By Mike Tavares and Haley Mills

Now that winter is long gone in the southeast, the Boardworks Whitewater Tour is under way. The first competition/festival along the way is always fun because you get to shake off all of the winter blues and get back into the swing of things, and this year started with a bang. With the introduction of the Boardworks Tour this year, there was a ton of excitement in the air as we arrived in Alabama.

The Alabama Mountain Games has been going on for years and is by far the best display of outdoor sports that Alabama has to offer. Located near Lookout and Sand Mountains in Alabama, the Games showcase an area of the south that is often overlooked. With steep creeks, great surf waves, and warm water, this area is truly a gem of the south. The sport of SUP is starting to make its mark in this area and the Boardworks Tour gave it a kick-start for the 2012 season.

This year we saw a number of new things at the Games. Great turnout for Demos on the Boardworks and Badfish boards, the first ever BoarderCross race in Alabama, and a 5-mile downriver that got people very excited for this new and exciting sport. This was the perfect complement to the already established activities at the Games, such as freestyle kayaking, mountain biking and disk golf.

This was an exciting and fresh start for the Boardworks whitewater and inland tour this year. We are excited to showcase the most diverse product line of SUP boards available. The cool thing about the tour is that we can bring the sport of SUP to any type of water we find along the way. Bringing boards in every different category gives us the diversity to get anyone on the water. The Alabama games showed people that whether you are paddling whitewater, flatwater, or moving current, the sport of SUP has a place on the water.

The next stop along the Tour will be the Natahala Outdoor Center's spring Shootout and Demo days. We are very excited to offer demo's and friendly competitions at one of the southeast's greatest rivers and outfitter locations. Keep your eyes peeled for more info leading up to the NOC Shootout, or better yet, come see us and paddle all the Boardworks models on a great river!

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