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Shannon Byrd standing next to her JetSki at Run Whatcha Brung

Preparing for the Run Whatcha Brung JetSki Regatta

By Krisdy Riddle

Note: this article was originally drafted leading up to the 2020 Run Whatcha Brung Poker Run

Nobody really knows what to expect for their first year at the RWB JetSki Regatta. At least, our group didn’t. All we knew was that it was a stand up jet ski get-together in Parker, Arizona, about 40 miles south of Lake Havasu. So, what is it exactly?

RWB (formerly known as the Poker Run) is an annual stand up jet ski event held at Pirates Den Resort in Parker. Events included are a slalom course, parts race, freestyle competition, all-day raffles, giveaways, and of course the Poker Run itself. Raffle prizes range anywhere from shirts, Jettrim products, artwork, and most importantly, the customized raffle jet ski. All of the proceeds are donated to local charities.

The actual Poker Run itself occurs on Saturday. The objective is to ride your jet ski from one designated stop along the Colorado River to the next, while collecting poker chips at every spot along the way. Once you’ve collected from all five stops, you ride back to Pirates Den Resort to turn in your chips where you receive a poker hand. The individuals with the best and worst hand win a special prize. The event begins in the morning and keeps going until the late afternoon. What you will experience along the way is up to you!

Having attended for the last three years in a row, I have come up with some recommendations and tips from my experience.

#1 Prepare for the HEAT!

Make sure you’re prepared for some heat! Every year I have attended, it’s been COOKING! One year we experienced it at 113F degrees! I would highly recommend bringing canopies, extra water, and if you have a trailer or RV with air conditioning that’s a huge bonus (especially if you are sensitive to heat). It is not a bad idea to make sure your skis aren’t frying in the sun for too long either.

#2 Bring water-proof protection for your personal belongings

Bring something that can keep your basic belongings waterproof. Walmart and Amazon carry reasonably priced bags and lock boxes that serve great for riding on the water. When you’re riding from bar to bar on the Colorado River, you want to feel confident that your money and ID are safe and dry. Bonus if you can fit your cell phone in the container, you never know when you might have ski trouble and need to get picked up at one of the stops!

#3 If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong

One of the best parts about attending RWB is the welcoming group of people. The easy-going vibe generates interactions with people from all ski models and age groups, allowing you to meet many new people. Everyone is there for the same reason, to hang out with good friends and ride jet skis. There’s no serious race or competition, just an opportunity for a good time. Enjoy every moment; it goes by way too fast.


For more the event schedule and more info go to:

Photo credit: Shannon Byrd, BJ's Performance & Mike Kemp

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