Paddling season is under way with the robust return of World Kayak's
Hometown Throwdown series of friendly recreational freestyle competitions.
Debuting last year with 63 events in more than a dozen regions globally, the Hometown Throwdown schedule has expanded to include 120 events in 30 regions including new regions like England and Indonesia with Serbia waiting in the wings.
Open to all skill levels, the Hometown Throwdown gives local paddlers a chance to strut their stuff in a series of low-key competitions on their home whitewater play features. Each Throwdown series is comprised of three to six events held throughout the season, with dates varying by region.
Divisions are set up for novices with levels for Men's K1, Women's K1. Junior K1 and C1. The scoring system rewards everything from basic to advanced moves front surfs and paddle waves to more advanced moves giving all a chance at scoring points.
There's nothing typical about the typical Hometown Throwdown paddler: they range in age from 8-year-old novices to 60-something veteran paddlers. An informal survey found most participate just for the fun of hanging out with other paddlers while others hope to learn and hone new freestyle skills, and still others are driven by their pursuit of bragging rights.
â€œMost events in today's kayaking world only focus on the pros who comprise a fraction of the overall kayaking population,â€ said World Kayak's Colin Kemp. â€œPeople like to compete for fun and that's what we deliver. Our first event this year in Reno had 22 competitors, 50 spectators, and 38 people who came to the movie premier afterward.â€
Points are for bragging rights but prizes are for all as every Throwdown participant has a chance to win great prizes contributed by a diversity of World Kayak corporate partners who together, have contributed some $250,000 in raffle prizes that any participant can win just by showing up. Sponsors include Crocs, Effort.tv, Immersion Research, Jackson Kayak, Kayak Habit, Kayak Session, Mountain Khakis, Nuun, Redwood Creek (wines), Salus, Shred Ready and Smith Optics.
Throwdowns and other World Kayak special events are coordinated by a global network of regional ambassadors and championed by hundreds of bloggers on worldkayakblogs.com, one of the most robust social networks in the blogosphere. World Kayak also provides some of the best major event coverage in paddlesports media. New this year, World Kayak has introduced a whitewater kayak education certification and accreditation program.
World Kayak is a grass roots organization dedicated to increasing
participation and growth in whitewater kayaking. For more information on local, regional and global whitewater events, instructional programs and kayakers on home or distant rivers, visit WorldKayak.com