Published on June 27th, 2014 | by Jacob Kelly Quinlan

Interview with Kai Lenny on River Surfing

While down at the Payette River Games I was fortunate enough to meet professional surfer, Kai Lenny. Kai is a big hero of mine. The dude competes in SUP, kite surfing, ocean surfing and just this week he was trying out our beloved sport, river surfing. Before coming to the games Kai surfed his first river wave in the Boise River Park.

Which way to the beach? (Photo: Mike Leeds Photography)

Kai had tons of fun on the wave down there and registered to compete in the river surfing competition. For only being on a river wave a handful of times, the young Hawaiian did very well! Kai is used to the term “waterman” as he does pretty much anything he can the involves a board on water but the PRGs highlighted a new generation of waterman who surfs and SUPs far from any ocean.

Kai Lenny, meet Boise River Park (Photo: Mike Leeds Photography)

It was great getting Kai’s thoughts on river surfing. With it still being so new to him I think he gave us an honest and enthusiastic view of the sport. My favourite part of the whole interview, when he said he would like a river wave in his backyard, even with perfect Hawaiian surf available.

Kai and the entourage (Photo: Mike Leeds Photography)

Huge thanks to Peter Jones at Red Bull for facilitating the interview and to Mike Leeds Photography for the amazing photography!

Stoke and flow,
Jacob Kelly

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Jacob Kelly Quinlan

A founding member of the Surf Anywhere Project, Jacob loves exploring new waves, meeting stoked river surfers, and hopes to make it easier to surf anywhere in the world. Beyond that, Jacob's passion is community and is a pioneer of river surfing culture.



  • kirflow

    die guten zwei Herren Markus Gruber und Prof Aufleger haben schon vor 10 Jahren ein System für Flüsse aufgelegt, welches genau das realisieren würde…… Langsam sehe ich mich als Chronist des Riversurfens…..

    in english words: two people invited exactly this system (tube 6) some ten years ago. it was original supposed for the Munich Isar (the main river flow) but was any way disliked by the city and a strong community of citizens around the place. Prof. Aufleger is still teaching in Insbruck and has got a patent on the system. It is not that easy like teh “surf anywhere”- system but easy enough to build it with some less money than a “wave-garden” costs…… Slowly I feel like a chronicle person concerning river surfing……

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