If you’re part of the stand up paddling community you’ve heard about the Payette River Games. It’s the biggest paddling event of the season with a cash purse of $50,000, the ideal venue at Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade, ID, and television broadcasting. But those aren’t the only draws to the event, it’s the diverse community of paddlers that travel from around the world to compete that’s the real appeal.
Paddlers from all different strokes show up to compete in this one of a kind whitewater event. Some of which have never even been on a river. These athletes are being tested in ways they have never experienced before. The big question was how would the ocean paddlers match up to the whitewater paddlers?
It turned out if you’ve got an impressive surfing background like Mo Freitas (PRG Champion) and Fiona Wylde (2nd place), you’ll pick up the ways of the river pretty effortlessly. These two continued to amaze as they adapted to the ways of the river paddling a course that is easily one of the most challenging courses in the history of SUP.
Rebecca Giddens gave a performance that could easily be the envy of the male and female competitiors. She's a former kayak Olympian, mother of two, and now the champion of the 2015 Payette River Games. She demonstrated as much finesse on a board as she does in a kayak.
Dane Jackson, another world champion whitewater kayaker, brought home a silver medal and $5,000. It goes to show that ocean and whitewater may not be so different from eachother after all. The Payette River Games is paving the way for the sport of whitewater SUP and we can't wait to see what level it takes it to next year.
Watch this full replay of the Payette River Games TV broadcast that aired on CBS Sports Network. Oh and pencil in next year's event on your race calendars: June 17-19, 2016 in beautiful Cascade, Idaho. Thanks for watching PRG15 and we hope to see you at PRG16!