Allen Edwardson is hoping to make a big wave this summer.
The 31-year-old owner of North Shuswap Barge Adventures is hoping to break the Guinness world record for riding the longest wave – on Shuswap Lake. The wave will be created by weighing down a V-drive boat with 2,100 pounds in order to create a wake on one side of the boat.
Edwardson is quick to caution that wake-riding should never be done with an outboard motor.
“If you fall on a regular outboard it will chop you up,” he says, noting the propeller is under the boat that is able to create waves from three- to five-feet high. “It’s the never-ending wave; what people had been dreaming about for years.”
A surfer and wakeboarder, Edwardson discovered wake-riding about seven years ago and fell in love with the sport.
“I love it, I’m addicted to it,” he laughs, noting Shuswap Lake is where he has perfected his moves. “Back then they didn’t have big water-ballast systems so we used to put garbage bags of gravel and sand in the boat to weigh it down.”
The Lee Creek resident says wake-riding has become a mainstream sport and, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, he will attempt to surf the waves for four hours, breaking the record held by Gary Saavedra, who rode a 413-mile wave in 3:55:02 March 22.
“He did that down the Panama Canal,” says Edwardson, who learned about the event while surfing the ’net. “I’ve gone for an hour before and thought I could go a lot longer, and then I thought, ‘Hey I’m gonna try that.’”
Edwardson chose a Tuesday to make his record-breaking attempt because he says, in his experience, it is the day with the least amount of activity on the lake. He chose a 7 a.m. start because that is when the lake is at its calmest.
Edwardson will start out from Celista but isn’t yet quite sure, where he will go from there. “You either have to keep it in straight line or preferably move to whatever side is weighted,” he said Thursday, noting he was planning to plot out the course last week. “It may not be a long trip along the lake, it may just be giant circles. But that’s life, hey?”