"The Centre" is located approximately half way between Bate Island and the Quebec
shore, below the Champlain bridge on the Ottawa River in the city of Ottawa.
The Centre consists of one great surf wave
followed by a 100 yard long wave train. Probably a class II - II+ play spot overall. It is
completely washed out at high water levels.
There is a huge eddy formed at "The Centre"
behind a large rock that forms the south most edge of a ledge extending from the Quebec
shore. This eddy could hold every boater in the Ottawa area. An Ottawa based paddling
club, the "Coureurs de Bois", place a raft in the eddy during the warm water
portion of the paddling season. Many a paddler has used the raft to empty out his or her
boat and have a rest after a big swim. The surf wave is river right of the eddy.
A nice gentle feeder wave sets up your entry into the
pocket of the standing wave. Usually, no strokes are required on the ferry entry until
just before you enter the pocket. A couple of well placed strokes here help to get you
forward of a little hump of a wave guarding the sweet spot. The prefered entry is low into
the pocket to break your downstream momentum from the ferry entry off the diagonal feeder
wave. This reduces the chance of sliding off the back of the main wave.
The surf wave provides an extremely dynamic ride. The wave
is 3 - 4 feet high and moves around a little. Generally, a fairly easy wave to stay on
once you figure out how to get on. It's a fast ride that benefits from a lot of body
english. From time to time you can even get some pretty good enders. The water is
relatively deep with no chance of hitting your head on the bottom.
Most paddlers ferry accross from Bate Island below the
rapids. If you ferry to "The Centre" from above the rapids you will find a lot
more opportunities to play on the trip down to the main play spot (and a lot fewer
paddlers). The first stop on the entry from above is a smallish eddy formed by a shallow
ledge. From here, there is a 15 foot wide glassy surf wave on river left, from which, the
eddy can be easily attained to after a ride. Sliding out the bottom of this first eddy
leads directly into the main play spot. Exiting the first eddy on river right takes you
into another ledge based eddy 100 feet downstream. From here you can surf a very short,
very steep and narrow standing wave. Exiting on river left will take you into the main
play spot or allow you to ferry back across the next standing wave to the second ledge
eddy again. At lower water levels, this eddy is attainable from below the rapids, river
right of the main play spot.