Charlotte, NC

The National Whitewater Center — the largest and most profitable whitewater park of its kind in the world — opened in 2006. The park surpasses all previous pumped whitewater parks in terms of efficiency, quality of whitewater, variety of uses and fun. It features four separate channel segments, including the world’s steepest slalom channel, the world’s highest-volume big water channel, and purpose-built areas for instruction, development, safety training, big-wave surfing, hole riding and more.

Special features include four separate, moveable, obstacle systems; natural rock structures; restaurant and patio areas overlooking the course; head gates allowing operating costs to be scaled to the day’s customer base; and specific design features tailored to maximize profitable rafting operations.

The park was designed with the dual goals of creating a seamlessly integrated outdoor adventure center and a cost-effective, state-of-the-art whitewater facility.

Project highlights:

  • Four separate purpose-built channels.Four completely autonomous moveable obstacle systems
  • Host of the 2008 Olympic Team Trials, 2007 Junior World Championships, and International Olympic Qualifier
  • Predicted nine-year payback period and 30 percent rate-of-return on investment
  • State-of-the-art conveyor belt system that recycles kayaks and rafts to the top of the course with customers never leaving their boats
  • 1,200 cfs of water, making it the largest pumped whitewater course in the world
  • S2O’s highly successful M-wave “Wavemaker” surfing feature