SUP has become one of my favorite things to do in our area because not only does it have a higher learning curve, it’s the closest thing we have in the mountains to surfing, which suits this beach bum turned mountain gal just fine.  Whether you choose sit on top kayaking or SUP-ing, you will have an experienced guide take you down the river and you’ll learn the strokes necessary to continue your love of the sport once your vacation is over.

If you’re looking to learn how to whitewater kayak in a standard fiberglass kayak, there are also classes and clinics available to you, including roll classes at the Avon Rec Center and a one day intensive class where you’ll start learning the basics in a lake and then transition to the river. 

There are also SUP rentals at the Nottingham Lake if you’re enjoying a mellow “beach” day and want to paddle around for a bit.  It’s available first come, first served with rentals available by the half hour.  No experience is necessary to enjoy your time on the lake!


Alpine Kayak has lessons in SUP, sit-on-top kayaking, and whitewater kayaking.  They also do kids camps and group clinics in the community you can pop in.  Their schedule is on the website.

SUP Colorado offers SUP rentals at Nottingham Lake.  If you find yourself spending time in Summit County, they also have SUP and sit-on-top kayak rentals at Lake Dillon out of the Dillon Marina.


Rentals at the lakes are first come, first served.  At this time, you cannot make advance reservations, and in the middle of this summer this activity can become quite busy.  Make sure you arrive early so you have flexibility with your rental, and make sure you give yourself enough time to park.   

For kayaking lessons or tours, you’ll have to make these reservations in advance.  I would recommend booking it before you arrive because they do book up quickly.  Pay attention to the cancellation policy!

Don’t forget to tip your guide if you had a great time on your kayak or SUP river tour!  I suggest 18-25%, or you can do $15-30 per person.  Your guide(s) will be very appreciative!  


If you need or want any river gear, we have a great local shop called Alpine Quest Sports with paddle clothing and kayak/raft/SUP accessories.  They’re located right in the heart of Edwards.


Dress as if you’re going to the beach! On the SUP or kayak, you’ll want to wear a bathing suit and most likely some sort of cover-up. For any item of clothing you wear on the river, make sure it is an athletic material and NOT cotton.  Once cotton gets wet, it stays wet.  Wet cotton is super uncomfortable and will make you feel colder.  Depending on the time of year, you may be given a wetsuit to wear over your swimsuit, so make sure to double check with the reservationist when you are booking. 

Don’t forget footwear!  All footwear must be waterproof/water-resistant with an enclosed toe.  Flip flops just won’t cut it on a SUP, you’ll want something which will stay on your foot when you fall off the board.  Same goes for a kayak.

Sunscreen is a must!  In the Rockies, the sun is strong and you will burn faster.  Protect yourself from those UV rays.  Pro tip:  put your sunscreen on before you arrive so it has time to be absorbed and won’t wash off as quickly.    You’ll also want to bring it with you to reapply.  Protect your eyes too, and wear sunglasses. Croakies are also highly recommended.

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