Optimum Nutrition Kayak Freestyle
Photo: Chris Kendig

Optimum Nutrition Kayak Freestyle


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


IMPORTANT: Registration for this event closes Wednesday, June 7 at 6:00 PM. 

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Event Overview

Thursday, june 8 – saturday, june 10

June 8 | 3:30 PM – Qualifiers
June 9 | 2:30 PM – Semi-Finals
June 10 | 4:00 PM – Finals

Each kayaker has a timed run to throw their best cartwheels, loops, tricky-wu’s, phonics monkeys, space godzillas and more in an attempt to impress the judges 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

3:30 PM

– Qualifiers

Friday, June 9

2:30 PM

– Semi-Finals

Saturday, June 10

4:00 PM

– Finals



Open – Men
Open – Women
Junior Division – Boys (12-17 years old)
Junior Division – Girls (12-17 years old)

  • Athletes must be equipped with the appropriate boat, PFD and impact-ready helmet sufficient for shallow/rocky continuous whitewater conditions.
  • Composite boats, prototypes, C-1’s and hand paddlers welcome.
  • Athletes must wear competitor bibs outside their PFDs at all times.
  • Event organizers and whitewater rescue teams are not responsible for equipment rescue and/or equipment removal from the GoPro Mountain Games whitewater courses should athletes lose their equipment during practice or competition.
  • Athletes must pick up their competition bibs at race registration prior to the start of competition. 
  • Athletes must have a solid roll to compete.
  • Start order will be chosen at random.
  • The competition will be scored by three judges using the USA Freestyle scoring system (like ICF with more relaxed definitions for a wider range of skills). Each trick is assigned a difficulty point value and can only be scored one way in each direction. The tricks scored during the athlete’s ride will be added up to form the athlete ride score. The three judges’ scores will be averaged for one single ride score.  
  • Rules are subject to change, if necessary. 
  • Athletes will be placed in heats of up to five (5) kayakers.
  • Only the paddlers in the competing heat are allowed in the water during each heat due to limited eddy space.  
  • Paddlers who wish to perform an ”entry move” may start from an upstream eddy within sight of the judges’ platform, so long as the paddler can hear the order and see the ”thumbs up.” 
  • Athletes will have one (1) minute to perform their routine in front of the judges. The clock from the athlete’s run will begin when the athlete enters the feature.  
  • In the qualifying rounds, each athlete will get two rides. The scores from both rides will be added together to determine the athlete’s final score. The top 10 men and women (provided there are 12 or more) will advance to the Semi-Finals.  
  • In the Semi-Final rounds, athletes will be judged on two rides, but only one ride will count. Five men and women will advance to the Finals. 
  • In the Finals, athletes will be given three rides and count only one. The top three scores will be announced before the athletes take their third ride and after each third ride of the Finals to ensure every athlete knows the score it will take to podium. 
  • Athletes are encouraged to use reef safe sunscreen during all competitions.

The wave is on Gore Creek just below the International Bridge in Mountain House Gear Town.

Price & Prizes


EARLY BIRD PRICING // February 1 – April 5, 2023

REGISTRATION PRICING // April 6 – May 31, 2023

EVENT PRICING // June 1 – June 7, 2023



1st – $1,500
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $600
4th – $300
5th – $100

1st – $1,500
2nd – $1,000
3rd – $600
4th – $300
5th – $100


1st – YETI Rambler 36oz Bottle
2nd – YETI Yonder 1L Bottle
3rd – YETI Yonder .75ml Bottle

Youth Division Athletes can win the below prizes.

– GoPro Camera
– Turtle Box Speaker
– Aquamira Tactical RIG 1600

*ALL prizes are subject to change

Price & Prizes