White water on the Arkansas River

Monday, November 14th 2005, 10:29 am
By: News On 6

Kayakers call it "the Tulsa Wave" and soon it's going to be easier to ride the wave, because of a new park being built on the west bank of the Arkansas River.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan Dave Reid waited 15 years for this day. "You've got a tremendous play spot, a tremendous wave and you're right in the middle of Tulsa.” He's been waiting for signs of progress on a wave park on the Arkansas River.

He won't need to walk the goat trail down to the edge or lower his kayak on a rope any more - to get to what kayakers call the Tulsa Wave. "A large volume of water channels into a very small place so that speeds up that current and it hits this spot in the river and it forms what we call big reversal waves and actually they can grow up to be 10-12 feet high."

The spot is right in front of the PSO plant on the west bank of the Arkansas River. The power company took on the job of getting all the permits and is paying $80,000 to build the access ramps. PSO spokesperson Stan Whiteford: "For PSO since we're just a little over a year away from our state centennial, we wanted to look at this as our centennial gift to the city."

The park will provide a permanent way for the kayakers to get in and out of the water, but the kayakers think the biggest improvement is the movement of some of those rocks.

They believe it will make the Tulsa Wave a world class wave. Dave Reid: "What this does is allows our kayaks to slide out on the waves like a surfboard and do tricks on that wave." The water flow is down this time of year, but when it's up the Tulsa wave can draw kayakers from several states.

Once the park is done in a month, enthusiasts think it draw even more people. There is more information on the history of Tulsa Wave at www.tulsawave.com.