Events PaddleFest Comes to Buena Vista, CO May 18-20

PaddleFest Comes to Buena Vista, CO May 18-20


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BUENA VISTA, CO – Whitewater enthusiasts will descend on this small historic town on the Upper Arkansas River May 18 – 20 for a huge kickoff party to celebrate the start of the summer whitewater boating season. Buena Vista-based Colorado Kayak Supply is coordinating an action-packed weekend of fun and educational activities for paddlers of all ages and abilities. Kayakers from beginners to aspiring competitors can rub elbows with paddling manufacturers, top pro kayakers, and other industry pros during a weekend chock full of education, entertainment, gear shopping and camaraderie.

Try, learn, play, compete

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Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, the premier whitewater paddling school in the region, will be leading the instructional component for the weekend. Top kayak athletes such as Eric Jackson, Clay Wright, Jimmy Blakeney, Stephen Wright, Jed Selby, Katie Selby, Dave Fusilli and others will be running clinics to help hone paddling skills on the river. Clinics topics include Learning to Kayak, Bomb Proofing Your Roll, Strokes and Concepts, Play Boating, Creeking Techniques, Swift Water Rescue, Group Paddles, Rec Kayaking & Fishing, and much more. Contact RMOC directly to sign up for these courses. or call 800-255-5784.

Dryland Workshops emphasizing skills, river health, and safety will be led by local, regional and national athletes and leaders in the paddling community. A sampling of topics includes How to Prepare for Your Sea Kayaking Adventure, How to Pack & Paddle for an Expedition, and Play Park potential in your area.

Other River Rally highlights include the South Main Showdown interactive relay race, the first-ever RMOC Pro/Am where kayakers will paddle with the stars and compete against their peers, River Fliks, demos, and much more.

Stewardship Activities
American Whitewater, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to conserving and restoring America’s whitewater resources, will be the benefactor of many of the weekend events highlighted by the first annual AW Fundraiser. Scheduled Saturday night, May 19, at Buena Vista’s historic Orpheum Theatre, the evening will consist of live music, salsa dancing, beverages and a raffle. All proceeds go to American Whitewater.
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area will also be hosting the 16th Annual National River Clean-Up/ Green-Up all along the Arkansas. Each spring hundreds of volunteers – by foot, kayak and raft – join together to help clean up the river and its banks from Leadville to Canon City. For details and advance registration call AHRA at 719-539-7289.


In addition to serving as River Rally headquarters, CKS will be open all weekend hosting its annual spring kayak swap and storewide sale. Get advice from industry experts and choose items for the nation’s largest inventory. The swap is a great time to bring trade in or sell old gear and take advantage of storewide savings on new gear. The five essentials – kayak, paddle, pfd, helmet and skirt – are welcome at the swap. Hours Friday and Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 9-5 pm. For further information on River Rally events go to or call Earl or Lynn at 888-265-2925. For information and registration for the instructional courses, contact Ray at or call 800-255-5784.

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Lynn Allen
Earl Richmond

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