After our fabulous late season experience at the Bend Whitewater Park we decided to stop at the Boise Whitewater Park on the way east to Moab. Unfortunately for us the water level had just dropped from mid fall levels of 400 to winter levels of 243 two days prior.
Boise only has 2 waves that are side by side so they rotate the wave between surfers and kayakers on different days. Kayak = Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday + 1/2 of Sunday, Surfing = Monday, Weds, Friday + 1/2 of Sunday. The wave changes each day at 10:00 am.
We rolled into town at 7:30pm on Wednesday night, just as it was getting dark, and parked in the temporary parking lot along main street and the greenway. We had hoped to boondock in one of the two parking lots along the greenway but after chatting with someone from the Corridor Paddle Surf Shop that idea was nixed. We then learned about the local ordinance that does not allow overnight parking, which put Walmart and Cabela’s off the list. We checked out Flying J’s but they were jam packed with trucks so ended up at a Cracker Barrel, at 11pm, that had a vague sign regarding RV Parking. Needless to say there was very little sleep had. We definitely recommend getting a campsite if you are coming to town.
We were back at the river by 8am and parked in the temporary lot beside the put in (Pay $5.00 to Corridor Surf Shop for access). Everyone rolled back to bed to try to catch a little sleep as the wave was still set as a surf wave. We wandered out just after 10:00 and met Paul the new wave technician (Ryan, the former wave tech is now the wave tech at Bend). With new low flows at 243 Paul was struggling to get a good kayak wave going so Tim spent the next hour being his guinea pig as they adjusted various gates and the waveshapper.
It was neat to see inside their control shack and check out all the various ways that they can influence the waves. In Bend we saw Ryan standing at the top bridge and manipulating everything via an iPad – definitely the next generation from what they have in Boise as Paul had to go into the shack every time to make changes.
After a quick lunch we all ended up in the wave for an hour in the afternoon. It was fairly retentive and not as forgiving as the Bend lower wave, which made things more challenging. It is a powerful feature that definitely has potential.
I would have to say that our stop in Boise was fun but not the fabulous experience of Bend. It seems to be a very surf centric environment and low flows could have played into that as well as they normally shut things down at this level. Paul is passionate about making good waves for people and wants to find a way to have decent waves for the winter. Phase Two of the park looks like it will be very family friendly and a great place to spend a few days.