Riverbound Sports Paddle Company – Tempe, Arizona
Riverbound Sports Paddle Company 1415 E. University Drive, #A-112, Tempe, Arizona 85281 www.riverboundsports.com Phone: 480-463-6686; Toll-free 855-777-6683 Hours: Open every day from 9:00 – 6:00. During the winter they are closed on Sundays from November 1st – March 1st. Occasionally, the shop may close for major events or races, but that’s pretty rare. Their eStore is open 24/7. Rentals: Yes Lessons: Yes
About Riverbound Sports Paddle Company
Yes, there is water in the desert! Riverbound Sports became an SIC Maui Glide Center in 2016 and will be hosting regular demo clinics throughout the year at different lakes around the Greater Phoenix area. The shop also host a variety of classes from SUP Yoga at local fitness center pools, to paddleboarding lessons at local lakes, as well as SUP fitness and paddle tours on the desert lakes surrounding the Valley of the Sun. All outings are posted on the shop’s events calendar which is continuously updated from March through October. The shop also schedule a series of “accountability paddles” starting each spring. The gatherings take place a couple of times a week at the local Tempe Town Lake. It’s a non-hosted event, and anyone that wants to join the group is always welcome. Email Riverbound Sports Paddle Company at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to their events updates newsletter.
The shop sells a wide selection of paddleboards from popular brands, including: SIC Maui, Boga Boards, Lahui Kai, BlkBox, Yolo, BruSurf, Amundson, Fanatic and POP. Paddles are available from Quickblade, Kialoa Puakea and ZRE. In addition to all of the safety equipment and accessories necessary to ensure you have the best SUP experience, Riverbound Sports Paddle Company also carry inflatable kayaks, Hamboards, longboards, and land paddles. They also sell an assortment of cold drinks and snacks. The water is always free! The shop is truly all about promoting the SUP lifestyle – on and off the water.
Their customer base is a diverse collection of happy people! The shop caters to all age groups and experience levels – from people getting on a board for the first time and those that are looking to add to their quiver. Unlike SUP shops along the coast, Riverbound Sports Paddle Company is located in an area where paddleboarding is still viewed as something relatively new. With a little education and testimonials, the shop is building the community one board at a time.
The owners are very serious about delivering a high level of customer service and quality merchandise. They want their customers to be 100% happy with their investment and are careful to listen to their needs and match them with the best options. Towards this end, shop offers a rental credit program which gives people a chance to try paddleboarding before they buy, then apply a rental credit toward their purchase.
Local Paddling Scene
It’s no lie, Riverbound Sports Paddle Company is located in the desert, but there a numerous lakes and rivers in a close proximity that make stand up paddleboarding an easy sport to pick up. The closest body of water to the shop is Tempe Town Lake which is located about 1.5 miles away. The municipal lake is just over 2-miles long and is a great place to get in a lap of two with an easy on/off at the marina or Boat Beach.
In addition, there are five awesome desert lakes each of which is within a 30-60 minute drive from the shop. In order of proximity, Granite Reef is 19 miles, Saguaro Lake is 33 miles, Canyon Lake is 40 miles, Bartlett Lake and Lake Pleasant are both 47 miles. All are predominantly flat-water, however, wind and boat chop can play a big factor and will make an outing more challenging. The shop’s staff is happy to recommend their favorite launch and paddle spots. For those more adventurous, there are amazing reservoirs up along the Mogollon Rim nestled in pine forests and some white water action on the Verde River.
Where to Launch
Each of the lakes surrounding the city are under the authority of different jurisdictions – the USDA Forestry Service, Maricopa County and the City of Tempe. Depending on where paddlers plan to visit, the shop can provide as much information as possible on what to expect.
Tonto National Park is under the authority of the US Department of Agriculture. Access to the lakes requires a Tonto Pass Day Pass for your car – not the vessel – which is $8 when purchased at a Tonto Pass vendor, or on-site for $12. The lakes under Tonto are Granite Reef, Saguaro, Canyon, Bartlett, Apache, Roosevelt and Horseshoe. Riverbound Sports Paddle Company is an authorized Tonto Pass Vendor and can provide instructions to customers.
Lake Pleasant is operated by Maricopa County. The county charges an entrance fee for the vehicle and the vessel. Typically, it’s around $6 for the car and $2 per paddleboard.
Tempe Town Lake is operated under the City of Tempe. Use of the lake requires a permit for the board of $25 per year for residents and $50 for non-residents. All of the shop’s rental boards are permitted. The facility does not charge for parking.
Where to Eat
The shop is located less than a mile east of Arizona State University. There are a number of great places to get coffee or enjoy a post-paddle meal and beverage. Cartel Coffee Lab and Kona 13 Coffee are located nearby and offer really good coffee and light breakfast items. The Chop House has a great menu of healthy, organic and vegan options and juice. A post-paddle eatery to put some meat back on your bones and really good beer is the Four Peaks Brewery located right behind the shop. Salut Wine Bar is located nearby as well and has some great weekend specials with a dog-friendly patio.
In the fall, Tempe Town Lake hosts the Okie O’Connor Hot Head Regatta which is a combination of OCs and SUP. A Spring Challenge has been held on the lake in previous years, but work on the lake has postponed or cancelled the event for 2016. The shop hopes to host an event later in 2016 at one of the desert lakes, but is still in the logistics and planning stages as of this writing.
Map of the Area