Denverites have a new favorite pastime. You might have witnessed it on the lakes all summer long. SUP has caught on and, if you haven’t tried it yet, you really ought to grab a board and head to the nearest lake before the summer winds down and fall starts to shed it's leaves.
Stand Up Paddling, or SUP as the regulars call it, originated in Hawai'i in the 1960’s. Surf instructors would stand on their boards to take photographs for their students and professionals soon realized the balance required to sustain that upright position was an excellent training method. In Hawaiian, SUP is called “Hoe he’e nalu” which, directly translated, means “paddle”-“surf”-“wave”. The activity was allegedly introduced to the mainland by Vietnam Veteran, Rick Thomas and well, the rest is history.
Here’s where it’s happening all around Denver so you can join in:
- · Aurora Reservoir - 5800 S Powhaton Rd, Aurora, CO 80016
- · Bear Creek Lake - 15600 W. Morrison Rd, Lakewood, CO 80465
- · Chatfield Reservoir - 11500 N Roxborough Park Rd, Littleton, CO 80125
- · Evergreen Lake - 29612 Upper Bear Creek Rd Evergreen, CO 80439
- · Quincy Reservoir - 18350 E Quincy Ave, Aurora, CO 80015
- · Sloan’s Lake - 1700 S Sheridan Blvd, Denver, CO 80232
You can rent a paddle board at various locations around Denver. Take it slow to start while you gain your balance, though keep in mind that a little speed will actually aid you in staying upright. The learning curve is not a tough one; most people are fairly confident in less than an hour.
And, to dispel the myth, it’s not just easy coasting on still waters, although I recommend starting that way. People are catching waves and rapids around the world, including on Clear Creek and the Arkansas River. You may even spot someone doing SUP Yoga, or taking their dog out for an adventure.
SUP truly is the latest water-sport phenomenon. There’s even a magazine dedicated to the sport: http://www.supthemag.com/.
So now when people ask you "What’s SUP?", you can answer!