Montreal stand-up paddlers take on Lachine Rapids

The weekend-long MTL SUP FEST event takes place off the shores of Lasalle and included a stand-up paddleboard race.

MTL SUP FEST event brings water sport enthusiasts together on shores of Lasalle

Stand-up paddleboarders competed in the chicken race Saturday afternoon. (CBC)

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 is a growing trend in Montreal and internationally. (CBC)

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.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a combination of surfing and paddling. (CBC)

One of the organizers, a local group called Kayak Sans Frontieres, is hoping to encourage beginners to get their feet wet.

The event also features events for kids and families. (CBC)

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 event brought paddlers from across the province to take in a beautiful day on the shores of Lasalle. (CBC)

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.

The event brought out water sports enthusiasts for a series of races, activities and free lessons. (CBC)

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."

Kayakers and paddlers navigated the Lachine Rapids Saturday during a series of races. (CBC)

With files from Simon Nakonechny