Paddling through the Dog Days of Summer
As the summer heat continues to boil, we can’t help but miss the sensation of gliding along the mountainside strapped in to our skis and snowboards. As skiers, we crave the balance and softness shredding requires. Yet as we all sit around counting down the days for the ski season to begin, there’s no better way to satisfy the craving than with a sport requiring somewhat similar skills—stand up paddle boarding.
Scattered throughout the Wasatch Range, you can find locals and tourists alike gliding across the numerous ponds, reservoirs and lakes. No need to watch from afar, it’s easy and fun for people of all ages! Even if you’ve never stepped foot on a paddleboard before, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Here are some quick tips to help you get started:
Get your gear! Whether you’re looking to make some long-term purchases, or just want to rent some gear for the day, make sure all of your equipment is fit for you. Sizes of boards are based on the paddler's weight and experience; so skilled guides at multiple retailers will be available to help find the perfect fit.
-Ski ‘n See’s ARCS Cottonwood location offers the biggest variety of stand up paddleboards from top-notch companies. They’ll help you find exactly what you need.
-Not only will the friendly, expert staff at Cole Sports help you with equipment, but they’ll let you in on their favorite spots or even connect you with a local SUP guide. They have you covered for all of your SUP needs in one convenient location.
- Also called the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” Bear Lake is recognized for the multitude of water sports available on the lake’s unique turquoise water. Experts at any of Bear Lake Fun’s rental locations will help you gear up and escape into majestic scenery of Northern Utah.
-Detours, located in Ogden Valley, is the prime sports equipment rental shop to get you started with paddle boarding. Locals love to take rental boards out to Pineview Reservoir, or just a short drive up to Causey Reservoir, where the “no motors” rule is a sure sign of a peaceful paddle experience.
For all those first-timers: kneeling on the board is a great way to practice balance before standing upright. Whether you're on your own or with a guide, get a feel for the board before you're up on two feet.
-If you’re not quite ready to go out on your own, Park City Paddle Company specializes in stand up paddleboard excursions, classes, and group events. With a focus on safety and a comfortable learning experience, guides are there to teach and train anyone from first-timers to experienced racers.
-Southern Utah is home to some of the most astounding landscape in the west. Outfitters at Moab Adventure Center will help you get suited up for one of their SUP Adventure tours through the calm stretches and beautiful canyons of the Colorado River.
Once you're ready to look like a pro: Take your balance to the next level with one of the many fitness and adventure classes that are offered on the water.
-Give Sup Yoga a try! Park City Yoga Adventures offers classes in the unique and majestic setting of the Homestead Crater, where water temperatures are rarely below 90 degrees. No better place to relax than the center of a 10,000-year-old crater.
-Park City SUP offers both yoga and PCSUP FIT classes seven days a week at Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park Ponds. Finding the perfect stance is important to keeping you upright and avoid any unpredicted swims (unless of course you intend to take a refreshing dip).
-For all you red-rock adrenaline seekers: Time to take it to the next level with Paddle Moab’s whitewater SUP trips. Strap on your helmet and life vest, and get ready to experience the thrills of paddle boarding through class II rapids on the scenic Colorado River. They also offer a variety of multi-day camping trips and private day tours.
Although this water may not be the frozen fluff we usually ache for, it’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy all Utah has to offer during the summer months. Enjoy!