OKC's Riversport Rapids Plans To Expand, Add Surfing

Tuesday, October 8th 2019, 6:36 pm
By: Karl Torp

Riversport Rapids and Adventures in the OKC Boathouse District is planning to expand, and to give guests more fun things to do along the Oklahoma River. 

Whitewater is the anchor to Riversport. 

But last year, the Boathouse Foundation got the go ahead to create more water and zipline fun – totaling $7.9 million.

“Oklahoma is hot, and we want to keep people wet,” said CEO Boathouse Foundation CEO Mike Knopp.

Knopp believes surfing will keep Oklahomans cool in the spring and summer.

The Boathouse Foundation wants to spend $1.45 million to build two surfing bays. Kids as young as four could participate.

Councilwoman Jo Beth Hamon cautioned against giving money to an operation that has seen early wipeouts. She suggests putting the money, that was already approved last year, on hold.

“I want them to get a better place financially before we give more infrastructure to manage,” said Councilwoman Hamon.

Two weeks ago, OKC City Council approved $1.5 million to the Boathouse Foundation to cover Riversport’s operating expenses.

Last year, that number was $2 million.

The Boathouse Foundation believes the improvements are the cost of creating an outdoor culture and building business.

“You have to have these other things to make the project long financially sustainable and successful,” said Knopp.

The request to put the surfing bays out for bid passed 8-1. Councilwoman Hamon was the only “no” vote.

The hope is that next spring you can ride the rapids and “hang ten.”