The Nantahala Wave…still a work in progress

Jackson kayaker Stephen Wright sets up for a loop on the Nanthala Wave.


Construction on the Nantahala Wave, home of the 2013 World Freestyle Championships, was completed in the end of November. However, the feature is far from “done.” The construction phase consisted of excavating the area around the feature to make it deeper and constructing a wave shaper machine, which forms the feature.

There is still much work to be done to dial in the feature in by altering the wave shaper and altering boulders around the feature. However, recent rains have caused high water levels and Duke will have to continue releasing water, preventing work on the wave for the moment. When water levels go back down, engineers will begin tweaking the wave and will be getting feedback from a small committee of World Champion playboaters.

Stephen Wright looping on the wave