Wave Rave

Get in the flow at these three new whitewater parks opening in Colorado this summer.

Great flows aren’t all local paddlers can expect to spice up the stellar season in store this big-water year.

Three new whitewater parks are opening up on area rivers, beefing up water play for kayakers, SUPers and other users. The new parks include the Poudre Whitewater Park in downtown Fort Collins, a new park on the Arkansas River in Cañon City, and, across the Divide, the heralded Eagle Whitewater Park just off Interstate 70. All three were designed by Olympian and three-time World Cup slalom champion Scott Shipley of Lyons, Colorado’s S20 Design (Shipley also restored his hometown St. Vrain River after the catastrophic 2013 flood). “They’re a game-changer for the Front Range,” says Shipley, whose patented RapidBlocs make two of the Eagle and Cañon City parks’ features adjustable. “They’re all within easy driving distance of Denver and within walking distance of their respective downtowns,” he says. “Surf’s definitely up this year in Colorado.” Don’t believe us? Pro stand-up paddleboarder and kayaker Ken Hoeve isn’t shy about praising his new hometown Eagle park: “It’s going to have a huge impact on Eagle and our other river corridor communities,” he says. “Its features are perfect for surfing, SUPing and kayaking and will introduce tons of new people to whitewater.” Just don’t knock him off the wave. 

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