Columbia River - Rock Island (Gr. 3+)
Written by Spencer Cox Thursday, 08 February 2007 20:51
Sean Allen at the top wave at low flows, we think.
Logan, disappearing, in the whirleys.
Last Chance Wave.
|The Scene: All sorts of play can be found at Rock island near Trail, B.C. Finding good levels is a bit of a guessing game but most of the time there will be something available. |
To get there: Head to Trail and right across from the McDonalds on the highway there is a big ass island in the river. The play is all around this island.
During the summer there are a number of features to play on; the first one if a little wave that forms on the river left side of the rock island. At the flows in the picture the wave is pretty good for flat spinning until you are dizzy but not as good for anything else. I imagine that at higher water the wave would get better. The eddy that allows you to get back sucks; the workout on the way up is good and will help you with boat control but it is very tiring. Spencer got swallowed by the eddy line on one trip.
On the river right side of the island are some super big whirlpools. We sent in Logan as a guinea pig and after he made it back alive we knew it was safe. If you are not sure, don’t go; these whirlpools go from being very friendly to very powerful and not very friendly at all. Local knowledge will be the best thing to have if you want to avoid enough downtime to make you quit kayaking.
Last Chance wave is down stream of the island and is a one time wave. You should definitely hit it on the way to McDonalds for that healthy paddling snack. The pile is fairly retentive but cycles to green once in a while. The surfers left shoulder is good for blunts and you can flat spin your way into the record books on the main face. Spencer and I have made some serious progress in the play boating world since we were there last so there may be a lot more tricks that we would think possible now.
After your day at the big rock you can head over to the campground that is right behind the McDonalds. Get some sleep because there is tones of creeking to be had in this area and if you are lazy the play isn’t going anywhere either.
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