Discovering what’s SUP in Grand Lake |

Discovering what’s SUP in Grand Lake

Courtney Hornberger performs a headstand on a SUP board on Grand Lake.
Photos Courtesy of Tyler Macleod |

I’m a procrastinator. I know it.

After 28 years on this planet I’ve come to terms with the fact that, in order for me to get anything done, I need to feel the pressure of time escaping me. So, it’s only natural that all of my grand summer plans that I made back in May just recently worked their way to the forefront of my mind.

One of those plans was to try standup paddleboarding with my girlfriend, Courtney (who happens to be a fantastic fitness instructor at the Grand Park Community Recreation Center, by the way). A few summers back she signed up for a SUP yoga class and has been encouraging me to take a stab at it ever since.

I’ll admit that this wasn’t quite on the top of my summer adventures list, but as a kid who’s used to swimming in the warm waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, I thought it’d be best not to sit on any Rocky Mountain water activities any longer. Aside from being a seasoned procrastinator, I also have quite a knack for taking an unintentional swim every time I’m on the water. Seriously, though – Every. Single. Time.

So, with a towel and an extra set of clothes in the car Courtney and I ventured out to Grand Lake earlier last week to see just how long it would take me to test the mid-August water temperature.

We walked down to the Lakefront Park where Rocky Mountain SUP outfitted us with boards, personal floatation devices (for whenever my swim would occur) and even a dry bag (for my phone, as that always seems to swim with me too).

Tyler Piribek, who owns the rental company with her husband, JT, gave us a thorough tutorial on the basics of SUP, including the various stances, stroke methods and techniques to successfully navigate the waters.

As luck would have it the wind decided to pick up just as we left the dock. I double-checked my dry bag and hoped for the best as I paddled into the gusts. The wakes from the nearby boats only aided in testing my balance and agility, but before I knew it, my fears of being the one who fell in the water quickly dissipated.

No, not because I was a natural standup paddleboarder, but only because my lovely girlfriend decided to go for a swim first.

Remember how I said she had experience in SUP yoga? Well, let’s just say her first attempt at showing me a headstand wasn’t quite successful. But, being the trooper she is, Courtney got back on the board and showed me how it was done on the second take. As for me, I decided to leave my beginner yoga skills at home and focused solely on making it back to shore with dry clothes. This proved to be a success for once in my life.

As the hour winded down we made our way back to the beach where JT helped dock the boards and chatted with us about our adventure. While I was certainly happy to be dry, I was even more excited by just how much fun standup paddleboarding really was. Although I’m still a little hesitant about signing up for that SUP yoga class (JT and Tyler do offer them, by the way), I’m thinking that maybe I won’t be such a procrastinator about it – even if it’s a sure bet that I’ll be taking a swim.

See you next month!

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User