Stand-Up Paddleboard – the sport that’s taken millennials by storm – is becoming increasingly popular by the minute, so we sought out some expert advice from the pros who know the sport, and its manufacturers, best. Now a mainstream staple, the spotlight shines brightly on the SUP world, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be dimming anytime soon.
As Colorado’s first licensed outfitter, Dvorak Expeditions was one of the early pioneers of western whitewater rafting in the Rocky Mountains, and the family-run business boasts an impressive reputation within the paddle sports community, offering a wide array of river trips, paddle instruction courses, and swift water training programs. As we spoke with Matt Dvorak, a true river rat who has grown up on the water since the ripe old age of two months, his enthusiasm for the sport he loves so much was hard to contain. Here, Dvorak gives us the skinny on the SUP Sensation.
One of the greatest parts about paddle boarding is its accessibility. Whether you’re a city-dwelling Chicagoan or a beach-worshipping Californian, SUP has the market completely saturated. While choosing between a hard and soft product, it’s important to consider where you’ll be using the board. The hard boards tend to be better for surfing, have a lower profile (due to a smaller side rail), and stack more easily, while inflatable boards are great for rivers, have a thicker side rail, and are convenient and transportable.
One of Dvorak’s favorite brands, and one he highly recommends, is SOL Paddle Boards out of Telluride, Colo. Because buying a board is an investment, you want to seek out a quality product, and buying a board from SOL will ensure just that. Having hit the market just a couple years ago, SOL Paddleboards has set the SUP scene ablaze with its attention to detail and relentless commitment to a quality product. As an expert kayaker, SUP enthusiast, and all-around adventurer, founder Johnny Lombino is not only dedicated to delivering a great board to each and every customer, but he’s made it his mission to use only the best materials – a trip to China enabled Johnny and co-owner Richie Parkhill to be a part of the production process first-hand. Details such as metal D-rings on the boards and a dual layer of EVA foam on the nose are just a couple things that make SOL stand out from the rest. For more information or to buy a board of your own, visit www.solpaddle.com and find out for yourself just how dialed SOL’s got it.
In addition to the ever trendy SUP yoga phenomenon, there’s a whole bevy of added health benefits, as well. When you’re ready to up your game from flat-water cruising and take your SUPing to the next level, get your thrills on some whitewater! According to Dvorak, who is an all-around outdoorsman and avid thrill-seeker himself, whitewater stand-up paddle boarding is the most physically demanding sport, not to mention it serves as excellent cross-training. Delivering a high rate of cardio, constantly having to adjust to maintain balance makes it a whole body workout, engaging everything from shoulders and back to quads and core.
If you’re looking to get your toes wet, check out a whitewater festival (such as Fibark in Salida, Colo.) for a chance to experience all the excitement first-hand, and while you’re there, be sure to stop by Dvorak Expeditions to chat with the experts. Stand-up paddle boarding is definitely more than just the latest fad, so you might as well get on board to see what all the fuss is about!