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Kayak Freestyle

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This mainstay of the GoPro Mountain Games features the world’s best playboaters in an old-fashioned throw-down at the Vail Whitewater Park.

Each kayaker has a timed run to throw his best cartwheels, loops, tricky-wu’s, phonics monkeys, space godzilla’s and more in an attempt to impress the judges and the crowd for the highest combined score. Each competitor will have 1 minute to use their skills and athleticism in the park to try and score the most points possible.

Thursday, June 8

Qualifiers – 3:30pm

Friday, June 9

Semi-Finals – 12:30pm

Saturday, June 10

FINALS – 4pm


Open-Men / Open-Women


Athletes must be equipped with the appropriate boat, PFD and helmet sufficient for shallow / rocky continuous whitewater conditions.
Solid roll and impact-ready helmets are a must
Boat Lengths: 8′ 6″ or smaller.

Composite boats / prototypes / home made kayaks will be allowed provided they feature appropriate safety features.


Competition will begin on Thursday, June 8 with qualifying rounds. Women will compete followed by men. Athletes starting order within each division will be chosen at random. Special requests for start times will not be accepted. Athletes must adhere to the start position he/she is given.

Athletes will be placed in “heats”, typically of five kayakers. Only the paddlers in the competing heat are allowed on the water during the rounds due to the limited space.

Athletes will have one (1) minute to perform their routine in front of the judges. The clock from athletes run will begin when the athlete enters the feature. Each athlete will get two rides. The scores from both rides will be added together to determine the athletes final score.

The top ten (10) men and women (provided there are 12 or more) will advance to the semi-finals to be held on Friday, June 9. In the semi-finals, athletes will be judged on two (2) rides but only one (1) ride will count.

Five (5) men and women will advance to the finals to be held on Saturday afternoon, June 10. In the finals, athletes will be given three (3) rides and count only one (1). Top 3 Scores will be announced before the athletes take their 3rd rides and after each 3rd ride of finals to ensure every athlete knows the score it will take to podium.

Any competitor to use profanity, threats, or unsportsmanlike conduct towards the race officials, safety team, media, or other competitors will be disqualified.


The judging for the Kayak Rodeo will be scored by three (3) separate judges. Each judge will score the boaters ride in accordance with the tricks identified by judges leading up to the event. These tricks will be determined by water levels and performance of the rodeo feature. Each trick will be given a point value and the athlete that scores the highest will advance to the next round.

*Rules are subject to change if necessary


The competition is open to all interested athletes regardless of state and/or country of residency. Competitors who are under the age of 18 must register with a parent or legal guardian. Competitors must be able to attend all scheduled events. Athletes will be required to provide all their own equipment. Further, athletes must abide by all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations during their participation in the Mountain Games®.


Athletes agree to be bound by these Official Rules and all decisions of Organizers. Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any persons found tampering with, or otherwise abusing, any aspect of the competition as solely determined by Organizers.


Organizers will appoint judges and the decision of those judges will be final. There will be no review of scoring / timing even with the presence of TV cameras. Disputes with Organizers and/or appointed judges will result in disqualification of that athlete.


Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any athlete for any reason, including, without limitation, acting in an unsafe, unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and/or with intent to intimidate, threaten or harass, or harm another person. All decisions with respect to the disqualification of an athlete shall be made by Organizers and/or appointed judges. Failure to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules may result in an athlete’s disqualification and the forfeiture of his/her interest in any prize. Organizers reserve the right to amend these Official Rules at any time in its sole discretion, and athletes shall have no recourse for any such changes or for any failure (whether inadvertent or otherwise) by Organizers to follow the stated rules. In the event that the competition is canceled prior to the completion of the final event, no prizes will be awarded. If the Tournament is cancelled prior to June 1st, for any reason, athletes will be reimbursed only for his/her entry fee. Athletes will not be otherwise compensated for any costs or expenses associated with their participation in the competition.


The Mountain Games® will be organized and produced by staff and contractors hired from and by the Vail Valley Foundation. The decisions of Organizers regarding the selection and elimination of athletes, the selection of finalists and winners, and the production and administration of Mountain Games® related events, and all other aspects of the event, shall be final and binding in all respects. Organizers will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the event.



Early Bird (2/15-3/14)


Standard (3/15-6/7)


Event (6/8-6/11)




1st – $1,500
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $500
4th – $300
5th – $200

1st – $1,500
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $500
4th – $300
5th – $200

Price & Prizes

Gear Town (International Bridge)