Olympian Scores Another PopSci Gold with RapidBlocs

US Olympic kayaker turned whitewater park builder Scott Shipley has been awarded his second Best of What’s New Award from the editors of Popular Science for innovations in whitewater park construction.
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LYONS, CO – US Olympic kayaker turned whitewater park builder Scott Shipley has been awarded his second Best of What's New Award from the editors of Popular Science for innovations in whitewater park construction.

Shipley, and his company S2o Design and Engineering, in cooperation with EPDUK, were the designers of the London Olympic Park. Some 1,200 of Shipley's RapidBlocs helped sculpt the concrete canoe slalom channel into the type of whitewater course worthy of the world's pinnacle of competition. The water-shifting, global patent pending, Lego-like plastic blocks in London's $48 million Lee Valley Whitewater Centre are lightweight and interchangeable, enabling endlessly evolving designs.

RapidBlocs garnered broad-based praise from athletes and coaches, as well as the editors of Popular Science. According to PopSci, only the most “revolutionary, not evolutionary” submissions from the thousands received each year win the coveted annual award. PopSci judging criteria asserts candidate products must transform their category, solve an unsolvable problem and incorporate entirely new ideas and functions.

RapidBlocs are huge for the evolution of Olympic kayaking, Shipley said. “For the first time ever, athletes and coaches get to choose the type of whitewater they want to race on since RapidBlocs are so easy to reposition to create different channel dynamics.”

It was his groundbreaking work on another whitewater course, the U.S. National Whitewater Center outside Charlotte, NC that earned Shipley his first PopSci Best of What's New Award in 2006. When the $36 million dollar park opened in the spring of that
year, it became the world's largest artificial whitewater park. In yet another testimony to the transformative power of RapidBlocs, they will next be deployed in a place once known as the “Dust Bowl State,” when Shipley builds a new $16 million whitewater park at the USA Canoe Kayak national headquarters at the Oklahoma City Boathouse District.

“I'm thrilled that the editors of Popular Science join the world's elite kayak athletes and coaches in recognizing the game-changing nature of RapidBlocs,” Shipley said.

ABOUT S2o DESIGN AND ENGINEERING. Founded in 2003 by Olympian and Georgia Tech graduate engineering program alumn Scott Shipley, S2O Design prides itself on innovative and holistic approaches to whitewater park design that ensures clients get a park that meets all their economic, environmental and recreational objectives. Committed to reinventing whitewater, S2O is the only design-build firm that has developed patented solutions that make whitewater parks easier and more profitable to operate as well as more enjoyable for whitewater enthusiasts of all skill levels.

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