It’s a long way to the ocean from Jackson. So for those of us that want to get our liquid shred on (and that don’t have a boat) Lunch Counter on the Snake River is the next best thing. I wont claim to be a good, nay, average river surfer for a moment- but it sure is an awesome time. The surfable wave on the Lunch Counter Rapid is the first in the wave train, so the only way to get off the wave is by swimming through the rest of the rapid– which is always quite thrilling. It’s not for the faint of heart, if you fall and loose your board, swimming Lunch Counter without a life jacket is pretty intense.
Another variable to keep you on your toes is the constant stream of rafters coming through the rapid. There are some jackass river guides out there that will aim right for you. Although the boats coming down the river do have the right of way, at bigger flows there’s enough of a shoulder on the wave to let boats though. But said jackasses might still try and take you out with an ore.
The video above was shot at around 13,500CFS, about the upper limit for a surfable wave. Above that the wave is generally washed out. The wave is generally surfable between 13,500CFS and and 8,000CFS. Higher flows usually mean a broader face but flatter, whereas lower flows offer a steeper, narrower face. Although it might not exactly by Teahupoo, it’s not bad for a state hundreds of miles from the nearest beach.