RIVERSPORT Rapids, Oklahoma City’s new $45.2 million whitewater rafting and kayaking center, will hold a grand opening celebration May 7-8, 2016. The whitewater center was built in the city’s Boathouse District as part of MAPS 3, a one-cent sales tax initiative to fund projects that enhance the quality of life for metro area residents.
The OKC Boathouse Foundation will operate the new whitewater center and will offer recreational rafting, kayaking and tubing along with adventure activities, rafting and kayaking lessons, leagues and camps. The adventures and whitewater activities are open to the public. Day and season passes are available.
I got access to a sneak preview of the Rapids before they open this weekend to take these photos:
RIVERSPORT Rapids is one of only three man-made whitewater venues in the nation. Six pumps recirculate treated water through two channels to create class II-IV rapids. Flow can be adjusted to offer various levels of rafting and kayaking experiences.
“We designed a venue that provides Olympic standard whitewater but also truly provides a place for everyone to enjoy, beginner to expert.”“The design of this venue is not a pure whitewater one,” said Jeffrey Gustin, senior program manager at S2O Design and Engineering, the design firm behind RIVERSPORT Rapids. “We designed a venue that provides Olympic standard whitewater but also truly provides a place for everyone to enjoy, beginner to expert.”
The recreational channel will make rafting accessible to just about everyone. Trained raft guides will brief rafters on safety and technique, and will steer each raft trip down the channel. The competitive channel offers high-octane Class IV rapids on the Olympic-style course and will challenge elite athletes from around the world for both training and competition.