A city usually associated with frosty beer and weather, Montréal shows off their summer side with a surf spot on the St. Lawrence River.
Hidden behind the prestigious Habitat 67—a Moshe Safdie apartment building infamous for its Expo 67 debut and infinite occupancy waiting list—the location may sound tame. One look at the wetsuit-clad surfers navigating the surf proves that the river's current can be as tricky to maneuver as any ocean wave.
Literally off the beaten path, the thick veil of trees lining the trail to the entry point makes this recherché activity one of Montréal's best kept secrets. Thanks to insider Tamy Emma Pepin, CH experienced the surfing frenzy first hand.
Standing up on a surfboard can be a difficult enough challenge, but this variety of surfing requires tenacity upon first entering the water, keeping with the correct flow of the current in order to position yourself in the heart of the rapids. Beginners can opt for the assistance of a rope, a sure-fire way to keep from missing the surf and ending up a mile downstream. (Click on images for enlarged view)
The payoff in landing the wave is huge and worth any struggle. Once up, the force of the current offers a nearly endless ride, only stopping to allow other surfers a chance at one of the three major breaks.
For more ideas on what to do in and around Montréal, check out the Montreal Insiders' blogs which include a cast of experts on everything from epicurean life to nightlife.
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