The 2016 US FLOW Tour kicked off this past weekend at Silver Rapids Waterpark in Kellogg, Idaho in true “flowtastic” fashion! Flowboarders were super focused on practice and competing, so some of them didn’t have much time to enjoy the beautiful and historic town.
Along with great hikes and snowboarding trails, Kellogg is known for Crystal Gold Mine. These mines were lost for 100 years and are now a must-visit attraction in Kellogg.
Kellogg and the surrounding area is an up and coming resort town where tourists flock for vacation. Silver Mountain Lodge is leading the way in this rising tourism market and Silver Rapids Waterpark, for flowboarders, is definitely the lost gold mine waiting to be found.
Located at the bottom of the America’s largest gondola, Silver Mountain Lodge and the FlowRider attraction have lured many snowboarders, skiers and board enthusiasts directly to the indoor waterpark. In the last couple years, locals have really adopted the sport of flowboarding and have a real passion to see it grow.
“The FlowRider is great. I can ride the wave year round and it keeps me feeling good and young when I’m not snowboarding in the winter!” mentioned Jeremy Burgess, local Masters Division competitor.
Once the venue announced they were hosting the event, the community put its money where its mouth was as local sponsors – CCI, MAK Flowboards, Black Pearl Restaurant & Casino, Dave Smith Auto and Ballistic Boardware. Together they raised the Pro Division prize purse and attracted some of the best riders in the country to their home wave. In addition, Buffalo Wild Wings hosted a pre-event Competitor Welcome Party and judging seminar.
The event featured three current World Champions, Jake Chipman (Men’s Pro FB), Nick Sanchez (Men’s Pro BB), Dee Spencer (Women’s Pro FB). Also the defending Tour Champion, Brad Spencer, alongside a handful of other professionals, came very eager to compete and put on a show for local spectators and resort guests.
“The resort property is beautiful, the staff is amazing and the wave is fun… what more could you ask for to start the season!?” mentioned FLOW Tour Coordinator, Adam Muller. “We hope to be back for seasons to come!” he added.
The event had a great turn out of local and traveling competitors from California, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Canada and various other corners of the country who made the trip to Kellogg Idaho to kick off their 2016 FLOW Tour campaign. (Competitors will compete all summer long, adding up their top 8 competition results to determine their National Ranking.)
“I’m excited to host FLOW Tour! It’s great to have this buzz on our property; it’s awesome seeing all these talented riders on the FlowRider attraction here at our waterpark,” explained Tyler Ward, Silver Rapids Water Park Manager.
Watch Event Highlights:
WATCH THE FULL CONTEST HERE
As the competition kicked off, Pro Riders warmed up with a Jam Session, leaving the spectators in shock and kept them hanging around for more action.
In the Pro Women’s Flowboard division, amateur rider, McCall Christensen stepped up to challenge current World Champion, Dee Spencer in a one on one match up. Spencer took top honors with excellent riding and had this to say about her competition, “McCall is a great rider, she is pushing me to get better and helping grow the female participation in our sport!” Christensen is excited to continue the challenge as she will compete in the Pro Division for the remainder of the season.
The Pro Bodyboard Division featured three former World Champions (Nick Sanchez, Nick Nguyen and Daniel Tarapchak) and two up and coming riders (Jordan Grigg & Jonathan Hintz) looking to break through the ranks. Hintz held off 2015 Men’s Champion, Jordan Grigg, and advanced to the semifinals. Hintz was eliminated by Sanchez and Daniel Tarapchak took down Nick Nguyen in a seeded semifinal matchup. In the finals we saw Tarapchak and Sanchez go run for run but in the end, Sanchez’s switch combo maneuvers led him to victory. ‘This event was well put together, ran smooth and really established a solid vibe for the season,” explained Nick Sanchez.
The Pro Flowboard Division featured a stacked roster of competitors. The final four competitors, Brad Spencer, Jake Chipman, Taylor Hales and Jordan Munoa were left to battle it out for the cash prizes. Jake took out his talented teammate Taylor and Brad took care of business against the high flying Jordan to set up the finals.
The head to head finals featured Jake Chipman, the current World Champion and the 2015 Tour Champion, Brad Spencer. “Happy to get of there with a win and looking forward to the next stop,” Brad Spencer explained when we asked about his first win of the season.
Chipman and Spencer went trick for trick in the finals but Brad mixed things up a bit with some technical transition combos to give him the edge he needed to take home the Gold.
The FLOW Tour also has amateur divisions for all ages and skill levels to showcase their talents. The event had a solid turn out of local and traveling amateurs who participated in the contest which filled up the Men’s, Women’s and Masters Divisions.
The Men’s Flowboard Final included a four-man final, Logan Lindeman and Dallin Jaussi (Utah) along with Brandon Ainge and Andrew Anthony (Idaho). After the top two scores were tallied, Lindeman took top honors followed by Dallin, Brandon and Andrew.
The Masters Division had a large turn out and provided the anticipated match up in the Finals between defending Masters Champion and local hero, Jeremie Miller. Chipman held off the local favorite in a tight one and starts off his season right where he left off.
In addition to the amateur divisions, the FLOW Tour features an Adaptive FLOW Division, where adaptive riders can show off their wave riding abilities, have fun and be a part of the action. Local Rider, Adam Kenny, led the way in the Adaptive Division by showing he can ride both disciplines, stand up and bodyboard. Adam was awarded a Gold Medal, a prize pack from our sponsors and a signed shirt by all the professionals for his bravery and efforts.
We want to thank the hosting venue, Silver Rapids Water Park, and our tour sponsors for making this event an amazing kick-off. Things really came to life and we look forward to sharing the stoke of flowboarding with riders and spectators for the many remaining 2016 tour stops!
Official FLOW Tour Sponsors: SuperDuper Surf, 13roz, Boarders Magazine, See Ya Never, Free2Ride, DIFF, Sun Bum, Happi Hoodz, Xterra Surf and WCB.
OFFICIAL RESULTS AND PODIUM PICS HERE: RESULTS AND PODIUM PICS
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