Last weekend, the Wenatchee River graced us with near perfect river levels for a freestyle rodeo at Cherry Hole in the Tumwater Canyon. While the majority of the play features on the Wenatchee vanish as the water comes down, Cherry Hole appears and delivers a textbook play hole style feature. If you’re looking to throw inverted tricks with large amplitude, this is your wave.

Darren Albright getting some serious pop!

The format for the rodeo was as follows. Paddlers teamed up in groups of four and paddled for 5 minutes. This allowed us to score the paddlers individually without trying to cycle through the whole rotation of 13 paddlers. While each paddler took to the wave, they were scored by three judges on trick difficulty, height and combos, and overall style. During the five minute heats, paddlers tried to rack up as many points as possible. There were two heats with a short break in the middle and it was amazing how some of the paddlers stepped it up from the first heat to the second.

Jordan Ross getting those ends deep!

Eli Spiegel making it look easy

Janelle Deane getting her Jedi surf on

Brett Barton preparing for a deep dive into the face

Jackson Pahlke partying in a Rockstar

Chase Nobles standing her up real tall

Ben Kinsella bringing that World Class steeze, setting up for a big loop

Tyler Nicklos pulling a hard carve across the face, looking for that sweet spot

The full scene! Cherry Hole makes a perfect venue for a freestyle rodeo.

Overall, everyone threw down extra hard and we all had a great time. Thanks a ton to everyone who made it out. Special thanks to Marco Colella and Mercé Chamness for helping with judging and organization. Christopher Kelly was the onsite photographer for the rodeo. If you would like to see more images from the competition or purchase an image, you can email Chris @ This event was sponsored by the World Kayak Organization. A big shout out to all of our supporters who make these community events possible!!