For day 2 we had the option of a "guide your own" trip down the rapids, or riverboarding. We elected to go with the more dangerous of the 2.
Since we were the only group going out on Sunday, I figured the bus ride would be more tame. I was wrong. Music still pumped through the speakers tied to both ends of the bus, our guides still danced and donned costumes, and there was an added wrinkle: a push-up contest. The record was 34 push-ups with the bus moving. I figured I could beat that fairly easily, but with the bus bouncing down the road, the task proved to be more difficult than I expected. I think I managed a total in the low twenties, not even close. (One of the guides (Dave) hammered out 38 to claim the belt.)
Once we arrived at the river we unloaded the bus and grabbed our riverboards. Basically bodyboards, with some extra handles and tough plastic along the edges.
We sat in the raft to start, while Oscar paddled us to the start of the rapids. The waves look a lot bigger when you're lying on your gut, feet dangling off the back, with a death grip on the small piece of foam keeping us afloat.
The ride was surprisingly smooth, considering the beating we took the day prior in our much larger raft. The riverboards rode the waves with surprising ease. We did come to a set of rapids that managed to throw us around pretty good. At one point we ended up facing upriver, and hitting the rapids hind-quarters first. An uneasy feeling for sure, but all the more exhilarating when you reach the flats in one piece.
Just like on the raft, we paddled back towards the waves to play around in some sections. If you maneuvered your board just right, you could surf the standing wave for as long as you had the energy. (Or until someone else comes in and poaches your wave).
Crystal and Megan opted for the safety of the raft, with Oscar (our super-strong Mexican guide) rowing through the rapids. (Backwards on some occasions to keep the ladies dry).
It was a really unique experience, (HorizonX is the only one to do it on the Ottawa river) and one we won't soon forget.HorizonX super served us, and helped to make it an unbelievably fun weekend. Let's do it again next year!