying to get him to put a PFD and helmet on.
i agree my big question is where's the pfd. I think everyone on the river should have a pfd. even if it is a class I float.
:-D
 

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Wasn't that the same guy that was in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High?"

But seriously, I'd like to see them in PFDs and helmets - the ocean has a rythm to the chundering you get so you can come up for air between waves, and generally doesn't have rocks you can get swept into. Granted the full wetsuits give some flotation, but being out there without PFDs sets a bad example on the rivers.

He says "You fall you feel like your going to drown every time but somehow you don't"
Because he's very fit, a good swimmer, and has a surfboard to get onto and paddle to shore.
 

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Surfing the river is very cool. Like others, I feel a pfd and helmet are needed. In the ocean the pfd is not needed since you have your board and the currents are not as strong as a river rapid. On a river, the surfers also do not need to duck under incoming waves so a pfd would not be a hindrance. I just hope we do not see Cali style localism moving onto our rivers.
 

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Surfing the river is very cool. Like others, I feel a pfd and helmet are needed. In the ocean the pfd is not needed since you have your board and the currents are not as strong as a river rapid. On a river, the surfers also do not need to duck under incoming waves so a pfd would not be a hindrance. I just hope we do not see Cali style localism moving onto our rivers.
Not to mention the added flotation one gets from salt water and the loss of flotation one gets from airated river water. These two aspects make a huge difference.
 

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Yay, now Spicolli's a "river dude". I'd like to see him jump on Skookumchuck at oh say 14'. He should do just fine. It's the ocean after all. The "Tour de Skook", i.e. getting back to shore after the wave, would be a life changing experience for sure!
 

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surfer/kayakers

Body Glove | Entertainment


Will this sport be good or bad for the rivers?
I personally don't want to see it get any bigger than it is today, especially at this site. Could get ugly. As long as it remains a rather small sampling- one to two surfers- that's how many I saw (when I was at Lunch Counter on Alpine Canyon on the Snake on Saturday) this past week- I think it would be manageable. There was one lone kayaker alternating times on the wave with the other two and they seemed to know each other well enough, and were having fun reminding each other that "time was up". Good thing, you could stay in forever if that's what you wanted to do. But throw in too many more surfers and depending upon the attitudes and the players involved and things could get out of hand. The safety issue point is well taken, and a light vest would be advisable (and maybe a helmet) but I guess you really do need to see this section of river to know how this big of water just doesn't have the reputation of drowning anyone- usually. I spent about 2 hours having lunch at this site (been there about 50-60 time in the past 25 years) and quite blowing my whistle after about the 10th swimmer. It's pretty much handled as a non-event and both rafters and kayakers help out with all the swimmers. The pool below is enormous and swimming right or left (generally) gets you to shore quickly. It's run in bucket boats, Perception Torrents, mini (fishing) cat boats, boogie boards, life vests, plastic dinosaurs, and IKs of every description. The surfers who dropped off the wave usually just found their board immediatly and headed for the strong up stream eddies on the sides. Weird though seeing people with only a few pounds of flotation on the river.
wayne
 

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As a surfer of 11 years, in my opinion there is little difference. The surf culture just doesn't embrace the PFD because it never has. I've been dragged out by under tows many times, sometimes hundred of yards before seeing the surface and to boot......a surfboard tied to my ankle. With that being said I think a PFD with heavy floatation on the back and not on the chest might have brought me to the surface sooner. You obvously wouldn't want a traditional PFD on because you lay on your chest while catching the wave.
Helmets on the other hand would be over kill on a beach break.....BUT when surfing a wave in a river..........heck yea I'd want a helmet.
As far as salt water providing added floatation.........I don't think its enough to make or say its even an advantage..........unless your talking about the Dead Sea and then you ask yourself how people drown in a sea that makes you float on the surface whether you want to or not..........ha!
Thats just my opinion..........I'm just sayin'
:)
 

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For those of us who have lived in J-Hole with our board gathering dust in the corner while we fish/boat/climb to our heart's content on our time off, I think Lunch Counter offers a great opportunity for the latent surfer to get his/her fix until the funds add up for another trip south. You might be surprised at how many of those "Spicolis" were the ones paddling Lunch Counter the day before.
 

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Here is a thought... Wow! Great vid! Good for him. He must be in great shape, disciplined, and a great surfer.

1991 is over. Quit being stuck in the overly politically correct environment. It's 09. It's ok to be happy for others, smile, and occasionally laugh.

E-
 

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But throw in too many more surfers and depending upon the attitudes and the players involved and things could get out of hand. The safety issue point is well taken, and ...
Never been there, never paddled out west. Don't know 'cali surfers' so that may be why I don't get "it". "it" meaning the hostility, hate, dislike, whatever. Back here NE I was invited to kayak a spot thats mostly surfers. When this guy I knew startd paddling there, some of the surfers were not friendly. Mostly stink eye' I think. He said in time most of them he got cool with once he started to ask and adhere to established ediquet. Hope if surfers start to show, they also look to kayakers what the ediquet is on that river. I surfed, in my kayak, on Habitat 67 in Montreal. 85% of who was there were surfers. Most who were there spoke mainly French. Most could understand my english if I spoke real slow. All were helpful and polite. Glad I didn't have to fight. I come to rivers, mountains, and oceans to enjoy nature. To find harmany. If I wanted to fight, I would have stayed with urban streetlife.
On the ocean, never wear a helmet. When I had the two-person kayak, I would not let someone paddle without putting the extra pfd I brought along. The pfd does make it harder to get past the breakers though. I also imagine laying on a surfboard with a pfd must be difficult. Perhaps they should design one for thier sport. To tell you the truth, I have never been on a river without a pfd but given the choice, I'd rather be on a river without a pfd than being pretty far from sand without one. The ocean can get downright scarey.
 

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& on the other side of this coin ... if i had a dime for every kayaker i've seen out in a crowded lineup in the ocean who didn't comprehend the most basic rules of surf etiquette, i'd have a fat piggy bank.

as a participant in both arenas, i'd say it goes both ways. & as mentioned previously, river surfing is old hat.

& to "VI-" .. Skooks gets surfed pretty much every year.
 
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