View Full Version : Tulsa's new riverfront kayaking park opens

10-05-2006, 04:08 PM
Tulsa rapids christened Wave park thrills kayakers

By Chad Previch
The Oklahoman

TULSA - Randy Jackson was so excited about the region's first kayaking park that he missed his part of the dedication.
Jackson already was in the water, battling rapids in the Arkansas River, when he was supposed to be on the podium as one of the featured speakers.

"I think we can be the poster child for river redevelopment," Jackson said before launching his kayak.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma on Tuesday announced the opening of the Tulsa Wave Park, which includes nearly 500 feet of rapids along the west bank of the Arkansas River south of downtown Tulsa.

The rolling white water is created by a combination of natural rock shoals and an old coffer dam built by the public service company in the 1920s, spokesman Stan Whiteford said. Water is diverted toward the natural rock to create ideal kayaking rapids.

A circulation of water flowing north allows kayakers to paddle back upstream to ride again without leaving the water, Whiteford said.

The area once was difficult to reach by land.

The company spent $100,000 to remove grass, weeds and trees, build trails to the river, install lights and improve conditions in the water and on the river bank.

It's the company's gift to Tulsa as part of the state's centennial celebration, Whiteford said.

"That all didn't happen overnight," Whiteford said. "But all of the stars aligned."

Kayaker Dave Reid said the next nearest wave park to Tulsa is in Colorado. He said he thinks the Tulsa park will attract kayakers from other states.

Oklahoma City also has plans for a white-water park on the Oklahoma River. That's years away, though, said Mike Knopp, executive director of the Chesapeake BoatHouse.

The park would be a man-made course off the Oklahoma River. Knopp said a study of a possible park is in the early stages.

"It looks like it could be something that would not only be very unique but draw a lot of attention to downtown and to Oklahoma," he said.

10-05-2006, 04:25 PM
ah ha Doug! I knew I had read this somewhere... ( Doug chuckled when I brought up white water rafting in OK)...

That's cool. It would be fun.. I hope they hurry ours along.

10-06-2006, 01:27 PM
I'm confused. This has been brought up before several times. We knew Tulsa's was already underway and that OKC's was in the planning stages for about a year now.

10-06-2006, 04:04 PM
I'm not sure what the deal is... wether they are looking for a proper area along the river or what. It could be that the focus is on building up the boathouse membership and other rowing related activities. I know they have been really busy with that stuff. I'll check with Mike next time I see him.

10-06-2006, 06:43 PM
So far the wave park in Tulsa's been pretty successful, and before that there was the occasional kayaker trying to catch some extreme choppiness in the river, the only problem, is that the Keystone Dam (credited with preventing flooding since the 80s) keeps the river dry most of the time. Should The Channels come through as a project, and the river improvements that would be a part of that project, the river would be peachy all the time.