Riverboarding is a boardsport in which the participant lies prone on their board with fins on their feet for propulsion and steering. This sport is also known as hydrospeed in Europe and as riverboarding or white-water sledging in New Zealand, depending on the type of board used.Riverboarding includes commercial, recreational and the swiftwater rescue practice of using a high-flotation riverboard, designed for buoyancy in highly aerated water.
Riverboarding is believed to have originated in the late 1970s. It is claimed to have originated in France, where raft guides stuffed a burlap mail sack with life vests and went down rapids.Soon, riders adapted a personal submarine shell for their molds, and the plastic version of the riverboard was born. Sometime in the 1980s, Robert Carlson began running rivers in California, U.S.A. using an ocean bodyboard. Soon after he modified this design to be thicker, longer, with four handles. Later in 1986, Ged Hay began taking his body board down the Kawarau River near Queenstown while on his days off as a rafting guide.
European riders also developed a foam version (called a hydrospeed) of the plastic board to reduce weight and avoid injuring each other during collisions that sometimes resulted from one rider travelling downstream and another facing upstream while surfing a hydraulic. Today, homemade foam hydrospeeds are found primarily among European riders. A growing sport in North America, riverboarding has grown in popularity from media exposure and the emergence of commercial operators running riverboard trips.
Riverboarders typically wear fins to provide the thrust to navigate in river currents, while a personal flotation device provides additional buoyancy. Wetsuits, booties and helmets are worn as protection from the cold and from rocks. Additionally, shin guards, gloves, knee pads, thigh pads, and elbow pads are sometimes worn for extra protection on shallow rivers. Instruction, board design, and gear continue to improve, making riverboarding safer and opening up the possibilities of rapids that can be run on a riverboard and new tricks that can be performed while surfing on the belly.
In rescue use, the board is used to support both rescuer and victim in the water during rescue. The rider must engage both mind and body—thinking about the best way to go down a river while using their fins for the propulsion to get out of harm's way. Riverboards can offer rescuers a valuable chase option to access victims swept downstream who may not be accessed by hand or rope.
Several companies operate riverboarding or sledging excursions in New Zealand near Queenstown, Wanaka, and Rotorua. Several companies also operate guided riverboard trips in the United States near Missoula, Montana; Sacramento, California; Bend, Oregon, and eastern Tennessee. In South America, river boarding is popular on the Rio Fonce in San Gil, Colombia.One company based in Voss, Norway, offers riverboarding in several rivers in the area. In Europe the Soca river in Slovenia is a notable location with more extreme options available for more experienced riders. In Canada, the Lachine rapids, on the Saint-Lawrence river near Montreal, boarding is also offered. A commercial riverboarding operation commenced on the Tully River in Queensland, Australia, in 2014.
Mike McVey currently holds the record for the tallest waterfall riverboarded with his descent of the 31-meter (101 ft) tall Metlako falls on Eagle Creek in Oregon. Mike Horn previously held the record for the tallest waterfall riverboarded with his descent of a 22-meter (72 ft) tall waterfall on the upper reaches of the Pacuare River at Costa Rica.[ citation needed ]
Boardsports are active outdoor sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment. These sports take place on a variety of terrain, from paved flat-ground and snow-covered hills to water and air. Most boardsports are considered action sports or extreme sports, and thus often appeal to youth. Some board sports were marginalized in the past. However, many board sports are gaining mainstream recognition, and with this recognition have enjoyed wider broadcast, sponsorship and inclusion in institutional sporting events, including the Olympic Games.
Whitewater forms in a rapid context, in particular, when a river's gradient changes enough to generate so much turbulence that air is trapped within the water. This forms an unstable current that froths, making the water appear opaque and white.
A surfboard is a narrow plank used in surfing. Surfboards are relatively light, but are strong enough to support an individual standing on them while riding an ocean wave. They were invented in ancient Hawaii, where they were known as papa he'e nalu in the Hawaiian language, and were usually made of wood from local trees, such as koa. They were often over 460 cm (15 ft) in length and extremely heavy. Major advances over the years include the addition of one or more fins (skegs) on the bottom rear of the board to improve directional stability, and numerous improvements in materials and shape.
Whitewater kayaking is an adventure sport where a river is navigated in a decked kayak. Whitewater kayaking includes several styles. River running; where the paddler follows a river and paddles rapids as they travel. Creeking usually involving smaller, steeper, and more technical waterways. Creek boats tend to be short but high volume to allow for manoeuvrability while maintaining buoyancy. Slalom requires paddlers to navigate through "gates". Slalom is the only whitewater event to be in the Olympics. Play boating involves staying on one feature of the river and is more artistic than the others. Squirt boating uses low-volume boats to perform special moves in whitewater features.
The Lachine Rapids are a series of rapids on the Saint Lawrence River, between the Island of Montreal and the south shore. They are located near the former city of Lachine. The Lachine Rapids contain large standing waves because the water volume and current do not change with respect to the permanent features in the riverbed, namely its shelf-like drops. Seasonal variation in the water flow does not change the position of the waves, although it does change their size and shape. The rapids are about 4.8 kilometres (3.0 mi) in length. In the past these represented a considerable barrier to maritime traffic. Until the construction of the Lachine Canal through Montreal, the rapids had to be portaged. Even with the canal, the difficulty was such that it was usually more convenient to ship goods by rail to Montreal, where they could be loaded at the city's port. Montreal remains a major rail hub and one of Canada's largest ports for that reason.
Skimboarding or skimming is a boardsport in which a skimboard is used to glide across the water's surface to meet an incoming breaking wave, and ride it back to shore. Wave-riding skimboarders perform a variety of surface and air maneuvers, at various stages of their ride, out to, and back with, the wave. Some of these are known as "wraps", "big spins", "360 shove-its" and "180s". Unlike surfing, skimboarding begins on the beach by dropping the board onto the thin wash of previous waves. Skimboarders use their momentum to skim out to breaking waves, which they then catch back into shore in a manner similar to surfing.
The Kawarau River is a river in the South Island of New Zealand. It drains Lake Wakatipu in northwestern Otago via the lake's Frankton Arm. The river flows generally eastwards for about 60 kilometres (37 mi) and passes through the steep Kawarau Gorge until it joins Lake Dunstan near Cromwell. Before the construction of the Clyde High Dam, the Kawarau joined the Clutha River / Mata-Au in a spectacular confluence at Cromwell. The Shotover River enters the Kawarau from the north; the Nevis River enters it from the south. With many rapids and strong currents, the river can be dangerous and has claimed many lives. It is popular for bungy jumping and kayaking.
The Wild Wadi Water Park is an outdoor water park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Situated in the area of Jumeirah, next to the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the water park is operated by Jumeirah International, a Dubai-based hotelier.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is a water theme park located at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida near Orlando, and is one of two operating water parks at the resort. It is the second water park to open at the resort, preceded by Disney's River Country which closed in November 2001.
A personal flotation device is a flotation device in the form of a vest or suite that is worn by a user to prevent the wearer from drowning in a body of water. The device will keep the wearer afloat with their head and mouth above the surface – they do not have to swim or tread water in order to stay afloat and can even be unconscious.
Great Wolf Lodge, originally the Water Park of America, was home to the tallest indoor water slide in the U.S. It covered 70,000 square feet (6,500 m2) with a slide tower nearly ten stories high. It opened in May 2006. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, it was a half mile from the Mall of America and close to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.
Buoyancy aids are a specialist form of personal flotation device (PFD) used most commonly by kayakers, canoeists, people practicing rafting, and dinghy sailors. They are designed as a flotation aid, rather than merely a life-saving device and have several key differences to other PFD's and lifejackets. Some buoyancy aids may not provide the same high level of protection as lifejackets.
River surfing is the sport of surfing either standing waves, tidal bores or upstream waves in rivers. Claims for its origins include a 1955 ride of 2.4 km (1.5 mi) along the tidal bore of the River Severn.
A rescue buoy or rescue tube or torpedo buoy is a piece of lifesaving equipment used in water rescue. This flotation device can help support the victim's and rescuer's weight to make a rescue easier. It is an essential part of the equipment that must be carried by lifeguards. It further can act as a mark of identification, identifying an individual as a lifeguard.
Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is a water sport born from surfing with modern roots in Hawaii. Stand up paddleboarders stand on boards that are floating on the water, and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. The sport was documented in a 2013 report that identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants in the United States that year. Variations include flat water paddling, racing, surfing, whitewater SUP, yoga, and fishing.
Cardiff International White Water is an Olympic standard white water rafting centre based at the Cardiff International Sports Village in Cardiff Bay.
Roman Rapids is a white-water river rapids ride located in Festa Italia of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia. It is themed after a canal race through Roman ruins and leaves riders fully soaked after the ride.
Horse surfing is an extreme sport invented in 2005. It requires two people, a horse, and a board. Horse surfing involves one person riding either a kite-board, surfboard, wake-board, or skim-board, while being towed behind a horse, ridden by a second person, through shallow water, at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). After originating in England the first official horse surfing competition was held in 2006 in La Baule, France, and over the last 14 years the sport has continued to spread internationally. Today there are several international competitions with globally established rules and categories.