Downhill skiing in Oklahoma? After Memorial Day? You bet

Great State

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Riversports Complex is known for warm weather and liquid water activities.

You can climb and zipline too but the Riversport Rapids are the big draw along with rowing on the Oklahoma River.

It’s hard to believe that a quarter century back there was really nothing here.

All of this and more lived in the head of founder Mike Knopp.

“It’s one of those things where we’re really trying to emphasize getting people active and building active lifestyles,” says Knopp.

So there’s a new activity here, great for summertime.

If you want to boogie board or even surf, organizers have the water running on the Surf OKC attraction, a perfect fit for getting wet in the heat of summer.

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Just a few steps inside, though, is something very different, way off the usual post Memorial Day tracks, but carving a unique track through the city’s recreational sports menu.

“It’s always interesting to strap on skis in Oklahoma,” says OKC Riversports instructor Lucas Williams.

He’s has taken his kids to the bunny slopes of Colorado in the winter, but he’s getting lots of practice on Riversport Ski, a huge ramp with a moving carpet on it.

For skiers who’ve long since put away their hats and gloves, there yet remains one place to strap boards on your feet and go downhill.

He says, “After two half-hour sessions, I was able to turn confidently and move up and down the slope.”

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I didn’t bring my swimsuit to surf but did find some ski boots to fit.

Just so you know, this big ski carpet is very different from snow skiing.

It’s far less forgiving, but after a while it is possible to see some improvement.

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Williams continues, “We can alter the terrain to suit the skiers experience level.”

Somewhere out there, a big hill might be calling your name, or it might be this place tucked into a water sports headquarters, where ‘always winter, never Christmas’ is a good thing and the ski run never has to end.

For more information on the new Surf and Ski activities at Riversports, go to or their Facebook page.

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