Not Fair: Boise Wave Gets Accolades


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Boise’s play wave is among the nation’s best…for surfers and kayakers. That’s the findings forwarded by Denver-based water park desing firm McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group (MWDG), a division of Merrick & Company (, which recently learned that the river wave that serves as the centerpiece for the Boise, Idaho, River Park has been applauded as one of the world’s ‘Top Five’ river surfing waves and heads the list for man-made waves in North America according to GrindTV (

MWDG recently presented on the future of river surfing wave design at the Forum Flusswellen in Nuremberg, Germany, July 15-16.

“We are honored to have been given this opportunity to discuss what we’ve learned with the best minds in European river wave design, and hope our expertise can help advance the industry and sport,” says Ben Nielsen, a designer of the Boise River Park who presented at the conference.

Boise has turned into a vibrant surf community some 500 miles from any ocean, including a surf shop and surfboard shapers, and the reason is twofold: the Boise River flows all year long, and the innovative park features two patented Wave Shapers, which can be adjusted in real time to create standing waves all year round at any river flow, and for surfers of all skill levels. On certain days it’s dialed in for kayakers, and on others for SUP paddlers and surfers.

“It’s pretty sick,” says Joe Carberry, a Boise local and former editor for both Canoe & Kayak and SUP magazines. “You can go there on certain days and have it set for whatever craft you’re riding.”

The design puts Boise at the forefront of wave design.

“Boise was ground zero for river surfing projects in America,” says Nielsen. “It showed that if you build it they will come. We have multiple river surfing projects in the pipeline right now because of the success in Boise, including a surf wave on the South Platte River, and we’re excited about helping shape the future of river surfing in the U.S with the utilization of our WaveShaper technology.”


Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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