Surf’s up in downtown Calgary thanks to 2013 flood


Thanks to the floods of 2013, the Bow River in downtown Calgary has become a magnet for river surfers.

Surfer Jacob Quinlan says the spot in the shadow of the Louise Bridge has attracted many fellow enthusiasts this summer.

“We’re really lucky to have this wave here, the accessibility it brings,” he said. “People can see it and just hop in and try it out, so it’s been really great this summer.”

Last summer’s massive flooding carved new contours in the Bow River, creating a surfer-perfect permanent wave just downstream of the 10th Street crossing, said Neil Egsgard, president of the Alberta River Surfing Association.



Surfing Alaska’s Bore Tide

Many years ago, I worked as a tour guide in Alaska, falling deeply in love with the state. One of my favorite drives was along Turnagain Arm, a long and shallow branch of Cook Inlet, a beautiful landscape that is home to a fascinating natural phenomenon. Bore tides occur when an incoming high tide collides with the outgoing tide in a narrow channel, generating a turbulent wave front. Getty Images photographer Streeter Lecka was recently lucky enough to spend six days on Turnagain Arm, photographing the brave souls who venture out onto the mudflats to ride these waves. Waves can reach as high as 10 feet tall, crashing over calmer waters, moving upstream at 10-15 mph. Gathered here are some of Lecka’s images of the surfers riding the bore tides of Turnagain Arm.

[21 photos]