Frequently Asked Questions:
+ Can I SUP?
In order to answer this, you must ask yourself 3 simple question:
Can I stand?
Do I enjoy being outside?
Do I like getting wet?
If you answered yes, SUP is for you! Our modern inflatable boards are more stable and easier to handle than ever before. Chances are if this is your first SUP experience you will find yourself in the water at least once over the course of the lesson or tour. If you enjoy new experiences and want to learn a skill that you will keep for the rest of your life, you will have a great time on the water with us!
+ Which tour is right for me?
Both the Gunnison River Tour and the Flat Water Lesson are ideal choices for first timers. If you are looking for less adventure or are on the fence about trying SUP for the first time, the Flat Water lesson is for you. For many, learning to stand on and maneuver a board at the lake will be an adrenaline rush. By the end of the lesson you will be confident and ready to tackle the river if you choose.
If you are remotely athletic and looking for adventure, the River Tour is for you. We can teach anyone to confidently navigate the Gunnison River. All we require from you is a willingness to try something new and a sense of adventure. Physically, you must be able to stand or kneel for the durration of the trip. We teach the skills you need to stay upright in moving current and class I and II rapids at the put in. From there we will experience glassy, calm water, ripples and a few small rapids thrown in to spice it up!
+ Tell me more about "class II rapids."
River rapids are rated on a scale from class I through VI. Class I indicates moving water with small ripples. At the other end of the scale, Niagara Falls is a good example of a class VI rapid.
The International Scale of River Difficulty defines Class II rapids as straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers.
On our River Tour, we will encounter two (2) class II rapids. Both are man-made. The rapids are created by small river-wide dams, 1 to 2 feet in height. The dams were built by local farmers to back up the river and divert water into their fields. They are constructed of smooth stones piled across the river with openings, or boat chutes so water craft can pass through without trouble. The river flows through these chutes to create exciting, yet straight forward and easy to navigate class II rapids!
+ Do you have the right board for me?
Yes! We have boards for people of all shapes and sizes. We have 5 different designs to choose from, perfect for anyone from small children to adults over 250 lbs.
Our selection is designed around stability and maneuverability. At the shop we will choose the perfect board for you based on your size and needs. Whether you want your board to preform like a Ferrari or a Cadillac, we have just what you need. We only use the highest quality inflatable paddle boards manufactured by industry leader NRS.
+ What should I bring?
We supply most everything you need for your SUP adventure, including wetsuit, booties, spash top, personal flotation device and helmet (for river trips only).
We recommend you bring these items:
- Sunglasses with retainers
- Hat (Baseball caps will fit under the helmets we use on river tours)
- Securely fitting sandals e.g. Chacos, Tevas, Keens etc. (on warm days sandals are preferable to booties)
- Water bottle we can clip to your board
+ How is the weather?
Colorado's Western Slope is blessed with the most temperate climate in the state. Spring and Fall are pleasant, Summer can be described as beach weather. During the months we are open, temperatures range from 60 to 90 degrees. You can count on ideal temperatures for being on or in the water. Our trips are planned around the best times of day for being on the lake and river.
+ Where do we meet?
All lessons and tours start and finish at our shop in Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the shop we will gear up and load into our air conditioned van for a 10 to 15 minute ride to the river or lake.