Being outside for most of us is therapeutic. It’s an invisible draw, the reason so many of us moved to, or refused to leave, Colorado in the first place. I crave the moment when I can just go outdoors and be without any conflicts or remnants from the office trailing behind me. I know this is why I cherish my yoga practice, and the vast amount of outdoor yoga offered in Denver. So when I heard that there was a new craze in the yoga world and it was on the water I had to check it out. SUP is the latest and greatest craze to hit the outdoor sports arena; and it is amazingly fun. SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboarding. It is the love child of a surfboard and a kayak. These giant inflatable boards allow riders to stand tall and cruise a top the water with one long paddle for momentum and steering.
This new sport has caused such a craze that it sparked The Waterman League to organize the 2013 Stand Up World Series. This global tour gives athletes the opportunity to complete on a professional platform. The world tour just concluded its sixth stage last weekend in Chicago and is moving on to San Francisco. If you are feeling up for the challenge registration is still open to competitors. Jump on the band wagon now and maybe by this time next year you could be competing yourself.
Stand Up Paddleboarding may look intimidating from a far but the boards themselves are very stable. I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t immediately chucked into the lake on my first attempt. The boards are comparative to large surfboards and have fixed rudders on the bottom to aid in stability. The top of the board is covered in grip tape so it’s not an adult slip‘n’slide.
There are two main locations to try Stand Up Paddleboarding near Denver, Evergreen Lake or Cherry Creek Reservoir. I choose Evergreen Lake because the views are amazing and the rentals are more budget friendly at only $15 per hour. Getting to Evergreen Lake is almost effortless. Take I-70 West till exit 252 for Evergreen Parkway. Exit here and follow Evergreen Parkway for 7.5 miles. This road runs right into Evergreen Lake with the Boat House and rentals on the west side of the lake. If you want to take a SUP yoga class you need to register for the class online with Denver Paddle Company. Classes are one hour long and focus on traditional flows with longer holds in positions along with the obvious emphasis on balance. I would highly recommend wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting wet, because at one point everyone falls into the lake. The class was amazing and the instructor gave a stellar introduction into the sport beforehand.
After conquering the class we headed out for a cruise down the lake. The hand paddle has the same structure as a traditional kayak paddle, yet cut in half and elongated. That being said you do have to alternate sides to avoid the continuous zig-zag. Stand Up Paddling is the ultimate ab work out with twists and balance in play simultaneously your middle section gets full attention.
Once you gain some speed the balance is relatively easy and the SUPs hold their momentum, we surpassed our friends in kayaks with ease, and I was hooked. I can imagine that using a SUP board down a river or in an ocean current would be far more difficult, as the few waves that did come our way almost threw us in the drink, but overall I had a blast and definitely caught SUP fever.
- Evergreen Lake
- Cherry Creek Reservoir
- Evergreen Lake – 30 Miles West of Denver
- Cheery Creek Reservoir – 15 Miles South of the Capital of Denver
- Most rentals start at 1 hour minimum
- Adult SUP Rental $15-20 per hour
- Youth SUP Rental $15 per hour
- Children Ride-a-long $10
- Yes – Cheery Creek Marina
- $5-15 additional to rental fee
- $60-80 for 1-2 hour classes
- Yoga, SUP Instructional Lessons, Group Rates, SUP Boot Camp, SUP Pilates, SUP Fitness Classes
- Social Scene, Dog Friendly, Photo-OP
- Town of Evergreen, Evergreen Lake, Hiking, Picnicking, City of Cherry Creek, Denver Paddle Company