Class: (4)
Flow: 10-12 knots on the flood tide (not much happening on the ebb).
Length: N/A
Time: 2.5 hours
Portages: N/A
Gradient: N/A
Season: Late April-Sept.
Put-In: To get to Okisollo, you can either launch a boat from Campbell River or Quadra Is.. If you go to Quadra, drive off the ferry and stay on the main road, turning left at the top of the hill. Drive past Quadra Foods, and turn right at the stop sign. Just past the elementary school, turn left onto West Rd. Drive for about ten minutes, and you will reach Heriot Bay. There is a boat ramp here where you can launch a boat, as well as water taxis available.
Take-Out: Same
Link: Google Directions to Put-In
Link: Map Quest
River Daddy/Mom:

Interactive map:

Map script: techrageo
Back to: Overview River Map

Run description:

Okisollo is a challenging play spot in the Okisollo channel off North Quadra Is.. The area has two main waves, one being a 2-3 meter standing wave that alternates between green and breaking, and the other a smaller wave that is accessible from an eddy. Both waves form off of a large point, and it is necessary to climb over the point every time you want to surf the big wave. The smaller wave is accessible from an eddy, but is only surfable for about an hour. There is however, a small, fast wave that forms right behind it that is fun for most of the tide.

To even consider surfing Okisollo you must have a support boat that someone can get to very quickly in case there is need of a rescue. Although there is a large eddy behind both waves, it is nearly impossible to rescue a swimmer from the 12 knot current without getting swept far down the channel.

Okisollo is definitely not beginner friendly, and everyone should consider a few points: firstly, there are man eating transient whirlpools along the eddy line. They will let you go, but often only after a good spin cycle. Secondly, the barnacles are razor sharp- your boat and booties will never be the same! Finally, when paddling the wave in fall, watch out for logs floating down the channel. It impossible to see up-channel when you are surfing.

Since there are often several days in a row with good tides at Okisollo, you may want to spend the night. There is good but popular camping on the Octopus Islands, and Surge Narrows, and there is also accommodations at Discovery Islands Lodge (www.discovery-islands-lodge.com), next to Surge Narrows.

Other runs on the Ocean Spots: