Outdoors Blog

Boise River Park schedule rotates kayakers, surfers

Kayakers ride rapids generated at the Boise River Park in 2015.
Kayakers ride rapids generated at the Boise River Park in 2015. doswald@idahostatesman.com

If you want to use the Boise River Park — or just want to watch the action — you’ll need to know the schedule to avoid disappointment.

Boise Parks and Recreation has established a schedule for producing waves that appeal to either kayakers (rougher water) or surfers (smoother water). The wave is changed daily at noon. It becomes surf-focused on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Sunday. It becomes kayak-focused on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and every other Sunday. The Sunday rotation began with kayakers April 3.

The schedule was tweaked this year to allow for changes at noon instead of early in the morning. Water is released into the river in the morning and hits the river park by noon, which allows wave technicians to react to the conditions.

“We threw out some suggestions. For the most part, the response we got was, ‘How about last year’s schedule?’ ” said Paul Schoenfelder, the recreation manager for Parks and Rec. “We’re going with a schedule that is very similar to last year. Part of what we’re trying to do with the schedule is make it really understandable so Tuesday at 4 in the afternoon I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to find down there.”

Schoenfelder searched for an alternative to the Sunday rotation to avoid the confusion that happened last year but didn’t find one. The schedule creates a 50-50 split between kayaking and surfing. Kayakers got the prized Saturday spot but the wave will be surf-focused before noon.

Surfers have become a major user of the river park.

“We expected to have surfers,” Schoenfelder said of the initial plans for the river park. “We didn’t expect to have quite as many surfers.”

More water, debris on the way

Boise River flows are on the rise again, expected to hit 5,000 cubic feet per second this weekend.

“I want to remind people this time of year to use extreme caution around the river,” Schoenfelder said. “I watched a log about the size of, not quite, a brontosaurus come down right through the river park. We’re seeing a lot of debris in the water.”

Check out the river park webcam here.