Freestyle Kayak


The Boathouse Cantina is a proud sponsor of the Freestyle Events






Start dates and times vary by division. See schedule for specific times.

FIBArk’s Freestyle Kayaking Rodeo is scored on the paddler’s ability to do tricks and maneuvers in a river hole or standing wave. Competitors do tricks such as loops, spins and tricky-woos while trying to combo the moves together to accumulate points based by style, difficulty and how “huge” the moves are.

Event History
Freestyle began in the early 90’s when P.T. Wood, our 2010 Commodore, organized the first Whitewater Rodeo held in conjunction with FIBArk. The paddlers attempted to stay in a “wave” on the river and perform such maneuvers as endos – putting the boat vertical in the water – or doing spins. The first Rodeos and Endo Competitions were held at Endo Rock in The Numbers rapids above Salida, but since 1996 the FIBArk Freestyle Competitions have been held in Salida at the FIBArk Boat Ramp.
Since 1994, the Whitewater Freestyle competition has been part of the FIBArk festivities. With the development of small, light kayaks paddlers are able to perform acrobatics in the water. The boaters must complete feats, such as standing on end and spins to accumulated points. In 1998, the FIBArk Freestyle contest gained national ranking. “Trophy moves” are scored on style, variety and the ability to do moves in either direction.


  • Cadet Freestyle: Age 13 and Under
  • Junior Men: Age 14-18. No Semi Finals, Prelims cut to Finals
  • Junior Women: Age 14-18. No Semi Finals, Prelims cut to Finals
  • Pro Men: Prelims Friday, Semis Saturday, Finals Saturday following the Hooligan Race
  • Pro Women: Prelims Friday,  Semis Saturday, Finals Saturday following the Hooligan Race
  • C1/OC1 Freestyle:
  • Expert Men and Women Freestyle: No Age Restriction

The Freestyle competition will be scored using the NOC ICF computer scoring system. ICF point values will be used for all moves, but USAFK definitions will be used to score the moves.  There will be a competitors meeting before the first round of every competition. Any further questions can be answered by the head judge at that meeting.

Expert Men and Women Format:  The format for this competition is very different from years past. This year all competitors (Male and Female) will compete at the same time.  After a short warmup period the competition will start and be scored by the judges in a new jam session format.

Here is an outline of the jam session format.

  • Competitors will be assigned a start order, and a starting eddy at the beginning of the competition. After each ride competitors will switch eddys but remain in the same order throughout the competition.
  • Each competitor will be given a maximum of 25 seconds in the hole at a time, if you flush you lose that turn and the next competitor enters the hole. The competitors will keep taking turns until the end of the heat is signaled by the judges.
  • Point values will not be associated with tricks, but more complicated tricks will improve your chances of advancing in the judges eyes. Feel free to try to same trick multiple times, but you should try to improve on that trick. Judges will favor those who do multiple tricks over someone who repeats the same trick without improvement.
  • After 20 minutes of competition the judges will cut the field in half for semi finals.
  • After another 20 minutes the judges will cut the field in half again for finals.
  • After 10 minutes the judges will determine  1st, 2nd, 3rd  for both men and women.

This format is meant to give everyone more time in the hole and more opportunities to attempt tricks.