Whitewater Kayak Surfing the New River Dries by Emily Wade | Mar 25, 2021 | Featured Post, JAdventures Main Banner, Whitewater, Whitewater Feature, WW Disciplines | 2 comments The New River Dries is a section of the New River located in wild and wonderful West Virginia. When the river is high, water overwhelms an upstream dam and pours into the Dries, forming big waves and making the Dries a freestyle kayaker’s paradise. I first saw footage of these waves three years ago, when I was brand new to freestyle kayaking, and knew I had to get there one day. I started looking into big wave surfing and training to get into shape to surf these waves. I worked really hard on my freestyle skills in order to be able to surf this caliber of waves. Early on, my goal was simply to be in good enough shape to get on the waves, surf them, and then get back to shore. Throwing tricks on these waves had not entered my mind yet. I finally had the opportunity to hit the Dries a couple of weeks ago after some heavy rain. I headed up to WV and met up with some friends who showed me the ropes, and we spent the days hanging out and surfing our faces off. The scenery was just as epic with the trail overlooking the waves, which are down in the New River Gorge. There are several different waves depending on the levels but the wave I got to spend time on is known as the Dries Wave. The Dries Wave was by far the biggest wave I have surfed yet. As I was standing on shore looking at this wave for the first time, my eyes popped out of my head at how big it is in person. The Dries Wave is located in the middle of the river and surfing it requires some stamina before and after your rides. There is a wave named Sloppy Seconds lurking right behind the Dries Wave that sometimes will catch you when you are tired after long rides, but just surf it out and hurry to shore where there are several eddies, then prepare for (what felt to me like) a LONG hike up the trail afterwards…Luckily I have been working pretty hard on my fitness off the water attending Crossfit classes 4 to 5 days a week which really paid off with allowing me more rides. I really enjoyed the Dries Wave because it was fast and steep but I had time to move around and get a bounce for bigger tricks without being stuck in the foam. It was slightly retentive letting me stick tricks and not flush, but it wasn’t “scary retentive”— you could flush off the wave when you wanted to. I was able to throw several tricks and put together some solid rides consisting of spins, roundhouses, blunts, and back blunts. If I timed my blunts right I felt like I was flying. This wave allows most every wave trick you can think of. The New River Dries are by far my favorite place to surf. Although the Dries don’t often come in, I was lucky enough to get in 2 weekends in a row with gorgeous warmer weather for March. I absolutely cannot wait to get back here and I’m excited to try and get bigger air on my tricks and learn new ones next time! Check out the footage below: Catch you on the river! Emily 2 Comments Alex (Lee) Horne on March 30, 2021 at 1:11 pm It was fun surfing the home waves with you! For anyone looking to make a trip to the Dries, here’s my best scouting report: Use the website safewaters.com/facility/54 -the first number listed is the “Cutrent flow in the bypass reach” and tells you what the dries are running. -minimum flows for surfing the put in waves are 18k. 18-20k are good levels because you can use an Eddie on river left to get back to the waves and don’t have to hike. -good first time big wave surfing levels are 18-25k, this is when the middle wave is not too retentive but big enough to throw wave tricks. -over 30k the waves get bigger and they’re more retentive, with a long hole forming behind the center wave that can hand out a beat down. -40-60k are big time flows and require a lot of experience as the eddies become smaller and you may end up in the trees Good downriver levels start at 10k and there are TONS of amazing surfs out there. Come check them out! Reply Emily Wade on March 31, 2021 at 8:20 am For more info on the specifics of the dries check out Alex’s comments above Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.