2011 Teva Mountain Games By Dan Gavere

This years Teva Mountain Games was the best I have seen in ten years of participation. The addition of SUP to the already solid line up of gravity sports will help the sport of SUP to grow even faster. During the SUP Cross finals there had to be 2000 plus spectators and hundreds of photographers including a radio controlled heli cam hovering over the river.
Saturday morning started out with the usual quad latte and some cruising around on my bike to get the legs warmed up for the day. I knew I had some serious competition and I knew with my Surfrace 12.6 and some quality training I had a great chance to win it. The course was considerably different from the year before and I had 3 solid practice runs in so I thought I had all my lines dialed. I was 2nd to start after Noa who won it the year before. We started in 1 minute intervals so I got to see Noa go and then I go the count down. The race went well and I was feeling great with excellent lines until the lower part of the course where I went off course in a little shallow shoal rapid. Suddenly my fin caught and I got catapulted past the bow of my board and into the icy creek face first. I got back on my board after just about 5 seconds and actually got a blast of adrenaline from the 40 degree water which helped for the sprint to the finish. I had already beat Noa but there were still many more excellent athletes to come. One by one they came down and I rode the emotional rollercoaster as the times came across for each athlete all 78 of them, but my time held and I got the win.
Nikki Gregg showed her whitewater skills were a paramount skill to have for the Sup Cross. She was patient at the start and turned down the hole shot for the technical lines through the gates that were setup in the rapids. As the other 3 competitors all crashed hard into each other at the first gate Nikki took the line high and tight and avoided the carnage to be the only girl standing at the finish easily taking the win in the prelim heat. She went from 4th to first after the pile up and that made it the most exciting Sup Cross round of the event. In the final she got a great start and paddled hard and clean for a 2nd place finish in the first ever SUP Cross event at the Teva Mountain Games. Nikki chose the 12.6 Cruiser for the event and it proved to be the fast and stable steed. The 12.6 Cruiser its low profile bow and slender tail made it a fast but also very nimble board which was perfect for the Sup Cross event.
Brent Redden from Colorado also used his Surfrace AST construction to claim 4th in the SUP Sprint race. Brent has a background in whitewater kayaking, but has only been paddling SUP for 2 years. Pretty impressive.
There is no other SUP event like the the Teva Mountain Games, and over the four days of the event there are more people than any other event I have ever been to. It truly is the Xgames for paddle sports and will help expose the sport of SUP to millions all over the world.

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