If you can't find surf, build it. Three Swedish surfers have created a custom made river wave.
You only need a brain and a few wood planks to build your private surf break. Surfing is everywhere. It is where you find it; in the heart of nowhere, thousands of kilometers away from natural ocean waves.
Daniel Risberg, his brother David and their friend Alex built a two-meter (6.5 feet) ramp with the goal of creating a stationary wave in a shallow river located about half an hour from Umea, in the north of Sweden. And it worked out very well.
"It was actually my brother who came up with the idea; he was looking for a good spot to build a river wave. We had a couple of other spots in mind, but then he somehow found this incredible, easily built spot," Daniel tells SurferToday.com.
"We figured with water that fast, on a flat bottom, we could just build a small skate ramp, tie it up with ropes and drop it in there. So, that's pretty much what we did. We spent a couple of nights building the ramp from construction wood, 2x2's 2x4's and so on, and some plywood we had. Angles, sizes, and so on, we'd just shoot from the hip, bearing in mind that we need to carry it and take it on the roof of my Volvo."
"When we first dropped it in the water, with a lot of hopes and expectations, it was quite a disappointment to see that our wave was surfing itself. When I pulled it in towards the side, and it finally caught water, it was the best moment ever! So good to see that something you put a lot of effort into works, especially without previously knowing if it would work."
The trio used long straps and ropes to keep the surf construction tightly secured to the river's margin. When it was ready to be surfed, the Swedish crew dropped in with a small surfboard equipped with small fins. In a matter of minutes, they were all riding it flawlessly.
Later, and without fins, they showed off a few freestyle tricks. The session would no be complete without a couple of wipeouts. But they will return. With a bigger model.
"The next one is due when the spring flood hits, or maybe once it has calmed down just a little bit. The idea is to use the old one, plus another section at least as wide, and a bit higher, possibly try to make it barrel a bit at one end or something fun like that."
"Getting it in the water safely will be a bit of a challenge. It was quite sketchy last time and with a ramp more than twice as massive, it might be a hassle. We'll figure something out, and hopefully we can keep it in the water for a few days at least," concludes Daniel.
Lesson learned - sometimes you just have to build your own surf spot. And these riders deserve a Perfect 10 for their brilliant effort.