Boise, Idaho

Boise is a city that was built around its river. Traditionally, development in the river has included dams and diversions being built to impound water and send it off to irrigation.  Many of these dams are dangerous to navigate and barriers to fish passage. Where many looked at these irrigation structures as impediments to in-stream recreation, S2O Design has seen them as an opportunity.

In a unique partnership, S2O Design worked with McMillen Associates, the City of Boise, and Farmer’s Union Diversion to transform a failing rubble dam irrigation structure into a state-of-the-art adjustable diversion and head gate structure that doubles as a whitewater park. The whitewater park that was created is unique in that it collapses during flood events to actually lower the flood elevations of the Boise River through the whitewater park. At more reasonable water levels the park includes an adjustable surfing wave, an intermediate freestyle structure, and a beginner freestyle structure.

The adjustable surf wave is a one-of-its-kind in the world wave. This wave is taller and more powerful deep-water surfing wave that allows for national and international competition not just in river (board) surfing, but also as a freestyle venue for national and international freestyle competitions. This wave is being touted as the  best-of-class worldwide for this type of recreation.

The intermediate and beginner features are also highly acclaimed. Nearby Idaho River Sports utilizes the waves for instruction, boogie boarding, and stand up surfing. Additionally, the general public utilizes the park for freestyle, skills development, slalom, and all around fun.