Rules & Guidelines


Here are the riverboarding rules for the Face Level Riverboarding Championships. Rules for Bellyak races will be the same, with minor exceptions which are noted.

These rules are subject to change at the discretion of the FLRC committee, and all changes will be clearly noted and published here.


  • All racers must have prior riverboarding experience and the proven ability to safely navigate up to Class IV rapids on their own
  • Pre-race “swim test” will be required at check-in (which will correspond with the first practice session for ease of logistics)
  • Practice runs prior to racing are required, and time will be slotted for practice on all sections of the river, for each competition


  • Any commercial brand (Gath, WRSI, Sweet, Shred Ready, Protec, etc), but must be a whitewater specific helmet
  • Full-face helmets are allowed
  • Helmet cameras (GoPro, Contour, etc) are allowed, however mounts must not extend beyond 6″ from the rider or board, and may not be mounted to the side of riverboards.


  • All fin styles are allowed.
  • If tethers are worn, they must be tucked away inside the wetsuit or bootie so as not to be a loop hazard.


  • Must be type III to V rated
  • May be worn outside of gear or inside a jersey
  • No knives (at all) or metal carabiners which are not part of the jacket will be allowed on the outside of pfd’s during races


  • Flexible webbed gloves are allowed, such as the NRS, Darkfin, Henderson, Neosport, Bodyglove, etc
  • Hard plastic hand paddles of any type are NOT allowed


  • No more than 57″ in length (the length of the longest commercially produced riverboard, the Carlson); only exception is in the Bellyak category, where the maximum length is 8′ 7″ / 262cm.
  • Foam, plastic, and inflatables are allowed. No fiberglass.
  • All commercial riverboards are allowed (Kern, Carlson, Fluid, Ripboard, Prijon, Dutch, Vade Retro, RMR, Morey, etc). Bodyboards are allowed for most events, but may not be allowed for some steep-creek races at the discretion of the FLRC’s.
  • Leashes are allowed but must be attached to a quick-release system on the rider’s PFD. Leashes may NOT be permanently attached to any part of the body or PFD (i.e. bodyboard leashes which are attached to the wrist). Additionally, leashes may NOT extend beyond the rider as this is an extreme danger to the rider and other competitors. If you choose to leash, it must be attached to your quick-release system on your PFD on the front, and the leash must be tucked under you on top of or inside your board. Leashes will be checked for length and adherence to this rule. It is recommended that you don’t leash, as it won’t be necessary as a safety assistant in the rivers where FLRC races will take place in 2013.
  • Homemade boards are allowed at this time but must adhere to the size and material guidelines.
  • Any customizations to the board which are deemed unsafe by race officials may require alteration before they are allowed to race.
  • Each competitor may have up to two (2) different boards, for example one for racing and one for surfing. However, the boards must be declared at check-in, and no substitutions may be made after that time.


Boardercross and Endurocross races are full-contact events. It is expected that riders will bump into each other when fighting for the best line through rapids and slalom gates, and this is part of the excitement of head-to-head events.

However, in the interest of rider safety, first and foremost, the following contact rules will be strictly enforced:

  • No grabbing opponents in any manner; hands must remain on your own board unless hand paddling; incidental contact when hand paddling will be judged based on hand position and movement; Motives, whether to pull water or push another rider, are fairly easy to spot.
  • No contact is allowed on land (starting line, relay transition zones); purposefully contacting an opponent in any manner at the starting line or in a relay transition zone will be a 20 second penalty for the first offense, and second offense results in DQ; inadvertent contact on land will be judged situationally. Bottom line – avoid contact with opponents on land!
  • Racers may not purposefully touch an opponent with their hands; first offense is a 20 second penalty, second offense results in DQ; any hitting, punching, slapping, or blows to an opponent’s head will result in automatic DQ and possible suspension from participation in future events.
  • No purposefully kicking opponents. Lower body contact is likely to occur during the natural course of racing, but kicks directed at an opponent will be penalized. First offense is a 20 second penalty, second offense results in DQ
  • No blows to an opponent’s head with a racer’s riverboard (or anything else – automatic DQ)
  • Any DQ will result in forfeiture of all participation points associated with the DQ’d race for that racer

More rules and guidelines will be added or adjusted as needed.

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