Posts Tagged ‘FIBArk’
The 61st running of the New Belgium FIBArk Whitewater festival concluded last night. Some highlights included the always fierce competition of the Foam Boat World Championships, pro freestyle kayaking and a new mountain biking event.
While Jackson Kayak pioneered and sponsors the annual event in Salida, every community with a little creek can host foam boat championships and watch kids go nuts! Despite the name, some foam boats were actually made of wood. Shaped and decoratively painted, the boats are pure expressions of creativity. At FIBArk, there are two main events. In the extreme downriver race, about 10 or so yards in length, boats are thrown behind a dam (in this case a folding table) and released to meander to the finish line, dependent only on gravity and the natural currents and obstacles of the creek. In the freestyle event, participants toss their boats into a little waterfall feature and a judge scores the “ride” on tricks, creative use of the feature and amplitude. Boats that flush out are allowed to be thrown back into the feature until the 30-second whistle blows. Watch this quick highlights reel from the Foam Boat Championships. The downriver race is first followed by rules and a sample contestant from the freestyle event and the awards ceremony.
Foam boaters can grow into to professional kayakers and it’s the pro event at FIBArk that draws huge crowds to the banks of the Arkansas River. For a roundup of the pro event, check out my post on the Salida Citizen.