frothing on the great lakes and rivers (river section)

Photo and text: Alexandra Côté-Durrer


The first time I heard about river surfing was right after my trip to Costa Rica. It was my first surfing experience and like most of you, fell in love with the sport and lifestyle. But it's quite hard to become a surf photographer when you live in Montreal, so here I was, in this surf inspired coffee shop talking to my friend Chloé about river surfing in this city.

Montreal is home to two main standing waves including a few secret gems here and there. It is definitely not the ocean surfing we find along our coasts, but we are very thankful to have these waves, it gives us the opportunity to surf without driving six hours to the East Coast.

Standing waves are basically infinity waves cause by the current and rock formations underneath. It creates a ripple that is beg enough to surf. Kind of like those indoor surf waves but natural. We are lucky to have the powerful Saint Lawrence river in our backyard to play and feel inspired.



As a young photographer and surf fanatic, I decided to document the world of river surfing and faces behind the surf community in Montreal. For me, I am so fascinated to educate our community on this wonderful sport that is somewhat after all these years still underground. And don't get me wrong, keeping it on the low key is a good thing before the waves get too crowded but I do believe it is something we should share with our community.

Why? Because Montreal is a city. A big city, and sometimes when we live in a big city for too long we forget about our environment and disconnect with our planet. Call me an environmentalist (please do). I believe being out in nature will make you more aware about global warming and will urge you to start changing. River surfing might be done in the city, but it's in our powerful iconic river that is constantly being threatened by pollution. If people were out there surfing every morning and feeling the currents, the wave and water on their skin they will be more aware of the importance of protecting our water.

Our waves also welcome a very close and inspiring group of entrepreneurs, what we like to call the surfing industry of Montreal. The passion behind surfing and river surfing has pushed incredibly inspiring humans to create companies that surround that lifestyle right in the heart of the city.

Familiar with June Swimwear? Julie founded the brand right here after falling in love with the surf culture from Australia.

We have great local shapers like the iconic Martin from Guava who shapes beautiful works of art, as he inspired others to start their own shaping companies like Ananus and Boreal.

The opening of September Surf x Shaper Studios coffee shop last spring gave us a spot to all come together and share the same passion with others. It also gave Montreal that introduction into the lifestyle and pushed others to try it.

So it's funny when people mention there are no opportunities in Montreal for the surf industry. Clearly there are some who are so passionate and authentic that that are making shit happen right? It might take a while before we become more recognized for the sport and lifestyle but someone once told me that amazing things happen slowly.

And if we managed to find comfort on our boards far from the ocean, that means anything is possible.