‘The wave here is ridiculously fun.’ Freestyle kayaking championship to return for 2018

26 Feb 2018

The Island on the north side of the RiverWalk is a favorite summer spot to watch rafters flip, flop and crash through the surf, and to see some talented local kayakers test their mettle against the punishing whitewater waves.

Now, for the second time in as many years, the RiverWalk Island will draw some of the best freestyle kayakers to Columbus to test their skills in the water at the 2018 Freestyle Kayaking National Championship competition - also known as Paddle South.

“Generally we try to move the national championships across the country so different communities get the excitement that comes with this type of event,” said Stephen Wright, a six-time national freestyle kayaking champion who now works with the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Committee to plan events like Paddle South. “Occasionally we'll do it two years in a row somewhere if we just really like that playspot.”

Wright said the 2017 event was such a success, and such a great time for competitors and spectators, that they just had to come back again.

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