Video | Detroit’s OABI PaddleFest

Video | Detroit’s OABI PaddleFest

When thinking about the city of Detroit, SUP is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, little did you know there is a growing community of paddlers in America’s Motor City. In fact, the SUP community is so large that every August, it holds its own SUP festival—the OABI Beach Fest.

OABI is an acronym for Once Around Belle Isle, which is the course for the 7-mile paddle race in the international waters between Windsor, Canada and Detroit, Michigan. In 2012, this event began as an underground race with roughly 25 U.S. and Canadian paddlers taking part. Fast-forward three years and the event has grown exponentially into an all-day celebration of SUP.

This year, in addition to the race there was live music, a beach festival, SUP vendors and the newbie-friendly Moosejaw Paddlerama (With a name like that, it’s bound to be a good time). The Paddlerama aimed at introducing new paddlers to SUP with classes and demo boards. So check out this video that recap’s all the action from SUP’s unlikely paddle destination, Detroit.

Visiting Michigan? Explore our nifty travel guides, 30 Lakes in 30 Days and the Urban Paddle Guide, to hone in on the can’t-miss paddling destinations.