For a good view of the latest and greatest in paddlesports, head to, where else?, but Buena Vista, Colorado, for the 9th annual CKS Paddlefest, May 28-31. The event acts as the kick off to the Arkansas River paddling season, drawing hundreds of paddlers to Chaffee County for a weekend filled with boating, instruction, kayak competitions, river education, seminars, sales and entertainment.
Bonus: the chance to get out on the water to demo gear for free. CKS has partnered with manufacturers to provide free demos for beginners to advanced paddlers. These demos will take place on the town pond, providing a chance to learn in a controlled environment with instructors. Attendees can try SUPs, recreational kayaks, IKs and sit-on tops.
Paddling school RMOC will also let paddlers learn directly from the pros, with a slew of free clinics offer something for everyone, from introductory courses to play boating and rescue.
Other events include the BV Pro Rodeo Friday and Saturday at the Buena Vista River Park in South Main. In conjunction with the Pro Rodeo, many events will unfold at the South Main Square, including Happy Hour with free live music starring Local Honey and a beer garden provided by the Eddyline Brewery. Live music and movie premieres will also be part of the late evening line up.
“It should be a great time,” says CKS owner Earl Richmond. “It’s a great way to kick-off the season.”
Info: www.ckspaddlefest.com , 888-265-2925.