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Surf’s up in the Cedar River

Surf’s up in the Cedar River
Marty Colbert and Hannah “Ray-J” Childs came up to Charles City on Friday to test the waters ahead of the upcoming Charles City Challenge. Press photos by Travis Fischer
By Travis Fischer,

While some could be tired of the rainy May, this year’s series of spring storms have given the Cedar River a welcome boost for whitewater enthusiasts.

“It’s a lot more water than it has been,” said Hannah Childs, who came up to Charles City from Cedar Rapids on Friday to spend the afternoon on her surfboard.

Testing the water with fellow surfer Marty Colbert, also of Cedar Rapids, Childs said the river is back up to a medium level of depth. While more water is still needed to officially end the drought in the area, she’s happy to see the river rising.

“This is our favorite spot to surf in Iowa,” said Childs. “It’s some of the best waves in a thousand miles.”

Childs and Colbert are getting ready for the upcoming Charles City Challenge, slated to run from May 31 to June 2.

“We haven’t seen the river at this level in a while, so it’s nice to see the paddlers back in town to enjoy it,” said tourism coordinator Ginger Williams.

This will be the 12th year of the Charles City Challenge, which will feature a range of events for competitive surfers and kayakers, along with fun activities for anybody to enjoy, including an inflatable parade planned for June 1.

“People can just pop down with their inflatable craft and just float through,” said Williams.

Surf’s up in the Cedar River
The Cedar River is starting to get back up to speed as Charles City gets ready for summer whitewater events.

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