Park City, UT is considered a paragon of winter outdoor sports, with some of the best mountain powder skiing and snowboarding on offer in the U.S. Its many trails and resorts also offer some of the nation’s premiere mountain biking and hiking experiences. However, within 30 minutes by car, outdoor sports enthusiast can also access an expansive network of lesser-known, wetter, yet equally beautiful terrain: the lakes, reservoirs and rivers that serve as stomping grounds for kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and the relatively new and rapidly expanding sport of standup paddling, or SUP. From July 28th-August 1st, G-Formers Mike Girard, Parker Brown, David Brownschidle and G-Form’s Rockies rep Matt Shelters attended the Recap and Boardworks Show Up and Blow Up SUP races at some of these scenic and splendorous UT water venues.
The events kicked off on Jordanelle Reservoir for the flat-water portion of the H20 Overdrive Summer Series. Several 3-5 miles races for the various divisions challenges racers’ endurance. Male and female racers across a wide age range pounded out one-mile buoy-marked laps over choppy water, surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Between racers, sponsors, spectators and organizers, about 300 people enjoyed the day’s racing. Standout athletes asserted their paddling dominance and took home top podium positions and prizes, including cash prizes, G-Form iPhone cases and shirts.
From the docile waters of the Jordanelle, the H20 Overdrive Summer Series moved to the more tumultuous Weber River on Day 2 for some whitewater racing. Some of the world’s top SUP racers tested their mettle on the swift river current, navigating buoys down the course and finishing after the challenging Taggart Falls in a format known as “SUP-Cross.” Last year’s event yielded several injuries as riders crashed over the rocky rapids. To help protect this year’s competitors, G-Form outfitted all interested racers in G-Form impact protection to help keep the event safe. Nearly all racers took the opportunity to race in our pads, benefiting from the comfortable, confidence-inspiring protection all day. Many racers decided to buy a set by the end of the day.
We were very happy to see zero knee, elbow or shin injuries, with riders raving about the low profile, comfortable, water-ready protection their pads offered. G-Form was also very proud to see some of their sponsored athletes score top podium spots!
The third and final SUP race attended and sponsored by G-Form was the Boardworks Show Up and Blow Up (aka SHUBU) SUP-cross. Unlike the previous SUP-Cross that allowed a variety of board models and styles, Boardworks leveled the playing field by placing all racers on identical Badfish MCIT boards, specialized for whitewater. With no advantages gained from faster boards, it was a competition to be won by the strongest, most-rounded river racer. 4 person heats had to navigate a more challenging course, with full turns required around buoys (rather than just contact). The top 2 racers advanced from each heat, and at the end of the day, Mike Tavares took home yet another 1st place, and Nikki Gregg bumped up a spot to 2nd for the women’s class.
The SHUBU event went entirely injury-free, and G-Form appreciated the opportunity to get involved and help protect these top racers from injury. We look forward to next year’s race!
To read more about the SHUBU race, see Boardworks’ own write-up and video: