The Whitewater Awards is a gathering of the world’s best kayakers to show off the biggest and best things that have happened in the sport over the past year. To be considered for an award, athletes, photographers, and filmmakers submit media taken over the past year that they believe showcases the best progression in the sport. There are sixteen different categories for submission, including separate male and female categories within the “Best of” kayaking categories.
Categories include Photographer of the Year, Film of the Year, Expedition of the Year, Best Trick, Best Line, River Stewardship, Grom of the Year, Rider of the Year, along with several others. Awards are decided upon by a voting process done by the Association of Whitewater Professionals. This year’s Whitewater Awards was held in the Egyptian Theater in downtown Boise, Idaho. It was hosted on June 14th, the same weekend as the North Fork Championships, which takes place on the North Fork of the Payette River just outside of Boise. The North Fork Championship is regarded as one of the hardest kayaking races in the world. The race takes place on Jacob’s Ladder rapid, which is a rapid so difficult and consequential that most kayakers feel accomplished simply by surviving the rapid, much less racing the rapid.