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Old 06-17-2013   #11
FrankC's Avatar
Golden, CO
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It would be really nice if there was onsite camping like the river fests back east like Cheat and Gauley Fest. I doubt if there is room for that so how about finding a big field somewhere, setting up a bandstand, beer garden, vendors. It doesn't mean moving everything from downtown (which is attended by the locals and tourist). Just setting up a boater specific camping and party site.

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Old 06-17-2013   #12
Paddling Since: 96
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Originally Posted by Nathan View Post
FIBArk was a mess this year. It's no longer about boating. They ran expert rodeo finals during the SUP race and we sat in the eddy for an hour and 45 minutes for 3 rides. I was a little annoyed by that until they ran the junior men's and women's finals during the Hooligan race and realized we had it easy waiting for SUPers. The juniors are paddling at an extremely high level and it's pretty rough for them to compete between Hooligan heats. I guess it's not the early 2000's anymore when the freestyle was the main event at FIBArk.
Yeah, that was a mess. The comps ended up 2? hours behind schedule and then the computers used for scoring the freestyle events failed. Need paper scoring sheets for backup. Still, the paddling was great. The top juniors were going huge and the Men's pro finals was incredibly competitive. Plenty of room for improvement but I still had a great time.

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Old 06-17-2013   #13
Join Date: Aug 2004
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The only good thing about the Juniors competing during the Hooligan Race was the huge crowd they had. Hunter destroyed it. Too bad most of the crowed left before the pro men. I know most people aren't very interested in watching freestyle kayaking, but all five that were in the finals had great rides. It's amazing how well Dustin competes against those guys when he isn't traveling around paddling as much as them.

The computer scoring was good in theory. I didn't realize it went down. That would explain why I watched it update the expert finals standings after the last ride then find out later the places weren't the same.
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Old 06-17-2013   #14
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West of Boulder, Colorado
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You want a paddle event without all of the hype and non boating stuff, then go to Baileyfest!
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Old 06-17-2013   #15
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BZN, Montana
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It's too bad FIBark is falling apart. I'll agree with lmeyers about chaffee county locals being pretty melow and taking ownership of their community far more than most other places.
The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 06-17-2013   #16
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Summit County, Colorado
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Sorry....I ment Salida locals not as a negitive but I probably should have said the people their for the great small town carnival/festival feel.

Don't get me wrong, I love the festival! I think they did a great job this year and I appreciate all the volunteers too. Actually enjoyed the fact that when my family got bored of watching the freestyle finals my family could walk over and enjoy the rides, music and funnel cake instead of being held hostage by daddies hunger for freestyle kayaking ha ha.

So, no offense to my comment "Salida Locals" it was more directed to the non-boating community that enjoyss the festival just as much as the rest of us boaters.

But I'm really looking for why aren't their more vendors ANYONE KNOW???
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Old 06-17-2013   #17
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
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Fibark has definitely lost alot of its boating and river fun appeal to me thru the years. I used to come for years with a group of paddlers but found it much more a carnival than a spirited competition. I have gone to the Gunnison River Festival past 3years and found it to be much more "natural" and much less "commercialized".
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Old 06-17-2013   #18
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Summit County, Colorado
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Oh hell....I give up. Should have named this thread "Give me your personal opinion on FIBark failure or success".

All I wanted to know is if anyone knew why there wasn't more industry booths.

Oh well...the thread is yours critics.

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Old 06-17-2013   #19
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Technology Partner, Littleton, Colorado
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FibArk Restructured

A lot of the reasoning behind the change in vibe this year at FibArk was because of the last two years, more specifically last year. It spun out of control last year. Locals were pissed to see people camping on Union Pacific property on the other side of the river. There were issues upstream with out of control campers doing a wide variety of things better left in the bedroom and doing them in public at all hours. The level of drunkenness up and down the river became apparent by 9pm each night. People partying too loudly, a real live prostitute plying her wares near the F Street bridge was another oddity. Combine that with heavy public consumption of pot and fights (though it always seems to be the locals involved in the fighting), you ended up with a pissed off local population.

The result was a new FibArk board with a new agenda that started with "How do we dial it down to keep the homies happy?". New Belgium was unceremoniously dumped for Eddyline, the types of bands were also changed.

As far as they paddling aspect goes, there was more of an emphasis on paddling this year than in recent years past. However, I do agree that the inclusion of SUP events kind of screwed up the Freestyle events. There needs to be better planning and scheduling - that said, it's not as easy as it looks. This year they had two slalom events, one on Wednesday - US Age Group National Championship, then Saturday with the regular FibArk Slalom Races. I know a lot of you disdain about slalom, but until you try it, STFU - It's hard.

FibArk was born from a downriver race and a lot of you forget that simple fact. It's still about the downriver racing. Some of you have never attempted to paddle 26 miles as fast as you can in a DR wildwater boat. Again STFU until you try it and gain the understanding of the effort required to do so.

I agree there needs to be more paddling related booths and gear on display, with units you can demo - be it SUP boards, kayaks, canoes, etc. The only three booths with boats you could demo were Pyranha,Jackson and Fluid. Apparently Dagger/Wavesport could not be bothered, neither could Blisstick, Drago-Rossi, Prijon, Gui-Gui, Vajda, Galasport, and all of the other smaller boat manufacturers.

I for one would like to see the Jackson RV parked elsewhere and 3 or 4 more kayak booths set up in its place.

Of more importance is the issue of the railroad side of the river. Something needs to be done to either acquire the land from UP or lease it and turn it into low-cost tent camping and parking, after they seed it with grass. They could put some rules in place; like no drugs/no alcohol, no fires, no crazy ass shit, and oh yeah - no prostitutes. Salida East aka Dust Bowl is simply too far out to encourage more spending by attendees. It takes money to keep this going and the locals are definitely happier when we contribute to their bottom line.

I would suggest people who have complaints, send those complaints in a written and constructive manner to the FibArk board.
And the Lord said, let there be whitewater. So on Friday, the 13th day of the month....
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Old 06-17-2013   #20
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Originally Posted by SummitSurfer View Post
First, I want to give a big thank you out to the FIBark organizers. What a great time each year for the whole family.

BUT I was curious how come there are not more kayak and rafting vendors? I'd like to see booths showing off the newest products, some products for sale and or showing neat river stuff. When I heard BombFlow Magazine was sponsoring some events, I expected to see them represented at FIBark at a booth on Fri or Sat....but nothing. Is there a reason there aren't more vendors of kayak, rafting and SUP vendors?

Big cudos to the carnival and fair like events on the other end of the event. My kid went nuts on all the rides all day Saturday, while I enjoyed some Eddyline brew and freestyle kayak comps. I love New Belgium and I kinda missed them this year but Eddyline just makes the most sense for the venue and supporting truly a great local beer. GOOD CALL on Eddyline!

Anyway, great job guys.....just curious why more vendors aren't represented?

Here'a stab at an answer. First off, I don't think this is something that can be hung on Fibark in any way. Its clear that the various potential vendors don't see it as marketing dollars well spent. You don't see those vendors at any whitewater events anymore that I am aware of. Kudos to those that are present. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, Jackson, Pyranha and Fluid all had a presence and I think all had demos available. In this regard, and others, perhaps Paddlefest in BV is a little more paddling oriented these days at least in terms of product presence and demoing through CKS.

It seemed there was a decent SUPing presence and I'm always glad to see the most important booth in its familiar place representing all of us. Thanks AW.

You can always approach any rep from a company in the form of a pro paddling for them and get feedback and often they can set you up for a demo.

I too had a good time at Fibark. Lots of great competitions with a particular favorite of mine standing on the podium in Men's pro freestyle with a ridiculous repping of Ark valley boating and seeing so many old friends and current ones. For me, that's the best part, celebrating our amazing community with so many awesome fellow river rats.

Can it be better, yes. Do I look forward to it and enjoy it every year, yes.

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