Competitions: Whitewater Kayaking




Competitions: Whitewater Kayaking

Whitewater Kayaking: Annual festivals, competitions & gatherings 

The United States and Canada host several annual events that showcase the skills and talents of whitewater kayakers. 

Gauley Fest (West Virginia): https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/aw:events_gauley

September 19-22, 2024 (typically held on the third weekend in September) 

Gauley Fest is one of the largest whitewater festivals in the world, held annually on the Gauley River in West Virginia. The festival celebrates the whitewater paddling community and includes whitewater clinics, gear demos, live music, and environmental activism. The Gauley River is known for its challenging rapids and attracts experienced kayakers looking for adrenaline-pumping adventures.

Animas River Days (Colorado): https://www.animasriverdays.com 

June 1-2, 2024

This is an annual whitewater kayaking event held on the Animas River in Durango, Colorado. The event features a variety of whitewater competitions, including freestyle kayaking, downriver races, and boatercross. Animas River Days attracts both local and international paddlers and offers a fun and competitive atmosphere for participants and spectators alike.

Gallatin Whitewater Festival (Montana):

https://www.facebook.com/gallatinwhitewaterfestival  June 29, 2024

This is an annual event held on the Gallatin River near Bozeman, Montana. The festival features a variety of whitewater activities, including kayaking races, freestyle competitions, and river surfing. The Gallatin River offers a range of whitewater experiences, from beginner-friendly stretches to more advanced rapids suitable for competitive kayaking.

Reno River Festival (Nevada): https://renoriverfestival.com  June 7-9, 2024

This is an annual event held on the Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada. While the festival celebrates a variety of water sports, including stand-up paddleboarding and rafting, whitewater kayaking is a major attraction. The Truckee River provides a fun and dynamic whitewater playground with features like the Reno Whitewater Park, which offers waves and holes for kayaking and freestyle competitions.

Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival (Alberta, Canada): check the website for showings in some of your favorite towns in north america.


While not strictly a kayaking event, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Banff, Alberta, often features kayaking films and presentations. The festival celebrates mountain culture, adventure sports, and outdoor exploration, making it a popular gathering for kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts. You’ll enjoy film screenings, presentations, and workshops that showcase the thrill and beauty of whitewater kayaking and other adventure sports.

​These events offer a mix of competitive kayaking races, freestyle competitions, and recreational paddling, making them popular destinations for whitewater kayakers of all interests and skill levels. Whether you're looking to compete, learn new skills, or simply enjoy the excitement of whitewater kayaking, these events provide something for everyone in the paddling community.

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