Category: News

Party venue upgraded

Party venue upgraded

This winter we’ve been working a lot to turn the bank you were introduced to last year into a permanent pub/restaurant. We opened it last saturday and are happy to welcome you here for the social events during the festival.
Banken Bryggeri & Spiseri will be open from 13.00-22.00 everyday, with extended hours Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The kitchen is serving food until 21.00.

Program for the festival at Banken:

13.00-22.00 Regular hours
13.00-21.00 Kitchen is open.
20.00 – 02.00. Meet and Greet with all the people you haven’t seen since last year, the bar will be open, and the music playing. For those who missing the Pimp´n´ho, you are of course free to dress up to your own preference!
13.00-21.00 Kitchen is open
19.00 The annual Strie Strømmer BBQ on the terrace
13.00-21.00 Kitchen is open.
22.00 – Movie night
13.00-21.00 Kitchen is open
20.00 Sweet Protection BBQ and party with live music
13.00-22.00 – regular hours

Your Invitation to the Sjoa River Festival 2019

Your Invitation to the Sjoa River Festival 2019


Issue: #
June 2019
Your Invitation to the SRF 2019


It’s time to get ready for the 23rd Sjoa River Festival! The festival brings together kayakers from all over the world and of all abilities to enjoy the white water gems around the Sjoa valley.

Hosting the event, Strie Strømmer along with Gene17kayaking have put together an action packed programme full of guided river trips, clinics and world-class level competitions. Without forgetting off-the water parties, BBQs and outdoor movie action. PLUS the big news this year is our Junior programme…




Sjoa River Festival & Planet River welcomes girls and boys from the ages of 5 to 12 years. Two half days of introductory fun of the popular river sports of kayaking, rafting and river-boarding. No previous experience is required.

Planet River will ensure that professional & experienced river peoples are on site to ensure a safe and fun learning environment. Participants will be encouraged to enjoy the activities at their own pace with nothing being compulsory except when it comes to safety.

The majority of the 2 days will be on flat & calm waters. If river levels are low enough we will have some of the 2nd day of competitions in the grade 1 channel that flows past Sjoa Rafting camp.

All river equipment will be included (wetsuit, lifejacket & helmet) although you are welcome to bring & use your own.Please bring thermal or wool underwear, socks and running shoes.

Sjoa Rafting has ample parking, ablutions and changing room facilities. Planet River encourages parents to be available to help with their kids getting changed in/out of river gear, for hugs, encouragement and the wiping away of the odd tear.

Diplomas of attendance for all participants and prizes for different categories of winners and attendees are up for grabs. Please contact/e-mail Rob at with any questions or if wanting to volunteer help over the 2 days.

DATES : Thursday 11 & Friday 12 July
TIMES : 09h00 – 13h00
LOCATION : Sjoa Rafting
AGES : 5 to 12

DAY 1 : Learning/Basic Skills/Coaching/Games in flat water with kayaks, river-boards & rafts.
09h00 : Introduction to Rivers & Boats + Safety Talk
09h30 : Change into river gear / Parents Brief / Teams
10h00 : Learning & Playing raft / kayak / river-board
12h30 – Snacks/Fruit/Juice
13h00 – See you tomorrow

DAY 2 – Competition Day – Events on flat water pond, and in the channel past Sjoa Rafting (water level dependant)
09h00 : Rules/Program/Teams/Bibs/Change into river gear
10h00 : Raft Race
10H45 : River-board Race
11h15 : Kayak Race (flat water)
12h00 : River race (easy rapids, any boat).
12H45 : Lompe/Pølser & Prize giving
13h00 – Finish


In Heidal we’ve been bring paddlers together for a few decades now, yes 23 years of summer fun.  The event has changed a lot over this time, but one thing is for certain, it’s always in the calendar for many paddlers.  We host both guided trips and competitions, plus a mellow social scene with lots of paddling, and a few parties too.  Something for everyone from your weekend Class II cruiser to the competitive hard charger.
Registration is open, so why not join us in Sjoa this summer?



Guided Trips in the Day time
Gene17 Clinics in the Day time
18.00 Sjoa River Guide Raft Race, organised by local raft guides.
22:00 PimpnHo Party at the Bank in Bjølstadmo next to Strie Strømmer

Guided Trips in the Day time
09:00 Sjoa River Festival Juniors with Planet River
17.00 Strie Strømmer Åsengjuvet Team Race, meet Strie Strømmer at 16.00.
19.00 Strie Strømmer BBQ at the Bank in Bjølstadmo next to Strie Strømmer

Guided Trips in the Day time
09:00 Sjoa River Festival Juniors with Planet River
18.00 Gene17 Ula Slides Race on Ula slides
22.00 Movie Night at the Bank in Bjølstadmo next to Strie Strømmer

Guided Trips in the Day time
Gene17 Clinics in the Day time
17.00 Sweet Rumble Finals on Åmot Canyon
20.00 Sweet Protection BBQ at the Bank in Bjølstadmo next to Strie Strømmer
20.30 Palm Throwbag Olympics at Strie Strømmer
21.00 Saturday Night Party at the Bank in Bjølstadmo next to Strie Strømmer

Sunday fun day, go paddle, pack up and head home.


Åsengjuvet Team Race on Thursday evening.
The Gene17 Ula Extreme Race, a sprint down the famed Ula slides finishing at a waterfall is Friday’s fun.
Sweet Protection invites you to a knock out fight on the river! We celebrate the Sweet Rumble with a fierce yet fun competition. It’ll be great to watch, and even better to race on. Fight Club in a kayak on Saturday.


And on Saturday evening we’ll have the Palm Throwbag Olympics at Strie Strømmer.



We’ll run a range of paddling clinics and kayak lessons at the Sjoa River Festival. Sign up at the Strie Strømmer notice board for the Steep Creeking Technique & White Water Skills throughout the Festival, with Gene17kayaking’s leading coaches and instructors to show you the way, and share their lines with you.
The Gene17 Clinics will be on a host of local runs, with the likes of Jakub Sedivy from Czech and Simon Westgarth from England amongst others leading these trips which are again scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday during the festival



For us the Sjoa River Festival is the summer celebration of paddling in Norway, and we like a party every now and then. The now legendary midweek Pimp ‘n’ Ho Party will take place as usual on Wednesday, get your outfit ready for a crazy night out!
On Saturday we party at the Bank starting with the Sweet BBQ and prizing giving to set the evening off. Plus this year we’re have a band to get you all dancing through the night.


9/14 July 2019 – Sjoa, Heidal, Norway

See you on the river.

Simon Westgarth


All NEW in 2019 Sjoa River Festival Juniors

All NEW in 2019 Sjoa River Festival Juniors


For 2019 we are very excited to announce the inclusion of a programme for the kids. Rob & Ine of Planet River are offering some river action for the growing band of kids of long time Sjoa River Festival goers. Thus Sjoa River Festival & Planet River welcomes girls and boys from the ages of 5 to 12 years, for two half days of introductory fun of the popular river sports of kayaking, rafting and river-boarding. No previous experience is required. See Sjoa River Festival Juniors for full details.

Artwork by Henry Cummings Aged 7 owner of a Pyranha Rebel.

New party venue

New party venue

This year we´ve moved up from bus garage to bank for all the social happenings during the festival. It´s definately a step up from the dusty bus shelter, so we hope you´ll enjoy it. It will be open for you to use during the daytime too. There´s shower and toilet, couches and plenty of sockets where you can charge your thingamabobs. Also the big grill will be for you to use the nights we´re not serving food.

We´ll show the semifinals for the world cup in her on tuesday and wednesday at 20:00

N.B. You can not use any open fire in the camping field, as this years drought makes it very dangerous. Basically it´s comparable to smoking a cigarette in a pile of gunpowder. And you wouldn´t do that would you?

2017 Event Round Up

2017 Event Round Up


Rafting Race
Rafting Canyon shot

rafting close shot

See more Raft Race Images by Cassidy Berg.

Griningsdal Rapid Race
Griningdals blue kayak

With an early spring melting a lot of the snow and a dry summer, we had little flows on Ula last summer. So we looked for a new venue during the low water summer. Martin Vollen, a Sjoa local recommended we checked out the Griningsdal Rapid high up on the Sjoa River close to Gjendesheim. This is a series of slides and drops contained and compressed within a low canyon walls, stacked up on each other. As a new race venue the line of competitors was a little thin at the start eddy. After several had ran good lines down the rapids, a steady stream of racers descended the Griningsdal Rapids. Special mentions go to Viktor Legat from Zet Kayaks, managing to pull off an unintentional barrel roll of the main drop, which please the crowd. After a tight race, Julian Stocker from Voss and Capucine Thomas-Lépine from Trondheim took away the honours.

Grainingsdal yellow kayak

Sweet BoaterX Rumble
Louise Capel was the Race Director for the annual Sweet Rumble. She managed to pull the hoard together once again in the Åmot Canyon on the Sjoa River. The rounds come thick and fast in the Rumble, with tight racing in the entry rapid and through the corridor. Positions often change and change again. The final rapid provides a tight finish eddy and is occasionally missed, proving a regular upset to leading paddlers. The crowd loves this late Saturday afternoon race, watching from above along the canyon walls.

Surprising herself and delighting the crowd Anne-marthe Kommedahl won her first Sweet Rumble, and Viktor Legat made up for his Griningsdal Rapid Race action, sweeping the win for another Czech winner.

Palm Throwbag Olympics
As we wind up for the party on Saturday night, we have a final challenge after the grill flames die down. The Palm Throwbag Olympics is a series of elements to overcome whilst competing against others in a rush to finish first. Needless to say that for the local raft guides, this competition is a little more competitive, and prior practise has certainly been undertaken by those keenest to win. Still if you watch the whole show, it’s a sublime combination of skills with precision, and haphazard throwing attempts. Check out the video below.

All in all another summer in Norway past by, with the Sjoa River Festival another grant highlight. We go again 10/15 July 2018. Hope to see you there.

Ula Slides Race 2017 Update

Ula Slides Race 2017 Update

#ninjasave #sjoa #sjodalen

A post shared by Martin Vollen (@boatermart) on

Due to the current water conditions, we have going to move the Ula Slides Race to the Upper Sjoa River. On a rapid known locally as Griningdals Rapid.

Race Info:
The race format will be the same, a single run for all, and the top 10 fastest will go for a second run. The fastest combined total of the runs will be the winner. We’ll have a race briefing for 1600 on Friday afternoon at the start of the race course.

See footage of the top slide from Martin Vollen and the Second Slide:

This part of the Upper Sjoa flows out of Nedre Sjodalsvatnet with the Griningdalen Rapid soon after the month of the river. The location is Gamle Griningdalsvegen, 2683 Tessanden from Google Maps.

The Gamle Griningdalsvegen road that approaches the bridge below the Griningdals Rapid is a single track forest trail. Parking is VERY LIMITED. Therefore PLEASE PARK ON THE NORTHERN LAKE SHORE OF NEDRE SJODALSVATNET and paddle 200m of Sjoa to the top of the Race Course down the Sjoa. See the turn off to the lake shore from Highway 51.

Safety Crew & Race Volunteers:
The Griningdals Rapid is a new race course, and as such, we’ll have a heightened level of security on the race section. As such we would like to request 6 paddler’s act as safety crew. In addition, we’ll be looking for help from 2-3 people with the race organisation, at the start and finish for both Friday and Saturday evening. Please PM Simon Westgarth.

Sweet Rumble Ranking:
The standing from this time trail race is used for the Sweet Rumble BoaterX on Åmot Saturday late afternoon. If you are unwilling to race on the Griningdals Rapid, we’ll plan for wildcard places and/or pre-heats for late entries. Be at the start eddy for 16:30 on Saturday.

Sjoa River Festival 2016 – Short Report

Sjoa River Festival 2016 – Short Report

(Lost in the ether of our downed served a re-post from the Sjoa River Festival 2016, so get into the spirit and pre-register.)

At the height of this long warm summer, the Sjoa River Festival now in its 20th year attracts paddlers from across Norway, and Europe beyond. With much of the winter’s snow long melted, low water conditions meant paddlers all week could enjoy runs of Finna near Vågå, in the Åseng canyon on Sjoa as well as final runs on the Lågen, currently and very regrettably being dammed at Rosten. The Sjoa River Festival is very much a gathering event, whereby the official programme limited to evening entertainment and a few key races hosted by Strie Strømmer and Gene17Kayaking, all set near or at Bjølstadmo in Heidal.

This year’s low water meant the traditional Ula Extreme race was moved to Åmot Canyon with a challenging course set by Jakub Sedivy, a perennial Sjoa summer visitor. With a hard course set out, paddlers laboured to hit all the moves without incurring penalties, with a third of the field missing the finish gate. The top girls were well within 10% of the fastest men’s finishing time, which goes to show tactics matter offer strength and power even on such pushy whitewater found on the Sjoa’s Åmot Canyon. Winner of the recent Ekstremsportveko, French man Eric Deguil stormed the field to win with an impressive time, whilst Czech girl, Pavlina Zasterova also had a clean run to lead the ladies.

On Saturday’s Sweet Rumble BoaterX event also on the Åmot Canyon, wave after wave of men’s heats and finals cut the field of competitors down to a final of 4 men, 3 were Czech and another French man. The final was a big battle, with the leader swapping out a few times, and a lot of competition for position in the first rapids, with all the paddlers taking the faster and more riskier line on the last rapid. Whilst Ondřej Tunka very kept the lead into the final eddy, the battle on his tail between the others made for fine entertainment for the watching crowds. In the ladies final, Pavlina opened up a good lead in the corridor rapid after several competitors were knocked offline in the entry rapid. All the girls went for the safer just tighter middle line on the last rapid, with Pavlina being the only competitor to make the final gate. All the other girls in amongst the fight, block each other’s lines and they were swept down river…. For our FULL results.

All in all another vintage festival, with great the parties, lots more the campfire stories and many fine lines down great rapids. As ever we’re back again in 2017, Week 28 as usual.

Pre-Registration Now Open

Pre-Registration Now Open

Don’t miss out on a bargain.

Sjoa River Festival 2017 discounted pre-registration available through Strie Strømmer for NOK 450 until 9th July 2017.

Buy it HERE, and please REMEMBER to also submit a completed our registration form too.

We have had to recover lots of files from the old site and build a new site for 2017. The web pages have recently been populated with all the normal stuff with programme details. We have renamed the Ula Race to reflect the growing accessibility of more paddlers enjoying the sprint on the Ula Slides.

Plus currently, we are looking for help organizing our Wednesday Raft Race. Strie Strømmer has contacted the local raft companies and river guides hoping someone will pick up the mantle of Ine & Rob’s highly successful run as race organisers.

More updates to come soon.

New Website

New Website

Our old website database had an unfortunate incident. Welcome to the new site!

Sjoa River Festival has it´s 21st anniversary this year, and we hope ya´all find the time to come.

Pre-registration will be available soon.