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Friday, June 27, 2014
Lake Dillon expands paddleboard lesson, rental and tour offerings
Special to the Daily/Stand Up Paddle Colorado
Considered the fastest-growing water sport in the country, and already a fixture of many warm-weather climates, stand-up paddleboarding continues to gain popularity here in the High Country. In response to the increased demand, Dillon Marina officials announced this week that Stand Up Paddle Colorado will now offer a number of services through the marina, including rentals, lessons and tours. The company already offers tours and lessons out of the Frisco Bay Marina, in addition to its Upper Colorado River whitewater tours and lessons.
“We’re beyond excited to be operating out of the Dillon Marina this summer,” company co-founder Javier Placer said. “We see this as the beginning of a long and enjoyable relationship with the marina, the town and the community as a whole.”
Since restrictions requiring wetsuits were lifted last summer, a number of area outfitters have reported a growing demand for paddleboard rentals. Matti Wade, owner of the Ten Mile Creek Kayaks store in Frisco, said he’s seen a growth in sales and an increasing number of customers inquiring about the sport.
“It’s definitely picked up in the past years,” Wade said.
Placer credited the sport’s versatile nature and minimal learning curve for its increased popularity.
“You can have one craft that can fulfill many different applications,” he said. “You can use it on a reservoir. You can use it on a river. You can use it on the ocean.”
Whitewater paddleboarding also is on the rise in the state.
Placer said another factor in the sport’s growth is that it’s less intensive on the joints than other water sports, making it possible for people who no longer feel comfortable paddling a kayak or a raft to participate. A number of his associates are retired professional kayakers who have taken to whitewater paddleboarding.
Placer noted that he’s seen people of all ages take up paddleboarding.
“We’ve had 70-year-olds that have gone down the river,” he said, adding that his 9-year-old daughter is an adept paddler.
For Wade — an avid kayaker — paddleboarding offers a different feel. He described it as “walking on water” and said it also offers a full-body workout for those who want to paddle more aggressively.
As to the draw of paddling on Lake Dillon, Placer said it’s simple. “You’re pretty much paddling in a postcard.”
In addition to rentals, tours and lessons, Stand Up Paddle Colorado also will offer paddleboard yoga through Breckenridge-based Meta Yoga Studios.
Placer also hopes to start a local group in the near future to grow the stand-up paddle community and organize activities like group paddles on the lake.
In addition to Stand Up Colorado, area outfitters offering rentals include Kodi Rafting in Frisco, Alpine Sports in Breckenridge, the Frisco Bay Marina and Ten Mile Creek Kayaks.
Rates vary but one can expect to pay between $35-$75 dollars per rental depending on length of time and quality of equipment. Not all area outfitters offer overnight rental.