PAYETTE RIVER GAMES
While working on new river prototype boards for the 2016 GoPro Games, we’re reminded of the thrill and adventure from a few summers ago when we traveled to two of the season’s biggest competitions, The GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado and the Payette River Games in little town Cascade, Idaho.
We left the GoPro games ready for the road ahead to PRG, the Payette River Games stoked for the next leg of our adventure. The Payette River Games was a stark contrast to the grandeur and flash of the GoPro Games, but every bit as epic in its own way. PRG was hosted at Kelly’s White Water Park in the sleepy town of Cascade Idaho nestled in a valley and surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. You feel like you go back in time when you come here. The park is home to a small section or river that boasts a fun river wave and some challenging, but definitely manageable features.
Around the park is a great little trail we turned into a skate circuit where we showcased the new Oahu Sk8. In the tall grass around the park you couldn’t walk ten feet before coming across a racer snake. These docile little reptilians seemed to almost outnumber the crowd gathered for the event. We even picked up a few that were content to rest around our shoulders or coil around our arms as we went about the day. After the events ended and the crowds dispersed, while the snakes were slithering back into the grass, we set out the explore the beautiful mountain terrain surrounding the small town.
Some of the biggest names in whitewater SUP and kayaking like Nick Troutman, Dane Jackson, Courtney Kerin, and Mattieu Dummoulin, Mo Freitas, and Zane Schweitzer come from around the world have traveled to compete at these events and push themselves to the limit on these rivers. At these events, Pau Hana team riders try out and put our new custom made race and river boards to the test while also taking some time off from competition to enjoy their Pau Hana time.
In Vail Colorado, after the events are done and the sun sets the small mountain town comes to life as bands take the stage in the center of town and the streets fill with people for epic outdoor concerts. Over the course of the weekend every day is a competition and every night is a party. On the roof of the hotel overlooking the stage, GoPro throws a private party while sponsored vendors provide drinks for the crowd in front of the stage down below. As the show ended and the bars closed, as the crowds dispersed and people went home we took to the streets with our long Boards and shredded through Vail. We tore through the empty mountain streets for some of the best skate nights of the tour, and on those nights we were the Lords of Dogtown. The Late Night Skate Night adventures became a staple of our after hours Pau Hana time throughout all of our escapades during the summer.
By the end of our run we were exhausted but immensely satisfied. The souvenirs we brought home weren’t just hats and shirts from the events, but the scrapes and bruises that accompanied the lifelong memories of the great times we had on the adventure. And as the van approached home we were already looking ahead to the Summer of 2016 when we once again build new boards, load up the van, and journey up to the mountains for a new and even greater adventure. We can’t wait to see what the GoPro Mountain Games will have this year and can’t wait to try out some of the new river board prototypes too.
Idaho is home to more natural hot springs than any other state and just a few minutes from where we were staying we came across a hot spring where we could relax and soak our tired selves. For some reason, it seems like the sun sets extra late in the late summertime which makes it ideal for hot springs after dinner. Just make sure to remember to bring a flashlight with you. A bit further up the road in the town of Payette we ventured to a small local brewery called McCall Brewing Company in McCall where we drank some brews and ate delicious brewery food especially the fish and chips.
BONUS RIVER SURFING: THE GLENWOOD WAVE
River surfing on the Glenwood wave in Colorado after the 2015 Gopro Games. The Pau Hana crew stopped off at the Glenwood wave for a day of epic river surf in Glenwood Springs, CO. Watch Dane Jackson, Nick Troutman, and many others surf the Glenwood wave on Stand Up Paddle boards.
Additional photos from our adventure in the Midwest
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