Nick Troutman has a jam-packed week of events at this year’s games, including the Kayak Sprint and the Kayak Freestyle.
Nick Troutman has a jam-packed week of events at this year’s games, including the Kayak Sprint and the Kayak Freestyle. (Photo: Courtesy of GoPro Mountain Games)

Gear of the 2016 GoPro Mountain Games

The weapons in the arsenals of this year's athletes

Nick Troutman has a jam-packed week of events at this year’s games, including the Kayak Sprint and the Kayak Freestyle.

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From June 9 through 12, athletes will flood the streets (and rivers and mountains) of Vail, Colorado for four days of competition in the GoPro Mountain Games. Events range from trail running and mountain biking to kayaking and fishing (there’s even comps for dogs). This is what this year’s athletes are suiting up with:

Carbon/Kevlar 2016 Rockstar (Jackson Kayaks)

Nick Troutman, Kayak Freestyle
Troutman’s got a jam-packed week of events at this year’s game, from the Steep Creek Championships to the Kayak Sprint and the Kayak Freestyle. For the Kayak Freestyle, a timed run in the Vail Whitewater Park where competitors throw their best tricks, he’ll use the 2016 Rockstar by Jackson Kayak. “I consider this to be the best of the best when it comes to freestyle kayaks,” he says. “The Rockstar helps slice the ends through the water so I’m able to pull off the most complex tricks, all while having the right amount of volume in the center of the boat necessary for launching some big aerial maneuvers.”

(Werner Paddles)

Werner Session SUP Paddle

Nick Troutman, SUP-cross
Troutman will compete in SUP-cross (a 200-yard sprint through Class II/III rapids) using the “Session” SUP paddle by Werner Paddles. He says the Session allows him to “get a quick and powerful stroke while still being durable enough to withstand the shallow river rocks.”


Inflatable Starboard SUP

Izzi Gomez, SUP
Sixteen-year-old professional SUPer and 2x Standup World Tour Champion Izzi Gomez will be competing in SUP events at this year’s games. In addition to the SUP-cross, there’s also the Down River SUP Spring—a three-mile race through Class II/III rapids. She’ll have a paddle, wetsuit, helmet, life vest, coil leash, and will be on an Inflatable Starboard SUP. Her footwear of choice when on the board? Nike Flyknits.

Hyside Outfitter 9.0 Mini-Me Raft

US Raft Team, Raft Cross

The U.S. Whitewater Raft Team is fresh off a national championship win and will be pursuing another following the GoPro Games. In Vail they’ll be competing in a different format that your typical raft racing in the Down River R2 Raft Sprint (a four-mile race through Class II/III rapids) and Raft Cross (a timed race testing speed and agility). “The rafts we use for the GoPro games are specific to that event: Hyside Mini-me’s,” says team captain, John Mark Seelig. “It’s a perfect two-man boat.” The team has also collaborated with Sawyer paddles to create an off-set angled blade for the downriver paddling. “The off-set blade will take the energy from the paddle stroke and maximize the stroke without the fatigue from a classic raft paddle. This carbon paddle will be the fastest paddle on the water!”

(Intense Cycles)

Intense Cycles Carbine 29’r/Tracer 275

Brian Lopes, Enduro
In 2000, the last time Lopes was in Vail, he took home gold in his first UCI World Championships in the discipline of Dual (very different type of racing than the Enduro). “Since I’m not entirely familiar with what the courses will be like, I plan to bring two different Intense Cycle bikes,” he says. “One will be a Carbine 29’r and the other will be a Tracer 27.5. Depending on how rough, how much pedaling, the flow of the courses, etc. I’ll pick the one of these two bikes that I think will give me the best chance to win.”

Sage One Rod

Maddie Brenneman, 2 Fly X-Stream

Brenneman, a fly fishing guide and Colorado native, will compete in the 2 Fly X-Stream event—where anglers will be tested on their technical skills (as well as their ability to actually catch a fish). “It’s a couple rounds of precision and distance casting, hopefully followed by a shot on the water,” she says. “I’ll be using my Sage One, 9-foot/5wt rod.”

Fully waterproof, no housing necessary. Oh, and it's really tiny.
gopro hero 4 action cameras gear review outside
| (GoPro)

Go-to GoPros

It should be no surprise that athletes will be sufficiently GoPro’d up to document their events. Troutman opts for the Hero4 Session, a 2.6-ounce cube that’s fully waterproof right out of the box. “The Hero4 Session is my go-to camera” he says. “I use it to help review my practice laps, memorize the course and figure out where to make up any time in the quick two-minute race. Gomez sticks to the Hero4 Black/Silver with waterproof housing and floaty. The Hero4 Black shoots up to 4K at 30fps and the Silver shoots 2.7K at 30fps. “I will be using the handlebar mounts for my paddles and surfboard/sticky mounts for my helmet and SUP,” she says. “I like to use the Gooseneck or the Gnarwhal to capture different angles with my GoPro.”

*Gomez, Troutman, Lopes are all sponsored by GoPro

Lead Photo: Courtesy of GoPro Mountain Games