At levels above 4.1 or so, you have to start from the eddy on river left of the wave to catch it...which means you have to basically walk up the island beside that eddy and ferry out into it...surf the wave, and try to slip back into the eddy.
Anything below 4.0 is easy to catch though
The wave is very hard to catch in a short, spud boat @ 4.1. It's difficult to get across the eddy line and over the green on river right and into the pile without getting flushed. The word is that at 3.9 it's a little easier to catch in a short boat. Bob's S8 did well @ 4.1 so bring your fast boat.
This can also be a run - starting on the eastern side at the town of Bainbridge. Called the Haldeman Riffles, there are 5 class 2 ledges, and some nice surfing at one well before the bridge. The Wave can easily be avoided by taking any of the other river chutes making a nice class 2 run for beginners, but just about anyone should be able to go straight through it, as long as you do not have an open deck boat.
The Wave is located in the bridge chute left of the largest abutment on the river left (seventh tunnel from the river left edge). The island on its left is a nice spot for a break.
Take out on river left at - River Front Park. The last mile is flat water. The river flow really slows after the bridge all the way to Chickies Rock (another 4 miles downstream/lake).
Perfect level is 4.0'.
In the winter, the gauge reading is not always accurate due to ice on the river upstream of the wave. This portion of the river at the wave, stays ice free almost every winter.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
The Wave - 10/28/13
Surfing the Wave 2
Surfing the Wave
Another Wave Photo!
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:
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