September 2015 Watch 500 world-class kayakers from 40+ countries on the Nantahala River near Bryson City and Fontana Lake for the International Canoe Federation's World Freestyle Kayaking Championships. This is the ultimate whitewater competition, held for the second time on the Nantahala (first time was in 2013). ICE is the official sanctioning body for all world championship and Olympic canoe and kayak events. Check out the action at NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) Adventure Resort.
And it's more than being just another kayak competition. The ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships are a celebration of the vibrant cultural and paddling history here in the North Carolina Smoky Mountains. In addition to watching the world's best freestylers duke it out on the Wave, spectators enjoy live music from regional bands, craft fair specializing in traditional appalachian handiworks, and a variety of interactive family activities.
If you're entertained by the spins, flips, turns and tricks of freestyle snowboarders, surfers and skaters, or the half-pipe freestyle event in skateboarding, you'll love freestyle kayaking. Freestyle kayaking is a great spectator sport – the water is fast and the tricks are fun. Think X-Games for whitewater. Paddlers perform a range of acrobatic tricks and maneuvers on a river feature such as a wave or hole. Kayak Freestyle, also referred to as Playboating, is enjoyed by many as a recreational sport. At the top level, Kayak Freestyle athletes participate in competitions both nationally and internationally. The sport is constantly moving forward with paddlers with new spectacular moves emerging at each competition, year in, year out.