In The Beginning…

In 2007 & 2008 the ARSA worked on building a river surfing wave with other river users. During the process it became clear that a high quality surf wave could only be built by a river surfer led project. In 2009 the Alberta River Surfing Association began work on the Surf Anywhere Project.

The story starts in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, west of young Calgary, Alberta.  In the 1930s, the Transalta power generation company constructed the Barrier Dam at the edge of the Rocky Mountains on the Kananaskis River to generate electricity. Power generation at Barrier Dam resulted in controlled and predictable fluctuations in the Lower Kananaskis River flow rates. At high flow rates the river would be full of water and at low flow rates the river would be almost empty. In 1984, the Alberta Whitewater Association (AWA – www.AlbertaWhiteWater.ca) took advantage of the modification opportunity presented by a river that almost completely shut off.  The AWA made the first major recreational modifications to the Lower Kananaskis River and constructed the White Water Race Course. Since 1984, there have been numerous additional major modifications.

In 2005, the Alberta River Surfing Association was formed to promote river surfing in Alberta, Canada.  The ARSA immediately became involved in major river projects when ARSA president, Neil Egsgard, joined the stake holder committee of the Harvie Passage Project (www.HarviePassage.ca).  The Harvie Passage Project was a multi-million dollar project to reconstruct part of the river in Calgary to improve safety, environmental impact and create water features for recreational use.  Neil Egsgard represented river surfers on the stake holder committee and made presentations on wave construction efforts around the world and the shapes & effects of various river waves.

In 2007 & 2008 the ARSA worked on building a river surfing wave under a project headed by the Alberta Whitewater Association.  During the process it became clear the Alberta Whitewater Association wanted significantly different features then needed by river surfers and that a high quality surf wave would only be built by a river surfer led project.  In 2009 the Alberta River Surfing Association began work on the Surf Anywhere Project.

  • AWA
  • history
  • Kananskis