Montreal stand-up paddlers take on Lachine Rapids
MTL SUP FEST event brings water sport enthusiasts together on shores of Lasalle
A groups of paddlers took to the Lachine Rapids Saturday as part of MTL SUP FEST.
The weekend-long event takes place off the shores of Lasalle and included a stand-up paddleboard race.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a sport that combines paddling with surfing, meaning the rider doesn't necessarily have to catch a wave to get around.
Along with the races, the event offers lessons, activities for kids and free trials of SUP Water Polo and even SUP Yoga.
One of the organizers, a local group called Kayak Sans Frontieres, is hoping to encourage beginners to get their feet wet.
The company's founder, Hugo Lavictoire, says part of the goal is to reacquaint Montrealers with the Saint Lawrence River.
"The water quality is cleaner than people think, and it's more accessible also. So we want to make people realize they have this jewel just beside their house so they should take advantage of it," he said.
The trend of stand-up paddleboarding has been growing in Montreal and abroad.
Seen as a future candidate for the Olympic program, the governing bodies of surfing and canoeing have already started to squabble about who will be responsible for regulating it.
Pierre-Philippe Loiselle, who teaches SUP full-time, took first place in the chicken race.
He says the best part of paddleboarding for him is the versatility.
"What makes it the most fun for me is that it's not just one thing. You know, I can go down the Lachine Rapids, I can surf ocean waves [and] river waves, I can race."
With files from Simon Nakonechny