Grand Valley uses stand-up paddleboards for unique water adventure
January 19, 2015
RAPID CREEK CYCLES & SPORTS
$40 for plastic, $50 for inflatable
Classes and shuttles available
237 S. Main St., Palisade
RIM ROCK ADVENTURES
$50 for full-day rental, $35 for half-day
Shuttle services available
927 Hwy. 340, Fruita
SUMMIT CANYON MOUNTAINEERING
$50 per day, includes pump, paddle and PFD
461 Main St., Grand Junction
Cool water splashing, fresh air and sunshine adds up to a typical day on a stand-up paddleboard (SUPs for short). Test your balance and core strength with every stroke on Grand Valley's lakes and rivers.
"Anyone can do it," Summit Canyon Mountaineering employee Jeff McKenna said. "The main goal is to get out there, try something new and have fun while doing so."
As a first timer, experts say to try still waters first, locally found at Connected Lakes State Park. Other calm-water spots include Highline Lake State Park, Grand Mesa's hundreds of lakes, Corn Lake, or Fruita State Park.
"We would typically recommend an inflatable board to start as they are super fun," McKenna said.
Summit Canyon Mountaineering also offers a demo program. A board demo costs $50 per day, with extended discounts for multiple days.
SUPs are generally larger than a surfboard for calmer waters. Sizes range between 9-12 feet long and 20-40 inches wide.
"There is no right or wrong fit to the board," McKenna said. "If you are larger or plan on taking gear and/or a dog and kids, a wider and longer board will work."
Pricing for boards range, too — $600-$1,600 for retail. Grab a life jacket, paddle, proper clothing depending on water conditions, coolers and more before hitting the water.
HOW TO STAND
If it's your first time out on a board, stay calm and relax.
Place the board in the water and kneel behind the center point. From the kneeling position, get a feel for balance, replace your knees with feet, and stand. Have a wide stance and bend at the knees.
If you're scared to move, use the paddle to press against the board; then adjust to get comfortable.
To move, dig your paddle into the water. Instead of using your arms, bend at the waist and use the torso to paddle — push back, release the stroke at the ankle and bring your paddle to the front and repeat.
If you need a break, it's perfectly acceptable to sit or kneel.