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Sewer district creates endless wave for surfers



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RIVERDALE -- Imagine surfing in Utah on an endless wave. That's pretty much what you can do this time of year, right in the middle of the city of Riverdale.

On Tuesday expert kayakers took advantage of that opportunity, which was created, believe it or not, by a sewer district, just for fun.

If you do things right at the Riverdale Wave, you can point your bow up the Weber River and just sit there as long as you can take it.

"You've got a great surf spot in the pile, the white pile, that keeps us on there, kind of like you see surfers do. It allows us to stay in one place but feel like you're moving," explained Jesse Coombs, professional kayaker and filmmaker.

Charlie Butler, with Wasatch Touring, said, "It's like surfing on an endless wave or powder skiing on an unlimited run. It just goes on forever."

Coombs has made kayaking films all over the world, usually in out-of-the-way locations. Yes, he has seen other endless waves like this, but they're not usually found in the middle of a city parkway.

"And they're not nearly as accessible as this. And so, I think the people who are living in this area are very fortunate to have this feature," he said.

Four years ago, the local sewer district rebuilt a structure protecting an underwater sewer line. They paid for an upgrade designed by a kayaking enthusiast. "It's a great feature that's really only good for about five or six weeks each spring when the water's high," Butler said.

Those who aren't content to just surf can do tricks, like a 360-degree spin or an Eskimo roll into the icy water of the Weber. Some of these folks are practicing for the upcoming U.S. Freestyle Team Trials, courtesy of the sewer district.

"They've done a great job of creating a place where people can come and enjoy the water," Coombs said.

Beginners can start learning the art of kayaking at the annual Paddle Fest. That's coming up at the Daybreak subdivision June 6 and 7. Also, for the record, it's the Central Weber Sewer Improvement District getting kudos from kayakers.

E-mail: jhollenhorst@ksl.com

John Hollenhorst

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