Looks crowded!

Several U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Championships competitors blow off some steam at Brennan's wave after the conclusion of the competition.

Making Waves in Missoula

Brennan’s Wave has turned the heart of Downtown Missoula into kayaking paradise. Built to create a play spot for local kayakers, Brennan’s Wave is an engineered whitewater masterpiece right next to Caras Park on the Clark Fork river.

The man-made wave gives local kayakers a spectacular whitewater feature right in their own backyard.  On any given day you can find local kayakers playing in the wave named for Brennan Guth, a Missoula-native and world-class kayaker who died paddling in Chile in 2001.

For spectators, there is a nice overlook for watching kayakers play.  The playpool was designed to work with the different water flows that the river has during the different seasons.

The $300,000 project has been a great addition to Missoula and to the Downtown community in particular.  From early in the spring until it’s cold enough for the river to start icing, you will find kayakers at play on the river.

In June 2010, local kayakers turned over the wave to make way for the pros when Missoula and Brennan’s Wave played host to the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Championships, an event that brought more than 200 competitors and up to 2,000 out-of-town supporters to Missoula.

The event was a resounding success. Both the wave, and Missoula, won high praise from competitors.

Referencing Missoula’s hospitality, U.S. Freestyle competitor Jessie Stone said, “It’s festive, extremely supportive. Missoula might be the most friendly kayak town I’ve even been to.”

More than 5,000 spectators watched the event live in Missoula, with another 174,000 spectators exposed to Missoula and Brennan’s Wave as they viewed live video broadcasting of the event from the World Kayak website.

With the success of Brennan’s Wave, efforts are now under way to build a new whitewater park just downstream from Caras Park near Ogren-Allegiance Park.

The Max Wave” was announced in late June 2010 in honor of the late Max Lentz, a Missoula native who died at 17 in an kayaking accident in West Virginia.

Much like Brennan’s Wave, which transformed a dangerous water diversion weir into a safe place for river play, the Max Wave would result from a reconfigured Flynn-Lowney Diversion.

If fundraising efforts are successful, The Max Wave will by ready by 2015 in time to potentially win a bid for Missoula to host the 2015 World Freestyle Kayaking Championships.

Brennan’s Wave
Caras Park
Downtown Missoula

The Max Wave