High water levels in the Arkansas River are a mixed bag for FIBArk. High water will make some events more exciting, but others were canceled for safety reasons Monday at a stakeholder meeting.
The Arkansas River in Salida reached flows of 3,240 cubic feet per second Monday and is expected to rise over the next week.
“Every year we’re super excited for this weekend, but the nature of the event is it’s water dependent,” Alli Gober, FIBArk secretary, said.
The four water events that have been canceled are SUP Skills for Bills on Friday, the Hooligan Race and SUP Cross on Saturday and the Crazy River Dog Contest on Sunday.
SUP Boxing will now take place in a giant swimming pool set up at the Salida Whitewater Park instead of in the river.
The Freestyle Pro Finals on Saturday, which were scheduled after the Hooligan Race, will move to an earlier time, not yet finalized.
While the Hooligan Race has been canceled for now, Gober said they’re looking for some creative alternatives for the race, and it could still take place.
For the rest of the FIBArk water events, the high water could be a good thing. The 8-Ball Rally, all of the slalom events and all of the freestyle events will still go on.
“It’s a really exciting water year,” Gober said. “There are a lot of advantages to the high water: The surfing will be even better at the high levels, and the downriver race should be fast. There’s still a ton of events going on, and we still have a great weekend lined up.”