Sunday, October 09, 2016

Lachine, Montreal

Shredding up the Lachine rapids
As our training holiday on the Ottawa came to and end it was time to head to the city and the big waves of Montreal. We didn't realise when we booked our trip that the annual Montreal Eau Vive event was going to be on during the last weekend of our trip. We already had set that we would aim for a mix of Ottawa and Montreal surfing but this was the perfect addition to our plan. A goal to challenge ourselves with to do well on Big Joe.

Natural beauty in the middle of a major city

So we spent 3 days in Montreal training for the event. Each day we got up drove to the wave, packed up some snacks and ran the fun big wave train rapid to the main island guarding the waves. Where we we're joined by Bren, Elaine Campbell and Little Shredder Kaelin and his dad.

Surfers and kayakers enjoy the waves together
Taking a well earned break

Big Joe is such a smooth glassy wave and was a huge challenge yet it felt almost relaxing after the challenge of Garb the last few weeks. But the process of paddling the waves, back to the Islands, then the hike, float and paddle / sprint to attain back up to the top meant it definitely wasn't a rest. One surf from flushing of the wave through the full cycle of making your way back up to the top of the eddy would take almost 15 minutes meaning a full days surfing might only include 8 – 10 rides by the end of which you would be knackered. But the rides were worth it. Sat in the middle of this huge rapid, in the Big Joe green bowl, is one of the most humbling and amazing spots i've paddled. Even without throwing a trick it makes you feel so special and reminds me of why I love this sport so much. Then as you cut out and up and perch on the very lip and look down the face you realise the size and power of the water. As you fly down the wave, engage your edge and get ready to fly you feel the true freedom. Then you land with a smash spin it round and surf again. Magic.

Throwing out a clean blunt
Mid airscrew
Amazing scenery everywhere
Landing the airscrew. Epic view upstream
Tandem surfing with Den

Exhausted, each night we would call it a day and begin the massive ferry crossing back. A 20 minute non stop paddling ferry across from the waves back to the bank. Everything about you would be exhausted from the surf and you would just want to relax and float back but every relaxed paddle stroke would then result in a such longer walk with the boat upstream back to the car once you reached the bank. A truly remarkable paddling destination, so urban yet so wild!

Paddling back upto the top for another ride
Game over time to call it a day