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Alberta Whitewater Association & Alberta River Surfing Association hasn't added a story.
We can build perfect surf and kayak waves on the Lower Kananaskis River. Alberta has one good surf wave and a few beginner / intermediate kayak waves but no great waves. This project by the Alberta River Surfing Association (ARSA) and Alberta Whitewater Association (AWA) will create amazing waves all year by:
- Building an adjustable wave in that will shape perfect surf waves and perfect kayak waves.
- Improving the Mountain surf wave to make it higher quality at all flows.
- Improve the Santa Claus kayak feature.
We recently received a $150,000 CFEP grant from the Province of
Alberta and have raised $110,500 from individuals, businesses and
other organizations. We are now $2,500 short of the $263,000
total budget cost of the adjustable wave project.
Engineering and permitting submissions are nearly complete. We will
be updating the budget soon based on the updated designs so the
budget could change.
- Current Funding goal: $50,000
Funds raised towards $50k goal: $47,500
- Funds raised outside of this site: $44,700 as of Nov 15, 2022
- Funds raised on of this site: $2,800 as of Nov 15, 2022
- Funding needed to meet $50k goal: $2,500
How will my donation be used?
Your donation pays for fabrication and installation of the structure and will cause a surge of whitewater recreation facilities across Alberta.
You shredding a perfect 12m wide, 1m high wave.
Crushing a tall kayak wave with a good pile.
Bowl surf wave from modelling.
Pile on a steep bowl wave from modelling.
What type of waves will be made?
A wide range of waves types will be made. The adjustable wave plans are the result of an 18 month research project by ARSA, AWA, Surf Anywhere, the University of Ottawa, and MITACS. An adjustable wave will provide excellent surf waves and kayak waves all year including during high flows. Below are some of the waves created during modelling, the waves in the model are 1m wide.
Right wave physical model
Right wave computer model
Attack kicker kayak wave physical model
Attack kicker computer model
Is there research behind the adjustable wave
Yes, the ARSA and AWA completed 18 months of research into adjustable river wave design with Surf Anywhere, University of Ottawa, and MITACS. You can find results of the research here.
- Wave research overview
- Kayak wave research report
- Articles on wave design
- Published research paper.
Where will the wave be built?
The new, adjustable wave will be built downstream of the Cliff or Wall. The Mountain and Santa Claus will be tweaked to make them better as part of the project.
What is the design of the adjustable surf wave?
Oblique surf wave setup.
Oblique surf wave model.
Brown walls are under water for paddle access.
Side wall will be under water for paddle access.
Perpendicular surf wave setup.
Perpendicular surf wave model.
How much has been fundraised so far and how much is
As of March 12, 2022, the ARSA and AWA and have raised $210,000 in cash.
- $150,000 CFEP grant from the Alberta government.
- $60,000 from individuals and organizations that use Lower Kananaskis River.
$50,000 is needed to complete the adjustable wave project and the Mountain and Santa Claus improvements. $50,000 is needed to complete the general river improvements.
The project has also received $370,000 in-kind donations of professional services and materials from businesses and organizations.
Is there an economic benefit?
Yes, global surf tourism which is valued at $60 billion a year. The adjustable wave will allow for regular major surf and kayak competitions that will each generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic activity. The waves will become staples for Alberta tourism content. The Bend, Oregon, river wave park generated $4,800,000 in economic impacts in 2017 based on an economic impact study.
Is there an environmental benefit?
Yes, the waves and whitewater park create a deep attachment to and appreciation of river ecosystem health. The users and spectators develop the connection through prolonged, positive exposure, and the waves are excellent locations for environment education. The whitewater park has been operating since 1984 including in-river construction projects every 5 years with no negative environmental impacts. All whitewater park features include fish passages and the whitewater park is 1.4km downstream of the TransAlta Barrier dam that is a complete barrier to fish passage.
Who are the ARSA and AWA?
The Alberta River Surfing Association (ARSA) and Alberta Whitewater Association (AWA) are Alberta registered not for profit societies. The ARSA was founded in 2005. The AWA was founded in 1972.
What organizations have supported the project?
These organizations have financially supported the project or provided donations of services.
Lower Kananaskis River Users Association
Calgary Kayak Club
The Kananaskis River is the whitewater recreation hub for western Canada. With one excellent surf wave, many fun whitewater features and a permanent race course, the facility has been the lifeblood of whitewater canoe, kayak, SUP and river surfing in Alberta since it was built in 1984.
With all the growth comes a need for a high quality wave feature. We have researched, modelled and designed an adjustable wave that can be changed between surf and freestyle modes.
After 6 years of new-normal high peak flows since the last flood reconstruction, the rest of the river is in need of rehabilitation and upgrades. We will be increasing the robustness of the race course, Chubbys, Point Break, and Santa features, to name a few. The facility remains free to the public and all of the research and engineering will be non-proprietary, so that the technology can be shared widely and encourage more waves around North America.
We recently received a $150,000 CFEP grant from the Province of Alberta and have raised $60,000 from individuals, businesses and other organizations. We are now $100,000 short of the total expected cost of both the river enhancement and adjustable wave completion. Donate overall, or choose a sub-campaign here:
Kananaskis Adjustable River Wave sub-campaign ($50,000)
Kananaskis River Enhancement sub-campaign ($50,000)
Your contribution will allow Albertans to enjoy one of the premiere natural whitewater parks for years to come!
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