Why you will fall in love with SUP


1. People of all ages are getting passionate about Stand Up Paddling. This sport is accessible to people of all ages and this is one of its strengths! What else can you do where grandma can enjoy an active activity with her kids and grandkids.

2. Who would not want to walk on water if they were given the opportunity? SUP gives you the ability to feel like you can. With a much higher over water perspective than a kayak, the views into the water from above are awesome.

3. SUP is a great exercise, when paddling correctly it strengthens the abdominal muscles as well as arms, legs, buttocks and all the muscles of the back. Most people use stand up paddle as a platform for practicing pilates and yoga in water.  It's a great way to enjoy some physical activity.

4. The learning curve is small with SUP and fun can be had day 1. Although we recommend a lesson to understand proper technique, you can grab a board and enjoy a day on the water anytime. We love to introduce people to this great sport and enjoy seeing them have a great time on thier first day on the water.

5. It's a family affair. We welcome the whole family on the sup including your dogs! We love seeing an entire family go out together on our SOL Fiesta board which holds 8 people! Its always more fun to paddle with friends. Not to mention the many new friends you meet in the water paddling or after a paddle.

6. Its a healthy activity to relax and recharge. Being on a SUP board, and slipping into the water gives you a sense of freedom and inspiration. No noise, perhaps alone with yourself, allowing you true tranquility. Detaching from the stress of daily routine. We truely believe SUP can be a source of stress release for a lot of people.

7. SUP is versatile and can be practiced anywhere, just find a body of water. You can sup on lakes, rivers, bays and ports, even in the pool. Let your imagination take you and your stand up paddleboard to even the most remote destinations! We offer some amazing high alpine lakes to take your inflatable stand up to and experience the feeling of having your own hidden getaway.

We spend too much time on the internet, television, gym ... a session SUP allows you to stay in contact with nature ... a simple pleasure, but so great!

8. SUP is a sport that can be learned at any level. You can choose to paddle and absolutely relax or use the board as a means of exploration to enjoy nature. We love to get people out on our fishing SUP to slay some trout or playing SUP O WAR with our jousting equipment. In California people are often seen catching waves in the surf, or you can use it as a platform to practice yoga and pilates. There are so many possibilities to allow you to have a great time out on the water.

9. SUP is now more affordable than ever, for all budgets. We encourage people to purchase the right equipment that is built to last. We stock and sell everything we rent! We work with proven companies to make sure its always easy for you to enjoy your experience. 

10. SUP is still one of the fastest growing sports! Make sure you take a lesson with us show you can show all your friends who are wanting to SUP for the first time proper technique!

See you on the water!


Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards Vs. HardBoards

stand up paddle board

It’s a common question: what’s better, inflatable or fiberglass stand up paddle board? We’re here to tell you why we choose inflatable stand up paddle boards over fiberglass (or hardboards).

Inflatable Standup Paddle boards go anywhere

Want to hike to a lake or river put in? Need room in your car for camping gear and your board? Are you slim on gear storage at home? Want to take your board to a tropical paradise? For all these reasons, we opt for inflatable boards.

You can deflate them, roll them up tight and store in a paddle board sling or in a bag and hike them to your favorite destination (like Long Lake). They roll up small, so you don’t have to choose between bringing your paddle board and fitting all your other camping or adventure gear in your car when you’re heading off for an adventure.

They also store easily in your closet, your basement, your garage or your storage shed. Standup paddle boards are big and bulky, but with an inflatable SUP board you can cut the clutter and get it out of the way (unlike a hardboard).

If you buy a quality board, like the SOL Paddle board, they come with a bag that has wheels (perfect for the airport) and backpack straps (for hiking), and fits everything you need to float, including your paddle and pump.

Inflatable Standup Paddle boards are durable

Here in Colorado, we have plenty of beautiful lakes (like Lake Irwin) and rivers (like the Slate river), which are best enjoyed from a SUP board. But these beautiful locations also have rocks, trees, and plenty of other obstacles to run your board into.

So what happens when you paddle board at these locations with a hardboard? You’re in a constant state of panic about dinging the fiberglass, denting the foam, or cracking the board you likely just spent some serious cash on.

While inflatable paddle boards still need to be cared for, they’re much more resilient when it comes to hitting obstacles (or the pavement when you’re unloading it from the roof of your vehicle).

Our SOL Paddle boards are some of the highest quality boards on the market, and have double walled side panels, so when you bump off rocks or trees, your board is protected.

Inflatable boards are also pretty easily repairable should it get a hole in it. Every board purchased through us will receive a patch kit, along with a 3 year warranty (on the SOL boards). When done properly, the patch won’t leak, and you’ll be able to enjoy your board for years to come.

If you’re on the fence about what style of stand up paddle board to get, the answer really becomes clear: if you’re looking to use your board on flat water, or rivers, inflatable stand up paddle boards are a great option. With the added perks of the board packing down in the back of your car, or on an airplane, and storing easily in a closet, an inflatable board is one of your best options!

CB Standup Paddle sells SOL inflatable boards, which are based in Telluride, CO. We’ll ship your board for free anywhere in the continental US, so what are you waiting for? Call us at 970-309-1491 to order your board today.

Why You Need A SUP Leash: Top 3 Reasons.

Why would you wear a leash when you are on a giant floatation device? I mean, you know how to swim, right? WRONG. There are many reasons to wear a leash while on a SUP, especially in Colorado. Here are our top 3:


1. The Water is COLD

You're in Colorado. Specifically, the Western Slope. The water in and around Crested Butte is cold. Really, really cold. If you fall off your board and you're not wearing a leash, there's a chance you are in that water longer then you would like to be. Wear a leash, stay close to your board. Makes sense!


2. The Lakes are BIG!

The Blue Mesa Reservoir and Taylor Park Reservoir are two of our favorite places to paddle close to Crested Butte. They are large bodies of water (The Blue Mesa is the largest in Colorado) and they get windy. Almost every afternoon, the wind will kick up, and if you fall from your board, well, there it goes! The wind can easily pick and and blow your board across the lake, or worse, down the lake. If you are wearing your leash, your large floating vessel (your SUP) is attached to you, therefore, making it 100% safer in super windy conditions.


3. Safety is COOL!!

Would you go mountain biking without a helmet? How about ride a motorcycle with no protective gear? No, you wouldn't. So why would you SUP without a leash? Most of the time, people panic when they fall in the cold water and get separated from their boards. Most fatalities and drownings involved in paddle boarding are when the paddler were NOT wearing a leash. Be smart. Be safe. Be COOL! Wear a leash. 


Please note:  There are 3 kinds of leashes, make sure you are wearing the appropriate leash for the water conditions. Flat water, river, and surfing all have different kinds of leashes. Come talk with us at CB SUP or your local shop about what leash is right for you and your activities! 

5 reasons why we love SUP in the fall

September is here, our favorite month in Crested Butte! The leaves are changing and the weather is getting brisk. There is nothing better then spending the day paddling around the lake, enjoying the colors of fall. Here are our favorite places to paddle and things to do around Crested Butte in the fall:

1. Lost Lake

  Lost Lake is a paddlers dream in the fall. Take a drive up Kebler Pass and experience the changing of the Aspen trees while watching for wildlife, and once you get to the lake, get lost in the views of the West Elks and Ragged Wilderness. Between the bright yellow leaves, the serenity of floating on the clear waters on the lake, or breathing in the crisp September air, Lost Lake in the fall is a must. 

 Paddling around one of the many lakes surrounding Lost Lake.

Paddling around one of the many lakes surrounding Lost Lake.

2. A Beer on the Deck (after paddling Irwin)

  After a morning of paddling Lake Irwin, one of the most accessible places to paddle in Crested Butte, enjoy the afternoon sun on one of the many decks in Crested Butte. In the summer, the decks at The Brick and The Last Steep can be a hard place to get a seat. But in September, a cold beer after a nice paddle is just what the doctor ordered. Soak up the last of summer in the sun.

3. Taylor Reservoir

Another favorite place to paddle, and the lake is only part of the reason! The drive from Crested Butte to Taylor Reservoir is gorgeous. You will turn at Jack's Cabin Cutoff from Crested Butte, and head towards Harmel's Ranch Resort, where you can stop for lunch. The road snakes along the Taylor River, a fly fisherman's and kayaker's paradise. Once you get to Taylor Reservoir, you will have views of the Collegiate Peaks and have access to some of the best fishing in Colorado. 

 Looking over the Taylor Reservoir.

Looking over the Taylor Reservoir.

 The deck at The Brick Oven is always hopping!

The deck at The Brick Oven is always hopping!

4. No Crowds at the Lake

  You know how in the summer, you pull up to Lake Irwin, and it's a zoo? Go in September, and enjoy a very different experience. Who knows, you may even be able to get a coveted camping spot there and enjoy a sunset paddle on the Lake, all by yourself.

 Camping by Lake Irwin

Camping by Lake Irwin

5. The Leaves, Of Course!

  Crested Butte is known for the changing Aspen leaves in September. Kebler Pass is home to the largest Aspen grove in North America, and when it's lit up and glowing yellow, it is like nothing else. Drive over to Paonia for a wine tasting, and take a board to paddle and camp at Paonia Reservoir. Or, just head up to Lost Lake, and enjoy the changing of the leaves and one of the last chances to paddle in the valley before the winter. 

 Oh, the Aspen's!

Oh, the Aspen's!

Emerald Lake

There are few places in the world left that you can drive up to and paddle that look like this. Emerald Lake is one of the most scenic places to paddle around Crested Butte, it's name says it all. The vibrant lake is tucked in the Elk Mountains and up one of the most beautiful drives in Colorado, Schofield Pass. 

 Hanging by the Glacier on Emerald Lake.

Hanging by the Glacier on Emerald Lake.

Emerald Lake is only 15 miles from Crested Butte, but with the road conditions, some of it only recommended for 4x4 vehicles, it usually takes around 35-40 minutes to get to the lake. The drive out is not for the faint of heart, but more for adventurous SUP enthusiast. You will pass through the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory on your way, an internationally renowned center for scientific research and education. Stop by and observe scientists at work, and stop for Third Bowl Ice cream, coffee or a snack. If you want to make a full day of your tour, swing by Judd Falls as well on your way up for a beautiful waterfall hike.

 Learning to SUP on Emerald Lake

Learning to SUP on Emerald Lake

Once you pass Judd Falls, the road begins to get bumpier and more narrow. It's still a two lane road, but when you pass the turn off for Rustler's Gulch, expect more of a one lane, rocky situation. Just make sure before you go around a turn, to pull off and make sure a vehicle isn't coming from the opposite direction. Use common sense, and don't be in a rush. The road is also frequented by many bikers en route to the famous 401 trail, so be respectful to not "dust" anyone out!

When you arrive at Emerald Lake, you will be stunned by the clarity and color of the lake. When the sun hits it just right, it truly is Emerald. In the early season, you can still paddle by glaciers on the Lake and watch late season skiers taking advantage of the last of the snow. Bring a picnic lunch, enjoy paddling around the lake, and the abundant wildflower surrounding it. Emerald Lake is not to be missed on your trip to Crested Butte. 

Lake Irwin

When you think of summer in Crested Butte, Colorado, you think of Lake Irwin.  The closest lake to town accessible by car, this lake is a haven for tourists and locals alike to cool off, fish, hike around, and now SUP.  

 Lake Irwin with a variety of paddleboards!

Lake Irwin with a variety of paddleboards!

It is one of the most popular destinations in town, and takes about 15-20 minutes or 9 miles to get to from town.  Turn down Whiterock towards Kebler Pass Road, and follow the signs to Lake Irwin.  Make sure at the split you turn right on USFS road 826.  The road is dirt and it does get bumpy, so make sure your boards, coolers, etc are tied down for the ride.  Once you get up to Irwin, you can park by the picnic tables, or cross the water to the main parking area on the other side, or even drive up around to the camping area and the big rock.  Note:  There is no cell phone service or WiFi at Lake Irwin, so make sure you plan on a meeting spot if you are meeting friends and family.    

No matter where you choose to park, make sure you find a nice area to set up for the day.  There are no shops or areas to buy ice or food up at Lake Irwin, so make sure to purchase your picnic lunch and beverages in town before you head up.  There are tons of rainbow trout and brook trout stocked and ready to catch from your SUP or kayak.  

 Rose and Roger, enjoying a paddle at Lake Irwin.

Rose and Roger, enjoying a paddle at Lake Irwin.

There are a few hikes to be found around Lake Irwin, including the mile and a half shoreline hike and  Scarps Ridge via Middle Loop being the most popular.  The lake, though, is the main draw and there is no better way to enjoy it then from a paddle board.  This picturesque lake sits at 10,200 feet and is overlooked by the Ruby Range to the west.  This location makes for gorgeous photos with the snowcapped mountains in the background.  You can easily paddle around the lake and it is usually well protected from the wind.  Per usual, it's always a good idea to bring a towel and dry change of clothes any time you are playing in or around water in the high alpine region of Colorado.  

Lake Irwin is a family friendly lake with plenty of nature and activities to keep the whole family happy for the day or longer.  There is a campground available, and reservations are highly recommended.  Don't forget to grab your paddle board from CB SUP on your way up to the Lake, and enjoy making memories in Crested Butte!

 Pup's on a SUP by the campground.

Pup's on a SUP by the campground.