It is pretty rewarding when you decide to go out of your comfort zone and follow your friends advice and go with them to the lake. Last summer I was presented with the idea of going to a local lake and going paddleboarding. While I am a Colorado native, my family was never the family at the lake on the weekends. So, this concept of planning a lake day was totally new to me…as well as the whole Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) craze that blossomed through out COVID.
What Is SUP?
Stand-up paddleboarding is an outdoor water sports activity where a rider stands up on a large board and uses a paddle to move through the water. Stand-up paddleboarding, also known for the acronym SUP, is one of the fastest-growing boardsports in the world. SUP includes the use of arms while kneeling, lying, or standing on a narrow and long paddleboard to move around in the water.
Full disclosure – I have not stood up on my board yet…I do hope to gain enough confidence to achieve standing this summer but for now, I absolutely love paddling while kneeling or sitting. The core and arm workout is fantastic and so worth it when we all anchor up and enjoy some time out on the lake. This is a sport that can literally be for every body!
Have You Tried Stand-Up Paddleboarding Yet?
Through out my divorce recovery I have been challenged by many of my friends to try new things and just like hiking, I found a new hobby in those challenges. This whole SUP thing was foreign to me. I had seen paddleboards out on the lakes when driving by but I thought it was a sport that was too difficult for me to even consider. I was wrong.
Today, I am sharing some general information about Stand-Up Paddleboarding with you, in hopes you will take the challenge and give it a go! The first time I was out on a paddleboard last summer, my friend let me just sit on her board while she paddled us around the lake. But early this summer I had the opportunity to try it on my own and a few days later I bought myself a Mother’s Day present of an inflatable SUP!
We are about 6 weeks into summertime and I have enjoyed my board may times and I cannot wait to make more trips to the lake before it gets too chilly. I have a lot to learn still but I am hoping that come next summer I will feel comfortable enough to take the kids with me too! For right now, these moments with friends on the lake are fantastic for my kid-free weekends and I find it very therapeutic.
Where Should You SUP?
I am sure it is different in every state but for our lake trips we have gone to Bear Creak Lake/Big Soda Lake and Union Reservoir. My suggestion is to find a Facebook group in your area for Paddleboarding and you will instantly find some suggestions. Before heading out to any location make sure you check what park fees you might need to pay and what rules they have for the vessels you are bringing with you.
Some of the more natural lakes hidden in the mountains look absolutely breathtaking but so far I have stayed pretty close to the metro area of Denver. If you are looking for a thrill it I have seen a lot of of people doing river boarding…yikes! I like a good challenge but that is not for me.
How To Start SUP?
You do not have to buy a SUP to give it a try. Find a friend who might have one for you to test out or many of the lakes and reservoirs give you the opportunity to rent a SUP for a few hours. Before buying your own, give it a try. You might be like me and order one just a few days after trying it or you might find out that it isn’t something you enjoy.
Gather a PFD, swimwear and some snacks and head to the lake! Go for it! If you are like me, you need some friends in your corner to make the jump into something like SUP so make a plan to go with some friends. Be watchful of the weather…go early before the afternoon wind and storms hit. Relax, bungee up to your friends in the lake and enjoy the scenery after a nice paddle around the lake.
Mostly, just make a date to go…give it a try. I have found that when at the lake there is no expectation for you to be perfect at this sport. People are so kind and the day on the water is refreshing.
Quick Must Haves for SUP Adventures
- Paddleboard – inflatable is my preference
- PFD – personal floatation device
- Dry bag
- Waterproof phone case
- Portable speaker
- Bungee Cords with Carabiners
- Water bottle
- Water shoes or flip flops
- Drink Holder
While this is not a complete list of items you might want to have on board with you, it is a great start. Do keep in mind that each lake might have different rules and regulations when it comes to PFDs and alcohol. I plan on doing a deep dive into my favorite items I use for paddleboarding soon. Keep an eye out for that article!
What new challenges have you accepted this summer?
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