805 SW Industrial Way
Bend, OR 97702
Register is day of only from 9-10am at McKay Park with competitors meeting at 10:30am on the island. Fun and best trick comp from 11-1pm. Finals and surf bucket challenge, 1:30-3pm. Wrap up and clean-up, 4-5pm. Awards and BBQ at Tumalo Creek, 5-7:30pm.
Since inception, the four standing waves of the central channel in Bend’s landmark Whitewater Park have ushered and welcomed river goers novice to expert. The Subaru of Bend Outside Games and the Bend Paddle Trail Alliance (BPTA) invites one and all to the second annual Whitewater Festival where paddlers can celebrate and showcase their skills.
Home town throw down style, a judge will be at each feature grading for categories like best rider and trick. Spectators will enjoy play by play announcement, identify competitors by bib numbers and see SUPers on Jason’s, surfers and boogie boarders on The Green and kayakers on all waves. The surf community has shared that the Green wave is usually optimal in the winter; thus most advanced tricks and moves can be seen then.
“Bend’s is a Whitewater Festival is a reflection of the kayaking and surf culture; A fun and informal expo of the talented water enthusiasts in Central Oregon,” says Geoff Frank, lifelong kayaker and Owner/Operator of Tumalo Creek. “It has been amazing to see the swell of positive energy created at Pickin’ & Paddlin’ over the fundraising years barrel roll over into the comradery and inclusive energy felt when paddling in the park. Celebrating the river, celebrating the transformation of the dangerous Colorado Spillway into a community asset for novices, families and elite paddlers, that’s what this event is all about.”
Michelle Healy, of Bend Parks and Rec echos this sentiment saying, “[the Whitewater Festival] demonstrates and shares with the public the uniqueness of the feature[s] and the amazing community of users and their relationships at the park. There is a camaraderie and special culture developing down there.”
It may surprise some Bendites to know the story of the Whitewater Play Park started approximately fifteen years ago. Through a staple fundraiser and cult-classic local concert series Pickin’ & Paddlin’, the BPTA was able to raise over a million dollars of private funds to contribute to bond measure 9-86, one of the largest cash donations to a public project in Bend’s history. Among the spillway renovations the bond measure included other community building projects like the skating rink, a southeast area park, Pine Nursery recreational fields expansion and and various trail connections.
Spread the Whitewater Festival stoke online with your personal social media networks. #SOBOGsurf #SOBOGwhitewater