Surf Anywhere: Conditions for the Trial by Water

Published by Neil Egsgard in Wave Building with Comments Off on Surf Anywhere: Conditions for the Trial by Water

My second wave construction article for RiverBreak covering the conditions we have to meet to build the Surf Anywhere wave and testing feature in the Kananaskis River of Alberta, Canada.

Link to my Article


Neil Egsgard
Founder & President

Surf Anywhere Project


Surf Anywhere: Drop & Flow

Published by Neil Egsgard in Wave Building with Comments Off on Surf Anywhere: Drop & Flow

My first article on wave construction for RiverBreak.  I cover the fundamentals ideas behind drop and flow and how they can be combined to make waves.

Link to my Article


Neil Egsgard
Founder & President

Surf Anywhere Project

Open source wave building means everyone can see how waves are built, can freely use the information and are encouraged to add to the knowledge.  We are building more than a wave, we are creating a foundation for a global sport.  River Surfing waves can be anywhere there is a river.  River Surfing waves can spread like skate parks.   The Surf Anywhere project will prove we can build consistent high quality river surfing waves.  By gathering, improving and sharing wave construction information we will make building these waves easier for everyone.  When you are building your wave, ask us for help.  We will give you the key information and test your wave design in full scale at the Surf Anywhere project.  As more waves are built we will collect the ideas, details and results at the Surf Anywhere project to make future waves better.

Spread the word, share your ideas, start building your wave and bring surfing everywhere!

The wave design we will use has a 40 year history of proven effectiveness and safety.

The wave naturally passes river users through unless they are trying to stay on the wave.  The wave is rippable allowing surfers to push the limit of the sport.  The wave is adjustable allowing us to tweak the ride and try out wave ideas from around the world.

The Original Wave – Eisbach in Munich – 1972 
Our full scale model wave is the Eisbach wave in Muenchen, Deustchland.  Surfers have ridden the Eisbach since 1972 and it has been the site of surf contests for over a decade.  The best river surfers in the world have grown on this wave.  In 2010 surfing the Eisbach Wave received official support from the City of Muenchen.


View from upstream and above the Eisbach Wave.  Photo by Stefanie Reynaert.

Surfer throwing some spray on the Eisbach wave. Photo from BehindTrees.com.

Quarter Scale Model – 2012
Bratislava, Slovakia built a wave 1/4 the size of Eisbach in their white water park at the end of Summer 2012.  It works beautifully.

The Surf Anywhere Project wave will be bigger, better, adjustable and we will be giving you the results of all the waves we try.

Munich Airport – Eisbach Rebuilt – 2011 & 2012
The Eisbach wave was recreated in the Munich Airport in 2011 & 2012. These waves can be replicated.

Surfstream Peru – Building Barrels! – 2011
American Wave Machines built an adjustable wave including a barrel in Peru. Water can be shaped to make many different waves. We can make barrels in rivers!

Almwelle – 2010
Small wave near Alm.  Even small rivers can have surfing.  The design is scaleable!

Wave Design

The Surf Anywhere wave is based on a few key concepts.

  1. Drop: Drop in water level built by partially blocking the river so the water level upstream of the barrier is a few feet high then the water level down stream of the barrier.  The drop provides the energy needed to create a wave.
  2. Channel Release: Water is released through a long straight wall channel.  The straight channel creates smooth and controllable water flowing into the wave.
  3. Smooth Gradual Slope: The bottom of the channel has a smooth and gradual downward slope.  The gradual slope smoothly accelerates the water allowing controlled wave shaping.
  4. Wave Ramp: Wave is shaped by an underwater ramp at the end of the slope.  The ramp is inside the channel and goes from one side of the channel to the other.  The ramp is adjustable so we can test different wave shapes.
  5. Open Source: All wave building information will be freely shared online and we encourage others to freely share wave knowledge.
The wave design started with the City of Muenchen structural drawings of the Eisbach Wave.  ARSA improved the drawings and through the Surf Anywhere project will have them professionally engineered, built and fully tested.  The resulting Surf Anywhere wave knowledge will be released for free online and will be the foundation of open source wave building.
Below are a few diagrams from our Fall 2011 proposal showing the first stages of the Surf Anywhere wave design.

Cross section of Surf Anywhere wave showing surrounding river.

Cross section of Channel showing channel slope and wave ramp.
Wave is 1.5m or 4′ high

Top View of Surf Anywhere Wave
Channel is 10m or 30′ wide
Wave is 10m or 30′ wide


Perfect Location – Lower Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

Published by Neil Egsgard in Wave Building with Comments Off on Perfect Location – Lower Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada

We have the perfect location for building the perfect river surfing wave we will share with the world, the Lower Kananaskis River in Alberta, Canada.


The water is turned off at night leaving the river almost dry and making construction very easy.

Video showing the water rising from no flow to full flow.

Below are pictures of an old river feature from 2008 with the water off and on.

River with Water Down near proposed Wave Location (2008). This feature has changed significantly since.

River with Water Up near proposed Wave Location (2008). This feature has changed significantly since.


Enough water and vertical drop are required to make a perfect wave.

There is enough water.  Our model river the Eisbach in Munich has a great surf wave and the Lower Kananaskis has the same amount of water.

There is enough drop in river level from upstream to downstream of our wave.  Our wave is placed allowing a larger drop than the model wave on the Eisbach in Munich.

25 Years of Similar Projects

The location is perfect because the river has been heavily modified for recreational use since 1985 meaning permission for construction has been granted multiple times.   Below are some pictures of major features around our wave.

Santa Claus river feature upstream of the proposed surf wave.

Green Tongue river feature downstream of planned surf wave

Kayak Racecourse downstream of planned surf wave. River has been heavily modified for recreational use.


Here is a map of the area showing existing features in the Lower Kananaskis River and the site of the planned Surf Anywhere wave.

Area Map showing existing river features and the planned site of the Surf Anywhere wave.


Surf Anywhere Proposal

Published by Neil Egsgard in Wave Building with Comments Off on Surf Anywhere Proposal

Below is a link to the Surf Anywhere Proposal .  The proposal was submitted to the 5 relevant Canadian government agencies.  All levels of government provided conditional approval.  The approval required professional hydraulic, structural and environmental engineering.  When the engineering is complete, the proposal will be updated and resubmitted to the 5 relevant government agencies.