The Rocky Mountain Surf Festival: New Name, Same Great Competition.


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After several successful years as The Whitewater Stand Up Paddling Championship the event is now officially known as: The Rocky Mountain Surf Festival. The 2011 version of the newly christened event will be held June 11th & 12th in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. This one of a kind Polynesian themed extravaganza will feature surfing contests at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Activity Area, live music, food and product vendors, a costume contest, a Goof Off competition, an impromptu float in all types of crafts on the Colorado River and planet earth’s best river stand up paddlers displaying their paddling prowess on the snowmelt swollen Colorado River…and much more!

Here’s a few details on the individual events.

DOWNRIVER – June 11th
The Downriver is a timed event starting at the top of the Whitewater Park. The race will feature a mass start from the eddy above the massive river wave. Competitors will entertain the festival-goers as they charge through Glenwood Springs’ legendary river feature. After the race competitors will head back up to the park for the next round of stand up paddling action.

SUPCROSS – June 11th
The SUPcross will also take place at Glenwood Springs’ world famous river feature. This crash and burn packed event is similar to boarder/skier cross races. Contestants will be seeded by their times in the Downriver and will compete in knock out heats made up of 4 competitors. The entrants will line up at the launch site and with a mass start paddle upriver and around a buoy then peal out into the main current. The race continues through the huge G-Wave and then the competitors have to eddy out in the swirling current and negotiate an upstream gate before charging downriver to the finish line a short ways downstream. This action packed event promises to be one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the festival

MOUNTAIN LUAU – June 11th & June 12th
The Glenwood Springs Whitewater Activity Area will be the hub of action throughout the festival. Sponsors’ and vendors’ tents including local food vendors and music all day long will feed and entertain the crowds at this Hawaiian-themed two-day long riverside rage.

Hula hooping, goof boarding (, a beer garden, live music, limbo and hula contests and a major two day long surf session will entertain the crowds at this one of a kind festival. Both days will be surf central as kayakers, surfers (stand up, short and long boarders) and boogie boarders rip up the world’s best river wave/hole.

Additionally river enthusiasts from everywhere will be invited to float/paddle from up-river down to the party. Costumes will be encouraged and a contest will be held late Saturday afternoon on the event stage with prizes awarded to the entrants with the most outrageous outfits. Palm trees on the park’s observation deck, leis, and a tiki “hut” will enhance the tropical atmosphere of this truly unique event.

SURF – June 12th
The championship’s culmination will be an amazing surfing contest on the world famous wave at the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park. Each stand up paddler will get 3 – 1 minute rides with the surfer’s best score being counted towards their final results. The overall champion(s) will be determined by a point system with scoring accrued during the 3 different events. Additionally, before the climactic event, traditional surfboard contests will be held. Both short and long board competitions and a goof board event (the Great Goof Off) will keep the crowd entertained throughout the day.

After the SUP surf contest, the championship’s award ceremony will be held and the après event party will kick into high gear. Dancing, drinking and feasting will turn the Glenwood Springs Whitewater Park into an inland surf & party paradise during this nonpareil event – the Rocky Mountain Surf Festival.

All profits from beer sales at the festival’s beer garden will go to Childhelp® River Bridge Advocacy Center (a local non-profit that helps abused children). In addition to being a boatload of riverside fun, the festival will raise funds for a great cause. Additionally, booth(s) from river-oriented non-profits will be set up on site and staffers will be on hand to educate the festival-goers on pertinent riparian river issues.

The event coordinators have organized a river clean up in conjunction with the event. Event staff and volunteers will scour the riverbanks upstream and downstream of the whitewater activity area for trash. Also, recycling receptacles will be prominent throughout the venue with a premier placed on minimizing waste. Come join us for some eco-oriented river fun and of course you are welcome to lend a hand in cleaning the banks of the Colorado River

For more info contact:

Check out the website here:

Staff Post
Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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