The best of the best whitewater kayakers from around the globe submit video clips each year for a variety of competition categories in the Whitewater Awards. For the 2021 Whitewater Awards, the most progression was found in the Downriver Freestyle category.
With all the half-slice boats coming out, more and more really good paddlers have been throwing tricks off tougher and tougher rapids. Instead of park and playing in a traditional playboat, these paddlers are playing with every feature on the river, especially the hangtime provided sending waterfalls.
While downriver freestyle is nothing new, the last year or so has seen major progress in the genre.
2021 Whitewater Awards
The Whitewater Awards showcase the world’s most elite whitewater kayakers, photographers, and videographers each year. The awards are also peer-voted, so true progress and excellence, and not just popularity, are required to get on the podium.
Enjoy this highlight real of the top Downriver Freestyle video clips from 2020. Keep reading for a rundown of this year’s winners.
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Next-Level Downriver Freestyle
The two people truly pushing the boundaries of downriver freestyle are Aniol Serrasolses and Dane Jackson (who we had on our podcast). While Jackson didn’t make the podium at this year’s awards for Downriver Freestyle, Serrasolses holds down the top two spots. In 2021, Jackson has already been on a downriver freestyle tear, so expect him to be on the podium next year.
Serrasolses’ first-ever double kickflip of Tomatita Falls in Chile is beyond worthy of the top spot of the podium. His second-place backflip off the same waterfall would have easily won any other year. These two moves are done with style, stamped with authority, and progress the sport in big ways.
Whitewater Awards 2021: Downriver Freestyle
- 1st place: Aniol Serrasolses, Double Dub, Tomatita Falls, Chile
- 2nd place: Aniol Serrasolses, Backflip, Tomatita Falls, Chile
- 3rd place: George Snook, Cobra Flip, Huka Falls, New Zealand
- 1st place: Nouria Newman, Silly Flip, Ayasse, Italy
- 2nd place: Nouria Newman, Freewheel, Austria
- 3rd place: Beth Morgan, Kickflip, Futalafu, Chile