2015 Payette River Games


After a hugely successful event last year, SUP racing returns as the headline act of the 2015 Payette River Games.

Once again we’re proud to offer the world’s hard training, hard racing athletes a shot at a huge reward: With $50,000 on the line, the Payette River Games is once again the world’s richest SUP race.

With the unique, challenging and exciting conditions on offer at Kelly’s Whitewater Park, this is going to be a race to remember. The action goes down right in front of our rock wall amphitheater, giving spectators and competitors an amazing, up-close view of the action as it happens.

IMPORTANT: Read the SUP Race Rules to find out what type of board/equipment you’ll need at the PRGs.

Payette River Games SUP Cross

We’re also very proud to have whitewater SUP pioneer Dan Gavere on board as our official race director, which will ensure a smooth, fair and very exciting event for everyone.

We look forward to welcoming all stand up paddlers – from the world’s biggest stars to the weekend warrior – for a fun and challenging three days of racing.

In addition to the main event (the combined SUP Xross and Super G – see below) the 2015 Payette River Games will also feature a Junior Race for those not ready to compete at the Elite level and a Fun Race for all skill levels. recently labeled the PRGs as one of the top five biggest stand up paddle races on the planet, summing up the PRGs as: “The funnest weekend of the year.” So join us in Cascade, Idaho from June 19-21 to find out why the Payette River Games is such a great event.


Payette Cross

The Payette River Games SUP event is two separate races – the SUP Xross and the SUP-er G – with results combined to produce the overall champions.

The most challenging and spectacular race is the SUP Xross, where paddlers have to navigate a technical course set directly in and around the fast-flowing rapids, all while battling against half a dozen eager rivals.

And now with whitewater supremo Dan Gavere in charge of the SUP racing, expect no favors on the class 3 main feature at Kelly’s Whitewater Park.

Similar to last year, the SUP Xross will feature a knockout bracket system, with the field getting smaller and smaller until we reach the finals on Sunday afternoon.

However unlike last year, the course will constantly change over the three days, getting progressively harder as the competition gets tougher.

Oh and once again we’ll also have our signature HOT TUB positioned right next to the main action. So after you paddle, you can relax in a beautiful warm spa bath and watch all the excitement go down on the river below you…

SUP-er G

Payette Sprint

The SUP-er G race is the other half of the SUP challenge at the Payette River Games.

We have totally changed last year’s “Downriver Sprint” course and created a giant slalom type race, which will make it more interesting and challenging for the paddlers, as well as more exciting and easier to follow for spectators.

The race will begin inside Kelly’s Whitewater Park, immediately above the top feature. Paddlers will then race upstream in a zig-zag, giant slalom course, before turning and racing back downstream. The finish will be under the bridge after navigating rapids for the final 100 meters of the course.

Some say this race makes the Payette River Games a fair fight for those paddlers who spend most of their time in the the ocean or on flat water and aren’t as experienced in the whitewater as the river specialists.

But make no mistake: Those with an intimate knowledge of the river will be rewarded even in the SUP-er G, as you’ll need to read the eddies and currents and pick the best line up and down the stream.

100% of your entry payments go directly to our non-profit host – Kelly’s Whitewater Park. Every dollar you spend will help the park remain open and free for everyone, including our special free kids clinics. So join us for the funnest weekend on the paddling calendar and support a great cause at the same time!



Inflatables are the race boards of choice at the Payette River Games: They’re easy to travel to Idaho with, they’re durable and they’re very maneuverable and competitive on the river. But we all know it totally sucks to pump up an inflatable by hand…

So to make things easier this year, thanks to the support of Starboard we’re going to introduce the “Inflation Station” at the Payette River Games.

The Starboard Inflation Station is a super awesome, totally amazing, lightning fast (and hands free) high speed compressor, which will pump up your blow up in seconds without killing your arms. Because let’s face it, you’ll need to save every ounce of strength you’ve got for the river… 😉


To the world’s elite paddlers: We feel you deserve the chance at a big reward for how hard you train, how fast you race and how much you entertain us. We’re also very proud to offer gender equal prize money, with $25,000.00 for both men and women out of our total prize purse of $50,000.00 cash. There’s something for everyone at Kelly’s Whitewater Park… but if you can master the whitewater there’s a LOT!

Payette River Games purse

All prize money will be paid out in CASH at the awards ceremony immediately following the completion of the event.



2014 Men’s Champion: Fernando Stalla

Runner-up: Ben Sarrazin
3rd: Mike Tavares
=4th: Peter Bartl
=4th: Spencer Lacy
=4th: Kai Lenny
=4th: Slater Trout

2014 Women’s Champion: Candice Appleby

Runner-up: Fiona Wylde
3rd: Gillian Gibree
4th: Rebecca Giddens
5th: Louise Jull

2013 Men’s Champion: Ben Sarrazin

2013 Women’s Champion: Nikki Gregg

2015 Payette River Games



SUP-er G Race

We have changed last years “Downriver Sprint” and will now be featuring a slalom race, which eliminates most of the straight-line flat water racing from the event (and also makes traditional race boards unnecessary).

The SUP-er G Race will begin just north of the top feature, go up river for about 1/4 of a mile and then turn downriver through the rapids to the finish. Competitors will be racing against the clock in a technical giant slalom course, which will be a unique, fun and exciting addition to the PRGs.

SUP Xross

The SUP Xross is a short-course race held in and around the rapids at Kelly’s Whitewater Park. The Xross will be similar in format as PRG14, however the course will change throughout the knockout period to become increasingly more challenging.

River skills will be very useful here as it will be a challenging course for even the most elite paddlers on the planet. There will be a knockout heat format, similar to 2014.

Course Design and Race Organizer

Whitewater paddling supremo Dan Gavere will not compete this year, instead he will be both race organizer and course designer. Dan has more whitewater SUP experience than just about any other paddler on the planet, so we know he will create a fair, fun and challenging experience for all competitors.

From the PRG Board…

Thank you to the many athletes we solicited to canvas their opinions on board rules for the 2015 Payette River Games. The Board of the PRGs and Dan Gavere are extremely excited for this year’s event, which promises to be bigger and better than ever. See you in June.

— Mark & Kristina Pickard, Nikki Rota and Dan Gavere


We get a lot of questions about which boards you should bring to Kelly’s Whitewater Park. To make it both easy and fair for all competitors, and because traditional race boards aren’t really suited to the redesigned SUP-er G course anyway, we have new rules about boards in 2015.

– You will be allowed to register only ONE Board for the entire weekend for BOTH the SUP-er G and SUP Xross events.

– Your board selection should be based upon the skills needed to compete in both the Xross and Slalom races.

– Both courses are best suited to boards in the 9’6″ – 10’6″ range. Traditional race boards will probably be a disadvantage in both the SUP Xross and the new SUP-er G race. We also recommend you consider an inflatable board, one with grab handles, good stability and your lucky rabbits foot attached.

– Just so there’s no confusion, we’re implementing a board length limit of maximum 11 feet. No traditional race boards. They’re hard to transport to Idaho and they’re no advantage in the river anyway.

– We do recommend you bring an inflatable, however any type board can be used; carbon, inflatable, hard. Your board can be a production board, a custom board, made out of plastic bottles, whatever you like…

– Oh and if you bring an inflatable you don’t have to worry about maxing out your arms before you even paddle. We’ll have a high pressure compressor station so that you can make your blow up boards super hard before you hit the river.


– A life jacket, helmet and shoes/booties are required at ALL times on the river. The whitewater features of Kelly’s are a lot of fun and we think paddlers of all skill levels can get involved in our SUP races. However this is still serious whitewater and we don’t want you leaving with a bump on your head the size of an Idaho potato. Safety first.

PFDs must be wearable. NO inflatable PFDs and NO ‘impact’ or protection vests (such as those used for surfing).

– Leashes are NOT in allowed in the SUP Xross, while quick-release leashes will be optional for the SUP-er G race.


– The format and points system is similar to the PRG14, where combined results from the Xross and SUP-er G determine the overall event standings (and prize money winners). First place is awarded 20 points and 20th place is awarded 1 point. The combined scores from both races will determine the OVERALL winner. You do not need to come in first to win, you just need more overall points than the next person.


In the case of two or more paddlers finishing tied on points inside the top 10, there will be a one-heat tie-breaker to determine who takes the higher placing. This tie-breaker will be a single run of the SUP Xross course and will immediately follow the completion of the finals on Sunday afternoon.


Both hands must stay on your padle at all times. That means no grabbing your opponent. Your paddle blade must be aiming for the water and not contacting other paddlers, bodies, boards, leashes, etc. Accidental contact is ok (and it’s probably going to happen), however any actions that are deemed malicious by race organisers will result in a DQ of the entire event. Be cool!


– You are allowed to drop to your knees so long as it is “reactionary” – i.e. when you lose your balance. Dropping to one or both knees to gain an advantage is NOT allowed. That’s not cool people! Violations will receive a no result for that heat, while a second violation will be a DQ from the event plus you’ll have to buy a round of drinks for everyone at the Valley Club. And no matter whether it was deliberate or reactionary, you cannot paddle while on your knees. So harden up and try to stay on your feet as long as possible 😉

– Zero Stroke Rule: If you fall off or down onto your knees, don’t take any strokes until you get back on your feet.

– No walking, running or touching the bottom of the river with your feet in order to gain an advantage. Violations will result in a DQ for that round.

– Single bladed paddles and single hull boards only. No double-bladed paddles or catamaran-style boards, not that you’d really want to use those in the whitewater…

– Fixed fins only (no rudders). Skegs or “flip up” fins are OK. Using no fins at all is also OK, however we really don’t recommend it.

– The Paddler’s Code Of Responsbility says that every paddler agrees to help another paddler in distress or in a critical situation, even if it means forfeiting your own race. If such a situation arises, there may be a rerun of the entire heat at the Race Director’s discretion.

Hot Tub

We can't wait to show you how much fun the Payette River Games really are...


The Payette River Games is a special weekend. The Stand Up Paddling is our headline act, however there’s so much more to enjoy. Whether you’re a spectator or a competitor (or both!), come and witness the amazing River Surfing, Lumberjack Tournament, Dog Fetch, Volleyball, Beach Flags and much more. Join us from June 19-21 in the beautiful haven of Cascade, Idaho for a weekend you won’t forget…