Skookumchuck Narrows

The Sechelt Rapids, created by the Skookumchuck Narrows, is a natural phenomenon occurring in an inlet on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia (located a couple of hours from Vancouver).

Twice a day, as the tide changes, water flows between two inlets creating rapids (i.e. tidal rapids*) as the water rushes through the constriction. The resulting wave is a playground for kayakers and surfers alike. Why ride a river one way, or have to continually paddle out to try and catch a wave breaking, when you can ride one continuing wave? Boaters and surfers take turns in the wave before kicking out (voluntarily or not), riding a short way down the inlet and back to shore where they walk back and do it again. 

Below are photos from the Roland Point Viewing Area, a short hike from a nearby trailhead in the Provencial Park. For more information, visit the Sunshine Coast’s tourism website

And for more photos of the Sunshine Coast, check out my separate blog post.

* This is different than a tidal bore. I actually thought it was essentially the same thing when first learning about this place, but a tidal bore is when the leading edge of a tide creates a wave. It’s one wave, or a couple of waves, that are moving with the tide, not a continuous wave in one spot.

Looking across the rapid and down the inlet.
Cartwheeling their kayak in a hole.
A favorite of mine from that day. Kayakers often know how to roll their boats when they flip over underwater. Here, they roll their boats in the air above the water by “bouncing” on the wave until they can pop up and rotate 360 degrees. Here, this kayaker is 90 degrees into the 360-degree roll.
…And about 180 degrees through their roll.
Spectators watching the kayakers (and surfers).
An old truck in the woods along the trail to the viewing point. 

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