4.5 years ago when I started paddleboarding in Colorado there were only a handful of people in the state doing it. SUP pioneers in Colorado like Earl Richmond, Aaron Koch, Ken Hoeve and Charlie Macarthur (to name a few) were some of the first Colorado locals to begin to try to try the boards on whitewater. At that time, there were only a few inflatable lines, traditional epoxy ocean boards and some foam top ones as well.
Being a river guide for River Runners put me in the middle of the Buena Vista SUP epicenter and thanks to the persistence of Aaron Koch who now paddles for NRS and leads expeditions in Mexico with his company Kayak Huasteca , I got on a board in the BV pond and got hooked.
The truth is that Colorado is a place where migrant souls gather, appear and then stay because of their active nature and affinity for the outdoors. Many of us come from coastal communities and come from backgrounds where water played an instrumental part of our early lives and development. Growing up in Miami, FL, I was one of these atypical Colorado transplants. SUP reconnects us with our coastal roots and helps us experience the mountain lakes, landscapes and rivers in ways that our souls have been longing to attain.
At the beginning many people said that the emergent sport of SUP in the rivers was too niche and a quick fad. International stats show the opposite and outfitters like Stand Up Paddle Colorado are trying to help redefine what it means to recreate in the summers Colorado. People are used to standing in the winter when they ski and snowboard but sit in the summer when they raft, kayak, fish, atv, bike ride, dirt bike etc.. Join the Stand Up/ SUP Colorado movement where it continues to be defined by outfitters, retail stores, individuals, meetup groups, pros and local manufacturers like Hala Gear out of Steamboat Springs, Badfish out of Salida and Carve Industries out of Lyons.
The purpose of this blog, in its new incarnation, serves various ends. Obviously we want to expose the state and world to what we do. But what we are most excited about is being a resource. There are many conversations going on and many activities out there that we can share with you. Colorado, and similar inland or mountain communities are looking for advice with boards, paddles, river sections to paddle, flat water locations, races, events, park and play spots or all of the above. We promise to be open and speak frankly from our combined experiences as paddlers, guides, small business owners, environmental stewards, consumers, aficionados and always…from the perspective of spreading the stoke and pushing the sport forward. We look forward to sharing and potentially paddling together.
Javier Placer (Stand Up Paddle Colorado)