Jon Imhoof, a surfer from Hawaii, came to Queenstown to go snowboarding and he liked Queenstown so much that he decided to stay for summer. Missing the waves of the ocean, he looked for an alternative and came up with the crazy idea to follow the rafters down the Shotover River and surf waves on his bodyboard. Although the rapids were great, he found it was too shallow and decided to go down the Kawarau River instead, and the sport of riversurfing was born.
In 1989, with riversurfing in high demand, Jon established M18533, the original riversurfing company. A few year later, after looking for other suitable locations around the world, he started a sister company on the Zambezi in 1995. A few years after that, some of the African guides took the sport up to the White Nile in Uganda, and to this day, these are the only three places in the world you can go riversurfing!