Brittany Parker…Surf West Virginia
Team Rider Brittany Parker checked in during her fall wanderings with a trip report from her stop in West Virginia. The first three photos are courtesy of Scott Martin
Diagonal Ledges is the kind of wave the Badfish River Surfer was made for. West Virginia has an unexpected surf scene with a handful of waves and, so far, Diagonal Ledges on the Lower Gauley takes the cake.
This wave isn’t like many waves, it requires some planning, unlike most of our Colorado “drive-up-to” spots. This one is a mission.
You would only be able to find your way to Diagonal Ledges with the help from a local, who may or may not share the location with you. Forget about your GPS, this is one place the Google street view car would not venture.
It’s a two-hour commute one-way. If you don’t have four wheel drive and high clearance you can forget it. The roads are narrow and your landmarks are abandoned house and trucks that have become part of the natural landscape. You’re deep in the rolling West Virginia hills.
After an hour of driving you come to a dead end, this is where you pack up your gear, snacks, and board and take the second hour of the commute on foot.
The term “earn your turns” comes to mind when hiking into Diagonal Ledges.
The surf wave is the second ledge in the Diagonal Ledges rapid. It’s fast and steeper than it looks with a great river right shoulder to bank off of and a river left entry making it ideal for goofy footers.
It was the most fun I’d had on a river wave on a stand up paddleboard since highwater season in Colorado.
Searching for new river waves to surf is what keeps my passion for river surfing alive. Missions like this make me wonder what is out there that hasn’t been discovered by the inland surfer yet?
The search continues… -Brittany Parker