If you’re looking for a paddle sports race, beginner friendly paddlerama, a vendor village, local food trucks, craft beer and live music on a stage – all on and around Belle Isle utilizing our own Detroit River – you’re in luck.

“OABI is such a unique event because it blends Detroit City culture, beach lifestyle culture, and waterman culture all in an incredible setting.  With the food trucks, craft brews, incredible bands and vendor village, OABI offers something really special to SUP racers, casual paddlers and the general public,” said Matt Lennert, OABI race director.

So what’s in store on August 13? Here’s what organizers have planned.

The Opportunity Detroit OABI race is a 7-mile paddle race for standup paddleboards, kayaks, and surfskis around Belle Isle.  This year, racers will be able to enjoy refreshments and relax inside the exclusive Racers Lounge, sponsored by Marley Beverage.  The men’s and women’s SUP winners will each receive a Detroit-manufactured bike courtesy of Detroit Bikes.


For less experienced paddlers not ready to brave the challenging course, Moosejaw Paddlerama offers beginner-friendly paddle classes, demos, and games on the beach.

There will be a beach party with New Belgium as the sole beer sponsor along with food trucks Detroit BBQ Co., Cheese Street, El Charro and Drifter Coffee.

Live performances from rhythm and blues by legendary soul artist Lee Fields & The Expressions, an all-vinyl DJ set from Eastside Jon and a blend of global rhythms and indie-pop melodies from The Ragbirds.

A tentative schedule of the day’s events is as follows:

  • 8:30 AM Doors – House Music

  • 9:45 AM Race Safety Meeting

  • 10:00 AM Race starts

  • 12:00 PM – 4:45 PM Paddlerama

  • 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Eastside Jon (DJ Set)

  • 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM Awards Ceremony

  • 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM The Ragbirds

  • 5:45 PM – 7:00 PM Lee Fields & The Expressions

  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM Eastside Jon (DJ Set)

“It’s thrilling to see how OABI has grown from a friendly paddle meet-up into a regional destination for paddlers,” said organizer Joe Choma, owner of Grand Circus Media, a producer of the event. “Belle Isle and Detroit are such a special location for the event – a non-buoyed race course through international waters and one of the most ironic beach settings in the shadows of the iconic Detroit skyline.  We are so proud to be able to showcase a much different side Detroit.”

Now, different parts of the event have different ticket prices, so pay attention…


Live music, local & regional vendors, games on the beach, access to food trucks and New Belgium Beer and full bar.

  • Advance $15


It’s a 7-mile race around Belle Isle.

Includes:  race entry, Paddlerama participation, and entry to beach festival.  Racers also receive a racer shirt, gift bag, and exclusive racers’ lounge access.  The men’s and women’s SUP winners will each win a Detroit-manufactured bike courtesy of Detroit Bikes.

  • Advance $50

  • Day of event $70


Access to paddle classes, demos, and games on the beach. No experience required.

Includes:  Paddlerama participation and entry to beach festival.Paddlerama ticket purchasers will have the opportunity to pre-register for two classes, including Intro to SUP, Paddle Technique, SUP Yoga, Canal Tours, Intro to Kayak and more. These classes are subject to change and limited purchaser will receive an email as the event draws closer with instructions for pre-registration.

  • Advance $40

  • Day of event  $50

Here’s the website for all the festivities.

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