NewsIdaho Back Roads


Surfers ride the expert wave during morning sessions at the Boise Whitewater Park

Posted at 1:08 PM, Jul 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-24 15:08:39-04

BOISE, Idaho — Phase two of the J.A. and Kathryn Alberston Family Foundation Whitewater Park opened three years ago, but engineers and wave techs have never been able to perfect the expert wave despite working on it every winter since it was built.

This summer the Parks and Recreation Department tries to open the expert wave every Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

But this wave needs to monitored because behind the wave a large hydraulic forms, for safety reasons the water level needs to be monitored so Parks and Rec created an app to alert surfers when the wave will be open and when it is closed.

“There is a lot of river fluctuations that really does effect this wave," said Guy Midnight who appreciates how the city alerts surfers. "It’s awesome, 30 minutes before the wave starts we get an alert on our phone saying that it is going."

When the wave is open dozens of surfers come together to socialize and rip this monster of a wave.

"Surfing is probably the most intimate experience with the water because when you are out there it’s just you and your board," said Annie Chamberlain. "You connect with the water, you get to swim and the best thing about it for me is I get to do it with my daughter."

Annie and her 14-year-old daughter ride their bikes and boards down to the whitewater park, they really enjoy the easy access and a chance to improve their river surfing skills.

"It’s super good for you the fitness and the exercise," said Chamberlain. "I’m just so thankful to Simplots, the Albertsons and the City of Boise, it’s a dream and it is so much fun."

Surfers tell us they use a smaller grom board to carve on the expert wave and that river surfing translates to ocean surfing, but not the other way around.

"We’ve had some pros down here from the ocean and they weren't able to do it,but this has made my ocean surfing quite a bit better," sad Midnight. "It’s super fast, it is really dynamic when you are making those cuts, you are hauling and just going really, really fast."

The surfers we talked to aren't bitter about limited hours on the wave, it helps they have phase one which was created a decade ago upstream, Chamberlain says she's thankful for the time her and her daughter get on the expert wave.

"Surfing is one of those things that you just do it as much as you can just keep trying, watch people, ask for advice and get all the right safety gear," said Chamberlain. "We are just here to have fun really."