William Pichet and friend

This isn't your typical paddle out. In fact, it's much different than what most surfers will experience in their lifetimes. Yet, alongside a tree-ridden bank in Canada, a tight-knit surfing community has developed without a single drop of saltwater. Here, William Pichet talks board design with a fellow freshwater enthusiast.

William Pichet

The height of this wave in the St. Lawrence River varies from season to season. Here, Pichet cross-steps on a bigger day.

Lineup

Just ten minutes from the sprawling buildings of downtown Montreal, a surfer paddles into the lineup, his commitment equal to that of any other coldwater surfer in the world.

Sharing on Saint-Lawrence

When it comes to catching one of St. Lawrence's standing waves, sharing is never
out of the question.

Saint-Lawrence's Endless Wave

The strong current can be imposing, but once you get to know it, not many things can compare to riding this endless wave.

William Pichet

On quieter days, when fewer people wait for their turns, footwork can be practiced. William Pichet, walking backwards.

Pierre-Philippe Loiselle

Sometimes, it's only whitewash. Other times, it's a beautifully smooth wave. Pierre-Philippe Loiselle, enjoying the latter.

Sunrise

A sunrise on the river ensures you'll find solitude and a breath of fresh air.

Sunset

A sunset paints the sky in mesmerizing form.

Chloé Mocombe

One thing is certain: Surfing in these freezing conditions is much harder on the body, and taking a rest between waves becomes necessary. Chloé Mocombe, recovering on shore.

Chloé Mocombe and William Pichet

It's Canada in the dead of winter, and it's so cold it hurts. But surfers will always keep suiting up to jump in. Chloé Mocombe and William Pichet, dedicated to
the St. Lawrence River.