Surf's up in downtown Calgary thanks to 2013 flood

The flood of 2013 changed the Bow River and created some prime waves for river surfing right in downtown Calgary.

2013 disaster created a permanent, surfable wave on the Bow River east of 10th Street

Calgary's Bow River is now a surfing destination, thanks to the floods of 2013. 2:08

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.

  • As the CBC's Brooks DeCillia discovered, river surfing is not an easy skill to master. Click on the image above to see his story. 

"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.

Egsgard says he likes how easy it is to get on the river now.

"A surfer's dream is to get up and surf, go about your day and come back to surf — and that's what I'm doing," he said.

Unlike kayaking or canoeing, the goal of river surfing is to move upstream. 

"It's the combination between surfing and snowboarding. It's just one of those board sports," said Quinlan. 

The river surfers say they hope to get permission to build more of these waves in the Bow River.