10 Ways To Win Surfing Sundays On The Gauley River

Every Sunday of Gauley Season, ACE sponsors a contest named “Surfing Sunday.”

This contest is usually decided per trip on the video made by the videoboaters. The winners are selected and announced after the video of each trip.Besides the eternal lasting fame and glory of being the winners, the winning boat gets the dubious honor of receiving a Surfing Sunday T-shirt to take home to immortalize the event!

Not just a great trip, not just fame and glory, not just an awesome video, but all that and a T-shirt, too! This is a coveted honor and one that we as guides fight hard and fiercely to win for the people in our boats.

The winners are decided by:

  • Line through the rapids — raft control and creativity
  • Team Symmetry — paddling together
  • Amplitude — raft hits and spray quality
  • Swimmers — one point is deducted for each swimmer who falls out during a video rapid. Remember, it takes skills to stay in the boat; anyone can fall out.

Here are some tips to help YOU win the Surfing Sunday contest this year:

1. You have to take a trip on Sunday. The contests are not held on Saturdays (hence the name).
2. It may help to plan your trip to include a boat of your friends who have good balance.
3. Call early to request your favorite guide.

4. Keep your head up and watch what is going on in the water. Try to avoid watching the paddle going into the water; watch where the raft is going and what you are about to hit so you can be better prepared.
5. Do watch the person in front of you, lean forward when they do, and plant your paddles in the water together (team symmetry). This also helps the guide to put the boat in the best possible places.
6. Try to avoid paddling extra hard when you get nervous. Save your energy to paddle extra hard when the guide tells you to (this gets you a better raft hit with more spray quality).
7. Avoid a brain freeze and stopping paddling before the guide tells you. Paddling helps keep you in the boat and puts the boat where you need to go.
8. Avoid having your foot jammed under the cross tube. If you need to high-side in a hurry, stopping to pull your foot out is a sure way to be too late to do any good, and having your foot braced lightly helps to avoid injury.
9. Practice all the “on river skills” in the non-videoed surf holes, and then hopefully everything will come together when you get the videoed surf holes.
10. Keep it fun. It’s fun to compete and fun to win, but be a good sport.

There you have it. Big Wave Dave’s tips for winning the Surfing Sunday competition this year. It should be a good year with some great surfs.

Can you think of anything I left out?

Go big, and I’ll see you on the water.

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