Lake Powell 3: Surfing the Waves

063Wow!  This Lake Powell Post is taking longer than I anticipated. After the harrowing weather heaved us into a cliff last time, the sun came out and life was calm and peaceful once more–perfect conditions for SURFING!

Our relatives had a cool surfing boat.  I’m not technical, so forgive me for my simplified description, but basically we’d stop and Craig would push a button and the boat would take on water on one side (not inside where I was, but in a tube underneath).  When it had enough and was tilted sideways, the boat would take off, throwing a nice wave up behind it that we could surf on.  Brilliant!

Now, I’m a terrible waterskier.  As a teen, my friend took me water-skiing at Lake Mead, and it was terrifying.  The boat would take off and I would literally be dragged behind it, sucking in gallons of lake water as I tried to pull myself up to a standing position.  I just can’t walk on water.

I would get stuck in a squatting position and be dragged along like a duck until I’d had enough lake water up my nose and would voluntarily let go of the rope and pray like crazy for the boat to hurry back to me before a fish nibbled my toes.  My friend told me fish liked to nibble toes, and that terrified me almost as bad as cows!  I’d flail my legs as I waited, praying that some giant, mutant catfish from the deep wouldn’t swim up and swallow me whole.  The boat was never fast enough.  I fear water because I can’t see what’s in it with me, and I’m afraid my imagination gets the best of me.


I only give you that history so you understand why I didn’t want ANYTHING to do with surfing while we were at Lake Powell.  I was content watching my kids try it (like my girl is learning here on her stomach)…but I didn’t want to get in the water–especially when we were in the main channel where the water was 400-500 feet deep.  Yikes!  I’ve read McElligot’s Pool and know what lurks in the fathomless deep.

My family forced me to get in the water and give it a go though.  I was SURE I would never manage to get up on that surfboard–going from past experience–and my first few attempts were as bad as I expected.  The good thing about the surfboard though was that I could put my feet in it as I waited for the boat and know that my toes couldn’t get sucked on by fishies.  Yea!


But miracle of miracles! on the 3rd or 4th try, I actually got up.  I was so surprised that I biffed it because I clapped for myself and let go of the rope.  Anyway, the next time I was a pro (pretend this picture is me.  It’s actually my hot dog daughter, but she looks like me when I was her age).  Surfing is a blast!  I could have gone forever, except my wrists and legs got sore, so I let go to rest (and quickly put my feet in the surfing boot to keep them safe).

I can truthfully say now that I’m a SURFER…and that I surfed in Utah!  How awesome is that?

I never tired of the scenery as we rode in the boat and took turns surfing or skiing.  The cliffs surrounding Lake Powell are stunning.  Ah!

And now, I must congratulate Daniel Bacon.  He was the 1st person to guess the correct thing the guys forgot to check before we left the marina.  That will teach me to be cocky and say no one will EVER guess right.  Daniel read Post 1 on Lake Powell and immediately commented that it must be the sewage tank.  Ah!  The SMELL of victory.  I tried to lead him astray by ignoring his correct answer, but it gnawed on me.  All hail the correct answer guy!  Daniel, I wish you’d been along to warn us.


If you ever go to Lake Powell (or any other place that might rely on sewage tanks), don’t trust that cleaning crews will empty them for you before you take charge of them.  Take a few minutes to check ’em out yourself, because when your septic tanks are almost full (and you have 3 more days left out in the middle of nowhere with no hope of emptying them), life stinketh.  Enough said.

This trip was still a BLAST, as you can see from the pictures.  Surfing ruled the day…and eating the nights.  To end, I will leave you with a video clip of my Surfer husband!  He’s just learning here.  I don’t know why I didn’t get any video of my relatives surfing.  They are super good.  Live and learn, I guess.


Surfing Lake Powell

Now go catch some waves (even if they are just your hands waving).


12 thoughts on “Lake Powell 3: Surfing the Waves

  1. I am impressed you got up on that board! I suspect I would fail miserably. I tried water skiing once, and the only thing I accomplished was almost losing my contact lenses. I’m a stay-in-the-boat kind of gal!

  2. Why on earth did you call me your “hot dog” daughter…? I’m insulted. 😛 haha Oh, but I just found out I can go to Lake Powell again this year!!! I seriously can’t wait to wake surf again! 🙂

    P.S. Wake surfing is way better than flow riders (those surfing simulators you see on cruise boats and stuff. The Barker’s bishop down here tore his hamstring this last weekend during their youth conference on one at the Provo Beach Resort!!

    • I’ve never been on a cruise boat or stuff, so I’ve never seen a flow rider. And you are my hot dog daughter, because that’s what I say every time I watch you do something. You’re so dang good at things, that I say, “Hot dog! Whose daughter is that?”

  3. Forgot to mention – I was going crazy trying to think of something that could have gone wrong other than the sewage! I was even going to guess that maybe you didn’t have mattresses next! 🙂 Great surfing pictures – looks like the trip was worth it.

    • We had the use of one toilet (just barely–but had to use it conservatively); so we just had to rough it in the wilderness unless it was emergency

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