Even if you haven’t yet tried stand up paddle boarding–or SUP–for yourself, chances are you’ve heard of it. The water sport has seen explosive popularity in the last few years, and there are plenty of reasons people are hooked. With our mountain lakes, many of Colorado’s state parks offer breathtaking opportunities for SUPing. If you’re not yet convinced that paddle boarding is worth a shot, check out our four favorite things about the sport:
1. The views are unparalleled.
Standing up on the water offers a completely different perspective than kayaking, which situates adventurers a bit lower. Views while SUPing are also unobstructed by boat edges or bulky equipment. The vantage point offers an opportunity to peer into clear waters and take in a 360 degree snapshot of our beautiful parks!
2. You control the intensity.
Hardcore adventure enthusiasts find endless challenges SUPing on river rapids or in racing events, but there’s plenty of opportunity for any skill level. While it may look like a precarious pastime and it’s easy to get caught up on the likelihood of falling in, the learning curve is relatively quick; you’ll be gliding like a pro before you know it. The sport is a test of balance, but with a nice wide stance and constant, controlled movement across the water, success in stand up paddle boarding is obtainable for most anyone.
3. It’s great exercise.
Besides the obvious training of balance and core strength, SUPing also strengthens muscles in the arms, back and shoulders as you pull yourself across the water! Cranking up your speed can also yield some awesome cardio work. Since it’s low-impact, it’s a great exercise option for those with minor injuries, and for young children. Keep in mind that anyone age 12 or younger must wear a PFD at all times.
4. Overall, it’s a relatively cheap and easy way to get out on the water.
While boat and jet-ski rentals can beg a hefty price, paddle board rentals usually start around $25 for an hour or $50 for a whole day. Rentals generally include all the gear you need: board, paddle, and safety equipment (like a PFD). Check with your local vendor or park to be sure they rent out PFDs; law requires one PFD on board for every individual.
Remember to keep an eye on weather and wakes! Wearing your PFD is always the safest way to go, as conditions on the water can change quickly. For step-by-step instructions, more guidelines and information, and to find your nearest park with SUP opportunities, visit our paddle boarding pages.