SUPing – Having Fun Getting Fit

[May 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | By Kathryn R. Burke]

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing) is one of the fastest growing water sports and has become very popular here in Western Colorado. For most paddlers, it is also a low-impact exercise that offers one of the best complete body workouts for all ages and all body types. It’s not only an excellent core workout but also impacts the toes, legs, back, shoulders, arms, and neck, which all work together. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors, while you get in shape and stay in shape.

“SUPing is gentle and easy to do,” said Tim Patterson, owner of Rigs Fly Fishing and Guide Service in Ridgway. “It improves balance, strength, and endurance.” It also burns a lot of calories. According to SUP World Magazine, which uses a formula to measure calorie-burn during the activity, at a typical casual pace on calm water (like our Ridgway Reservoir), you burn about twice the calories you’d burn on a moderate paced walk (2.5 mph).

Paddleboarding on moving water is more active and burns more calories. “It takes a different skill set,” Patterson said, “to SUP on moving water,” like some of the rivers where Rigs leads white-water rafting trips or at the Montrose Water Park, where various guide services offer instruction.

Rigs offers SUP instruction for anyone renting a board and paddle. Heading out for the first time, they are given some instruction at the Rigs shop in Ridgway and help loading the board, paddle, and life preserver into their vehicle. Once the season opens in June, Rigs has a rental facility at the State Park (Ridgway Reservoir), and renters are shown how to use their SUP. Renters can also request a 2-1/2 hour private session, given at Ridgway State Park, which is great for families and groups.

Rigs also rents inflatable kayaks, which roll up and fit in the back of your car. Included is a hand-pump, paddle, and life vest. For more information about renting a paddleboard or kayak, visit or call 970-626-4460 to make a reservation. PPIC

Photo courtesy of Riggs