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Playspot: Canada, Saskatchewan, Coteau Creek, Power House Wave.
What's it like
This is a large wave about 25' wide. The water flows very fast and the sheer volume of flow over the apron forms a variable wave with two large, boiling eddies. A predictable surge is present, but does not affect surfing when the wave is good. The form of the wave depends on the volume of water being released. At its best, a large, green wave with a slight curl forms across gate 2 allowing unlimited spinning and blunts. As the volume increases the wave becomes more retentive with defined seams allowing multiple, linked vertical moves. Eventually a monster hole forms rivalling any big volume river hole. The hole retains a certain degree of friendliness, it will flush, but you will get a wild ride with the opportunity to receive a solid trashing.
Dangers are relatively few. There are rocks in the channel downstream of the wave. During low water you may bump your head during a roll, but this rarely happens. The largest hazard is to beginner boaters. Due to the width of the river and location of the wave it will take 400-500 m to reach shore. Water temperature is 5 C year round and hypothermia is a very real possibility. That said, this wave has been surfed during every month of the year. Being upside down is not on option from December to March in Saskatchewan.
How to get there
The wave is located at the northwest end of Lake Diefenbaker at the Gardiner Dam, near Outlook, SK. From the Trans-Canada in Regina head north on highway #11 towards Saskatoon. At the town of Davidson (175 km) turn left (west) on Rd. #44. This road will travel directly to Gardiner Dam. Signs to Danielson Provincial Park located near the dam will help guide you. Once you're at the dam the powerhouse and paddling will be obvious. This is Saskatchewan you can see for miles. A gravel road leads down to the powerhouse, where parking is available. Several trails will lead you down to the river edge and the put-in eddy. All of this is quite clear by getting out and looking around the powerhouse. This is the best and only surf wave between Thunderbay and Calgary. Its worth detouring out to it for a boredom break on your way to the mountains.
From Saskatoon exit the city heading south on Lorne Ave. This is Rd. #219. It forms a t-junction with Rd. #44 a few kilometres east of the dam. It is approximately 100 km from Saskatoon and road signs guide you to Gardiner Dam.
Dick Cram - "old" man of the river - Saskatoon - +1 306 244-3547
Tourists/spectators.The odd fisherman and scuba diver.
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