Paddle the desert — no ocean required

The essence of Hawaii comes to Tempe on Saturday, April 12, for the Tempe Town Lake Outrigger Canoe Association’s ninth annual Regatta.

Outrigger teams from California, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Arizona will compete in a full day of sprints in six-man canoes and, for the first time this year, on stand up paddleboards (SUP’s).

“We have lots of cross-participation, particularly between SUP and Outrigger. Those who paddle Outrigger with a team know how SUP can add to an individual’s training, while paddling with others in an Outrigger helps the SUP paddler’s technique and timing,” says TTLOCA race director John Selman.

The association has turned to northeast Mesa shop No Snow Stand Up Paddleboards to help organize and train a SUP division.

“Developing a SUP race scene here is a dream come true, and we couldn’t be more honored to team up with TTLOCA to unite paddle communities,” says shop owner Court Fetter.

To sign up, register online or print forms at ttloca.com. For information, call (480) 807-6787 or email nosnowsup@gmail.com.

The event is a big draw for spectators, who will find hula dancers, Hawaiian music and Hawaiian food in the grassy park areas on the north shore near the marina and boat ramps.

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