River Surfing

The Boise River Park was once known as 36th Street Wave, and it features one of the first adjustable river waves in the world. The park was originally made for kayakers but the wave is also excellent for river surfers.

On some days you may find a relatively green face, on others the wave is more like a hole — this really depends on how the park’s waveshapers are shaping it. The park has in place a man-made adjustable wave shaper to modify the wave as flow rates and water levels vary. There are two waves at Boise River Park which are usually surfable anytime from March-October.

The Boise River Park is located off Whitewater Park Boulevard on the Boise River behind Quinn’s Pond. Access through Esther Simplot Park next to Idaho River Sports is to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.

More from a May 2016 Idaho Statesman article:

“There’s an incredible amount of beginner surfers,” Kai Miller of Boise said. “Every day, you get a new surfer out here or someone who is a surfer but has never river-surfed before. You count that as a new surfer. The ocean is not the river. They are very different.”

Surfers have been using the wave at the Boise River Park for at least a decade, Myers said — long before engineered waves were installed for kayakers, surfers and other water users. The sport received a boost when the River Park opened in 2012 and the waves were well-suited to surfing.

The waves in the two man-made features change on a daily basis between a kayak focus (foamier) and a surf focus (glassier) — although the park is open to anyone all day. The surf wave is put in at noon Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and alternating Sundays (it’s surfing this week). The kayak wave takes over at noon the other days.

That gives surfers access to a good wave at least six days a week. Some are out there year-round and wetsuits are necessary except in late summer.

To read the entire Idaho Statesman article – click here.

The international scene is present as well. RiverBreak, the international riversurf online magazine says, “Boise’s river surf community shows us what it’s all about. Huge respect to the guys and ladies of river surf at the Boise River Park in Idaho” on our year round surfing community. For more in RiverBreak – click here. Check out the winter surfing video below too!

Winter River Surfing from SKY TOWER FILMS on Vimeo.

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