Arts & Entertainment reporter, Audrey Dwyer, SUP paddleboarding for the first time

Photo by Audrey Dwyer

Arts & Entertainment reporter, Audrey Dwyer, SUP paddleboarding for the first time

Paddleboarding for the 1st time

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— If someone had told me that practicing yoga on a paddleboard was a thing, I would’ve thought that person was crazy.

Now that I’ve seen it done, I realize that in Steamboat, there really are no limits to what people can do.

At first glance, balancing on a board in the water looks like quite the feat. You wish you had the balance and skill set to do that, but something in your head just says, "Nope, not doing that."

Then someone convinces you to try it.

On Saturday afternoon, the Yampa River Festival offered a free stand-up paddleboard demo. Hala Gear provided equipment and short lessons for people interested in giving this crazy endeavor a try. They also encouraged participants to practice a few yoga poses out on the water at Fetcher Pond.

Pavla Mertlika and Anna Hall, from Hala Gear, hosted the demo event. Without their encouragement, I may not have had the guts to get up on that board and give it a try.

The inflatable boards from Hala Gear are wider and more stable than most Paddleboards. Not only that, the boards are versatile. You can kayak, do yoga, Pilates, have lunch, go fishing or even lounge in the sun. This Steamboat Springs-made product even rolls up into a bag to transport here, there and everywhere. Hall told me she and her husband, Peter Hall almost always pack up at least three boards with them whenever they travel.

With my first experience paddleboarding, I realized that you, me and anyone can do more than you think you are capable of. A mother and her daughter were at the event, and even they didn’t want to get up on the board. Then, they mustered up the courage and confidently stood up on the board.

Turns out, paddleboarding is not as hard as I thought. It’s easy actually.

Although I have only been living in Steamboat Springs for a week, I’ve realized that it’s a place that allows you to push your limits and try something new. Even if it scares you. After all, you may end up enjoying it. I know did.

Now, I can’t wait to get back on a board again!

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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