Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the status of the Phase 2 adjustable wave?

The wave engineers are continuing to work with City of Boise staff to manipulate and adjust the feature to create a safe experience for users. As was the case when the Phase 1 adjustable wave opened in 2012, this is a learning process for our wave tech and team that will continue throughout the inaugural season, especially as river flows fluctuate. For that reason, there is no set schedule for when the wave will be operational at this time. You can follow the Boise Whitewater Park Facebook page for updates and information related to the park. We appreciate your patience as this new amenity is dialed in.

In addition, the City of Boise’s partnership with Farmer’s Union Ditch Company (FUDC) is an important priority with the management of the adjustable feature in Phase 2 – The configuration of the wave feature needs to provide a constant upstream pool elevation for FUDC water delivery needs during the irrigation season. This is a legal obligation that must be met and can impact the activation or deactivation of the wave feature.

2. When will Phase 2 drop structure 1 (the rapid bloc wave) be a "kayak wave" feature?

The goal right now is to create a safe and consistent wave feature. At this point in time, the safest wave the techs can create is a green wave that primarily accommodates an expert surfing experience. As the project team learns more, further evaluations will be made to determine how best to accommodate all users.

Work on the feature remains ongoing (the wave techs are out at the park for 8+ hours a day) and our team is in constant contact with Phase 2 designers and engineers. We appreciate your patience.

3. Why can’t we wear leashes when the new adjustable wave feature is operational?

Safety at the Boise Whitewater Park is always our top priority. Due to several catch hazards around the Phase 2 adjustable wave, leashes should not be used for your own safety. Any type of rope, string, or tethering device should not be used in the river. At this wave, there are undercut rocks that will anchor a person to the bottom of the river when caught, forcing them underwater, which is a dangerous scenario.

4. Why is wave shaper 3 (part of Phase 1 of the park) inoperable?

Wave shaper 3 has not operated like it did in the past since multiple flood stage years have added a 6+ ft cobble rock pile in the eddy and the rest of the riverbed on the Boise side of the river. Also, the flow range for it to work is limited to 1200-2000 CFS at the Glenwood gauge. Any flow below 1200 CFS will not meet irrigation demand as the flow is too far away from the Thurman Mill canal head gate.

5. Why is wave shaper 2 (part of Phase 1 of the park) creating a flatter wave that looks different than in years past?

Wave shaper 2 is directly upstream from the deepest channel in the river bed behind the phase 1 system, therefore the water moves through it at its highest velocity. This channel continues to get deeper and faster every year due to erosion, especially with flood stage years like Boise has recently experienced. The Boise Parks and Recreation Department and project managers are assessing this situation in order to determine the best steps to address this.

6. What can be done to improve the first phase wave feature?

This will be discussed with the engineers of the park on how to slow the water down behind the wave, potentially fix the riverbed, and return retention to the feature.

7. Who can I contact if I have questions about the Boise Whitewater Park or current features?

You can email the Boise Parks and Recreation Department with questions or concerns at any time. Our staff will work to address your message and respond promptly.

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