The mercury was pushing 100 degrees Sunday afternoon with nary a cloud in the sky. And if you can't be in the bleachers watching a ballgame and quaffing a beer on a day like that, then watching college kids do somersaults on man-made waves on a man-made lake isn't a bad backup plan.
It was the final day of the college wakeboard championships at Lake Las Vegas, one of those niche events that fly under the radar here practically every weekend; one of those events that, if ABC still had "Wide World of Sports," might be the perfect bridge between Acapulco cliff diving and wristwrestling from Petaluma, Calif., or a demolition derby and European barrel jumping, or the world bobsledding championships and Irish hurling.
Or between anything and professional log rolling.
It was Arizona State vs. Chico State of California, which is how it should be at the college wakeboard championships.
(Actually, I made up that last part. But the public-address announcer, who like everybody else was sporting a tank top, flip-flops and a ballcap without a crease in the bill, said these were the top-ranked teams of the 52 schools that compete in college wakeboarding, and I believed him.)
In addition to Arizona State and eventual winner Chico State, last year's champion South Florida, Texas A&M, Sacramento State, North Texas, Georgia and Cal State Northridge were here catching waves and catching rays and catching hell from the front-desk staff, for strolling through the lobby barefoot.
They were also here, along with everybody gathered on the shoreline, to drink mass quantities of Red Bull in those little cans that pack 80 mg of caffeine into 8.46 fluid ounces.
There was concern that the Chico State fans driving home afterward might blow right past the Chico exit and not realize it until they hit the Oregon border.
Wakeboarding is a relatively new sport, having originated in the late 1980s. It combines elements of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing along with - based on my untrained eye - lots of fabulous babes in bikinis. This is why dudes in baggy swimsuits believe wakeboarding is way better than Irish hurling.
I am told wakeboarding also is the quintessential family sport. It would be just like soccer, if all the goals in soccer were scored on bicycle kicks.
My only beef with it is that none of the teams wore Aquaman uniforms, and the DJ spinning tunes from the back of the Red Bull urban assault vehicle did not play "Sloop John B" or, for that matter, anything written by Brian Wilson.
"If you're a teenager, you don't want your parents going with you to the mall or to the skate park," said Stuart Litjens of Boulder Boats, one of the event's sponsors. "But the whole family goes to the lake."
Part of the reason Mom and Dad feel welcome among their wakeboard offspring is because somebody must drive and somebody must remember to bring sunscreen and make sandwiches. Plus, you need a boat.
The Access A-22 used to create the wakes on Lake Las Vegas - nothing says Earth Day to me like a powerboat belching marine fuel - costs about $60,000, while a tricked-out wakeboard can run as high as $800.
So behind every successful Gilligan on the college wakeboarding circuit, there usually is a Thurston Howell III and a Lovey Howell. Only the Loveys look nothing at all like Natalie Schafer.
I was introduced to Tina Scott, who is 44 and has a tummy flatter than Nebraska. She's the mother of ASU Wake Devil Todd Scott. The Scotts are from Rifle, Colo., where it gets cold enough for Irish hurling.
This is one of the reasons Todd Scott wanted to go to Arizona State.
The other reasons, said his mom, were the fabulous babes in bikinis.
Tina Scott said gas for the family powerboat costs $4.19 a gallon and that a Pac-12 education costs around $30,000 a year, mostly because the athletic administration in Tempe insists on giving most of the scholarships to football and basketball players who underachieve.
Todd Scott was the first one on the water Sunday, and the first one into it. But he was pulled out of the murky depths by a fabulous babe wearing a bikini, and thus he appeared much less bedeviled than ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler after the Boise State defense put a pitchfork in him at the most recent Las Vegas bowl.
Chico State's Eric McFadyen was next. He nailed a backroll and a stunt you might see at Cypress Gardens in Florida called a krypt - described to me by one of the Jeff Spicoli lookalikes as "a heelside raley to a backside 180." I nodded as if he wasn't speaking Greek. The public-address announcer wearing the flip-flops said he hadn't seen one of those in quite a while, like since "way back in the early '90s."
That was my cue to turn my ballcap back around to the front, the way a man my age should wear it while waiting for Irish hurling to begin on ESPN Classic.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.