River Park Supporters Host Surf/Kayak Event
Park volunteers are producing what they hope will be the first of many showcase events at Boise’s first river recreation amenity. The Boise River Park Surf and Kayak Rally will be Monday, June 23, from 6 to 8 pm.
The Rally will showcase world-class paddling and surfing athletes, many of whom will have been in Cascade, Idaho, for the Payette River Games at Kelly’s Whitewater Park June 21 and 22. Organizers say the athletes are making the trek down to Boise to help showcase the park’s potential as an event venue.
There is no charge for the event and the public is welcome.
"Parks like these across the country generate enthusiasm among river users and spectators alike,” said Dr. Paul Collins, Friends of the Park board president. "This event will showcase the park’s potential to be a draw from both an economic and quality of life standpoint.”
The Friends of the Park is a volunteer board that worked in partnership with the City of Boise to raise funds to replace the structure with a $3.6 million dam that includes maneuverable flashboards or wave shapers. Funding was provided by the JA and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, which donated $1.4 million to the project. Hundreds of contributions from individual donors, businesses and foundations completed the campaign.
On tap so far to demonstrate their skills and test out various settings on the diversion’s signature wave shapers are women’s’ world champion stand up paddle boarder Nikki Gregg, river surfing pioneer Elijah Mack, and six-time member of the USA Freestyle Kayak Team Bryan Kirk. Event organizers will announce the complete list of athletes as they confirm over the next week.
Organizers say the event is not a competition, rather it is a way to showcase the athletes’ skills and showcase the capabilities of the new Harry W. Morrison dam in the Boise River Park.
The Harry W. Morrison Dam and a shoreline plaza area were dedicated in June 2013 and the waves it produces have been popular with kayakers, surfers and stand up paddle boarders since that time.
The City has since engaged a design team to develop plans for phase II of the Boise River Park downstream from the diversion to complete the park. The Friends of the Park say they will launch efforts in the coming weeks to raise a projected $7.3 million to fund the plans. There will be illustrations and people on hand at the event to explain future phases of the Boise River Park.
The Boise River Park Surf and Kayak Rally will be held at the Boise River Park, 3900 W. Pleasanton. Parking is available in the gravel lots behind Idaho River Sports, 601 Whitewater Park Blvd., or at Veterans Memorial Park, 930 N. Veterans Parkway (from Veteran’s Park, you can access the event by walking about ¼ mile east on the Greenbelt to the River Park plaza near Quinn’s Pond).