Summit County paddleboard tours now offered through Frisco’s Stand Up Paddle Colorado
At 7:30 a.m. Lake Dillon looks like glass. Most boats are still docked. Morning mist rises from the reservoir, as ospreys and eagles search for an early catch. Gliding across the water on a stand-up paddleboard, even Interstate 70 feels miles away. It’s hardly surprising paddleboarding is on the rise in Summit County. With lifted restrictions, Lake Dillon seems to be on its way to catching up with other parts of the country where the sport has blossomed. And with a new permit, the guys at Stand Up Paddle Colorado are looking to help.
The paddleboarding business picked up this season, with local outfitters renting boards and the wetsuit requirement being lifted, but there was a lack of instruction, said Javier Placer, co-owner of Stand Up Paddle Colorado.
That all changed as of August. His company, thanks to a recently approved permit, is now offering stand-up paddleboard lessons and tours through the Frisco Bay Marina.
“It’s a fantastic place to get into the sport,” Placer said.
His company, re-branded last summer as Stand Up Paddle Colorado, already had a permit to run tours on the Upper Colorado, near State Bridge.
“We set ourselves up to be the premier SUP outfitter in Colorado,” said Placer. “Just to be another rafting outfitter … I had no interest.”
He was successful enough to have seen a number of return customers this season, but “the river naturally intimidates some people,” he said.
So he and co-owner Scotty Stoughton set out to get permission to run tours on Lake Dillon last November. They were finally approved by the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee a few weeks ago.
Teaching on Dillon offers a natural progression that is less intimidating to those new to the sport, Placer said. And the setting is hard to match. “There’s great wildlife and amazing scenery.”
The new program isn’t just for beginners. Placer said they will work with all skill levels. Often those who teach themselves how to paddleboard do so in a manner that isn’t as efficient as it could be.
When done correctly, paddleboarding can be a full-body workout that incorporates leg and core muscles.
“It’s one of the best overall exercising options that there are,” he said. “If you’re using the right technique.”
Placer said he sees a lot of new paddlers only paddle with their shoulders, rather than incorporating the rest of their body in the paddling motion.
The owners of Stand Up Paddle Colorado are already hoping to further expand their presence on Lake Dillon. This late-season start is almost a trial run.
“We’re still just scratching the surface of what’s possible,” said Placer.
They have plans to start paddleboard yoga sessions near the marina this season, and their ideas for the future include anything from more advanced clinics to racing strategy lessons.
For now, they’re offering daily guided two-hour tours for $75 (includes equipment), $60 if a customer brings a board from somewhere else. For $45 they offer a one-hour paddling clinic. Tours are scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. daily, or later based on availability.
A typical tour will start with 45 minutes of instruction, but Placer said they adjust lessons based on skill level. Tours are offered in the morning, because the wind typically picks up at around 10:30 a.m. making the water choppy.
More information is available at http://www.standuppaddlecolorado.com or by calling (970) 453-7873
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