Surf's Up Colorado 4

Who knew Colorado was a virtual haven for water sports? Whether you’re a Colorado native or a transplant from the surfer-dude coast, you can get your water fix close to the ‘burbs and enjoy a day of sport, yoga or just plain chillin’. While stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has its roots in surfing, Colorado enthusiasts these days are heading to nearby lakes, rivers and ponds to enjoy their own “take” on the nation’s fastest growing water sport. More than 2.5 million people took part in paddle boarding in 2015, compared to just 1 million in 2010 (outdoorfoundation.org). And the physical and emotional benefits of paddle boarding are impressive:

In addition to the serenity and stress reduction that come from connecting with nature, you’re getting a full-body, low-impact workout that improves both balance and endurance.

While surfing can take years to master, most first-timers paddle boarders get the hang of it from the start. So, whether your brand of paddle boarding includes yoga, racing, or something in between, there’s never been a better time to grab your family, your dog or just yourself — and get your surf on.

8 Paddle Boarding Spots, by Proximity to the ‘Burbs

Cherry Creek Reservoir

4201 S. Parker Road, Aurora

Chatfield Reservoir

11500 N Roxborough Park Rd, Littleton

Big Soda Lake Reservoir, Bear Creek Lake Park

15600 W. Morrison Road, Lakewood

Aurora Reservoir

5800 Powhaton Road, Aurora

Boulder Reservoir

Jay Road and 51st Street, Boulder

Union Reservoir

461 Weld County Road 26, Longmont

Horsetooth Reservoir

4200 W County Road 38 E, Fort Collins

Dillon Reservoir

902 E. Main St., Frisco

A Day at the Beach

Paddle boarding at Gravel Pond in Chatfield State Park (CPW.State.CO.US/placestogo/parks/)

There are plenty of ready-to-go rentals right there on the beach at Gravel Pond — we particularly like COLORADO SUP (ColoradoSUPSports.com). Or you can pick up an inflatable board on your way there at Altitude Paddle Boards on Main street in Littleton (AltitudePaddleBoards.com).