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The Payette River Games are over and everyone had a blast. Seriously, this is the most awesome event for so many reasons. First, the organizers make every attempt to to make competing an overall epic experience for all the athletes. This includes offering free camping at the venue, 3 meals per day for those competing, hot tubs, free showers, and the most organized, well thought out event in the history of events! Plus the enormous $100,000 cash purse and really awesome prizes for the junior and cadet classes add to the competitive and exciting atmosphere.

In addition, it includes the biggest cadet freestyle class we have EVER seen with 16 cadets (14 & under) — three of whom were little girls, one of whom was our little Maddy, styling it up on the most perfect wave for kids this age. It’s such a great fun wave that Cardy learned to loop in it and came ridiculously close to sticking one in the competition!!

And, as always at PRG, the crowd cheering on these young kids was huge and loud and so much fun! Jody Voorhees brought down a microphone and Brody announced the kids names and all their moves, just like in the pros! And just as cool, World Champion Claire O’Hare came down to film and cheer on the little competitors! All this, of course, made the kids want to go big!! We saw so many loop attempts, so many spins and shove-its, a few actual scoring loops, a couple cartwheels, split wheels, and 1 pretty epic back loop that Dally has all but perfected!! In the end, Dally took 1st in his JK Shooting Star, Kenny 2nd in his JK Shooting Star and Cameron O’Connor placed 3rd in his JK Rockstar! Cardy and Maddy were on down in the pack, but rocked it anyway with Cardy finally nailing all his spins and shove-its. It was awesome!! Way to go Cadets!!!

The Junior Freestyle Class wasn’t too shabby either. Junior women were 5 deep and Junior men were 6 deep. The Junior competition takes place in the Upper Hole at Kelly’s. It’s a pretty intense feature that caused a bunch of swims the previous day in the Elite Boater Cross race. It can be intimidating, but none of these Juniors even appeared phased.

As always Junior Women compete before the men. Kady had been struggling with her loop, typically her signature HUGE move, every day in practice. Her first ride she nailed some blunts and roundhouses, black blunts but never managed to stick the loop. Her second ride she upped the ante and stuck an entry move, but still that loop was elusive. After talking with Grady, her coach, she decided to try to loop on surfers left. Her next ride she nailed the loop in the first 10 seconds!! After that she threw down all her other tricks and launched herself into first place in her beautiful blue JK 2014 Rockstar!!! Way to go Kady!! Sydney Nixon placed 2nd in her 2014 JK Rockstar and Darby McAdams placed 3rd in her JK Star!! Way to go girls!!

Next up was the Junior Men’s class! Grady was not fired up as it was 8 am and he’s NOT a morning person. Brody, however, is a morning person and he was soooo fired up – he and Grady have been going at it all season. It’s fun to watch their competitive yet supportive relationship!!

All the Junior men were pretty inconsistent in their rides, and it was going to come down to who could throw the most tricks in just one! After the first rides, Grady was in the lead. But both David Silk & Brody threw down awesome 2nd rides, knocking Grady into 3rd. Brody was on fire and secured the win. Hayden Voorhees threw an amazing final ride and placed 2nd, and David Silk didn’t disappoint as he secured a 3rd place finish. Grady’s first ride wasn’t enough to keep him in the top three and he fell to 4th! All these guys were in a 2014 JK Rockstar!! Woot!

Brody and Kady competed in the Elite SUP races as well. Kady, unfortunately, did not make it past prelims, but is determined to hone her SUP’ing skills for next year. But Brody moved on all the way to finals in SUP Cross!! When he heard he didn’t make it past prelims in SUP Sprint, he was a little shocked because he’d actually raced faster than several people who did make it. He talked to one of the head guys who gave him the brush off, but Brody knew something was up. Lesson Learned. Check the score sheet. They had him not making the 4th gate, which he styled like a boss. If ever something doesn’t seem right, check your score sheet. We, of course, film everything so we had the proof. unfortunately, we didn’t look at the score sheet until the next day and it was too late.

But, there was redemption because Werner Paddles sponsored the Junior & Cadet SUP competition and gave away a free SUP paddle to the winners of each class. These young kids competed on the same course as the Pros and really did awesome!!! Cardy even competed and he finished the entire course to a huge crowd cheering him on. It was really cool to see so many pro SUP’ers come down at 8 am to cheer on the little shredders!! In the Cadet class Charlie Cindric placed 1st, Dally placed 2nd and Buey Grossman placed 3rd.

In Juniors, Kenny competed because the sheets were messed up, and he not only made it to finals, he also squeaked out Kady for a 3rd place finish!! Brody placed 1st, Haakon Kjellesvick placed 2nd and Kenny placed 3rd.

For all who are interested, Kelly’s is (probably) keeping the ramp that is used for Boater Cross and 8 Ball. Dan, Cardy, Maddy & I ran up there the day after the competitions and tried it … it’s really a sick ramp, so sick that we ran it like 9 times in a row. We are going to be hanging out here for a few weeks while Grady & Brody are in Europe for the Freestyle World Cup. I can’t imagine a better place to be, truly!!! Well, except Europe, with the boys, as a family!!! 🙂