Why Corner Wave is my favorite wave on the Ottawa

If you have ever visited the Ottawa River, you have most likely seen, heard of, or been a part of what I refer to as the “Corner Wave Cult”.
We are a specific breed of kayakers who have a potentially unhealthy obsession with Corner Wave.
Situated smack-dab in the middle of McCoys Rapid, Corner Wave is (in my opinion) one of the best waves in the world for freestyle kayaking. It is also probably one of the hardest waves in the world for freestyle kayaking. It is a fast, green, diagonal curler about 3 feet in height. The face of the wave is quite steep, creating a bit of a big wave feel, despite it being only a 3 foot tall wave. Every wave trick can be thrown on this wave, however, if not executed perfectly, you will flush off the wave and most likely get swirled around in the tricky backwash. You then have to hustle back to catch the eddy before you are washed downstream through the Horseshoe Holes that are formed by the island just downstream of the wave.


Because of its tricky nature, when you do actually stick a perfect trick on the wave, the feeling of satisfaction you get is unreal. Every time I stick a blunt, back blunt, or flashback on the wave, I know 100% that I executed my trick perfectly.
Corner Wave is also (in my opinion) the best wave on the Ottawa for training fitness. The eddy is so difficult to catch that as soon as you flush off the wave, you have to paddle your hardest to make the eddy, which keeps your heart rate pumping even after your ride is over.


In addition, the “rule” for a Corner Wave session is that every time you miss the eddy and have to hike back up, you have to do 10-20 push-ups.
Some people don’t appreciate Corner Wave as much as I do because of how tricky it is. However, if you embrace the difficulty of it and think of it as a fun challenge, Corner Wave can be the most epic, steep, green wave on the river.

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