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!
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