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“A newbie takes to the rapids”
Review of Surf the San Juans LLC - CLOSED

Surf the San Juans LLC
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Owner description: Surf the San Juans specializes in whitewater kayak and stand up paddleboard instruction and stand up paddleboard rentals with delivery.
Reviewed 11 August 2014

So I'd been fascinated by SUP for a while, but I never tried it. I figured my vacation trip to Durango was the perfect chance to try it out. Thanks to Drew and Anna, I had THE BEST time on the river. I'm hooked!

Anna and Drew are the real deal - they know their stuff and run a super professional operation. I arranged for a beginner's lesson over the phone, got a confirmation via e-mail, and all I had to do was show up at the launch point. Surf the San Juans uses hard plastic SUPs made for whitewater - these boards are super stable and are built for running rivers. With Drew's help, I was standing and paddling upstream very quickly.

Now, it would have been enough for me to balance and paddle on flat water, and enjoy the beautiful scenery, but the lesson was so much more than that. Drew's very experienced at river-running (on both the SUP and the kayak), so he taught me how to read the river, how to use currents and eddies, and encouraged me to push myself. OK, so I fell over a few times, but I loved it.

I loved it so much, I went back two days later for a follow-up "intermediate" lesson where I learned to run very easy rapids. Again, Drew was a superstar as an instructor, he ran me through a few "practice drills" on a section of the river before leading me downstream to actual rapids. Most importantly, Drew gave me the basics and let me figure it out. So yeah, I hit some rocks, I swamped the board, I fell off a few times, but I learned a lot. I learned how to use the current, how to angle the board, and how to weight my edges so as not to fall over. After 2 hours, I was able to run a little whitewater - and I felt like a superstar!

Drew's abilities as an instructor will be obvious to you from the moment you meet him on the beach, but if you need any more proof - consider that he got me - a complete (kinda klutzy) newbie who never even touched an SUP prior to this weekend - comfortably navigating baby rapids in just 2 lessons - that's an acheivement.

Go take a lesson, you won't regret it!

Thank kerismit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (16)
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6 - 10 of 16 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 21 July 2014 via mobile

I found a deal online for a two hour paddleboarding lesson for two. I took my 7 year old and we had a fabulous time! We immediately ran into some locals who were aware of Anna's reputation as a kick-a&$ boarder and said how lucky we were to have her as an instructor. They weren't wrong. She was very laid back and fun. She taught us the basics but also asked us if we wanted to challenge ourselves (which we did). She pointed out local wildlife (we saw two bald eagles), talked to us about the history and the geography of the river. It was so informative, relaxing and fun, I would highly recommend it!

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Loved the whole experience! Anna was very friendly and helpful on the phone and in person. The paddle boards are easy to use, the price was very reasonable, and our whole family had a great time on the river! We would definitely do this again!

Thank Connie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014 via mobile

My husband, friend and I rented paddle boards from STSJ yesterday. Anna met us at the pick up point and was very nice, helpful and informative. We had a meeting time at 3 to return the boards but a storm blew in so we called Anna early to come meet us if possible. She was literally there within minutes of our call. She even suggested that we be refunded some of our money because we didn't get a full day in. I opted to use that credit towards a private lesson with her tomorrow. Super excited for a private lesson with Anna and super pleased with how great and professional this company's service is. A definite must if you want to get on the river while in Durango!

Thank Allison R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 June 2014

My boyfriend and I went stand up paddle boarding with Anna and she was awesome! I have a fear of rushing water and she was so patient and informative! She really made me feel comfortable with her demeanor and her knowledge. The river really isn't rushing that strongly when you go upstream and it is very safe. She taught us about how to use the currents to our advantage and different tricks to using the paddles and board for turning and steering. I would very much recommend taking a lesson so that you can develop a skill that you can use again and again! We learned so much about paddle boarding and about the Animas river, skills that would prove useful in any river scenario. We would highly recommend this company!

Thank Molly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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