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    One of the greatest perks of living in Sterling Ranch is that all residents receive a Colorado State Parks pass*. Located just minutes away from Chatfield Reservoir and Roxborough State Park, residents are in the perfect spot to take advantage of these beautiful parks, year round (yes, even in the winter!).

    Summer is when Chatfield really shines. Land-bound as we are here in Colorado, it’s a treat to get out on a lake during the summer months and enjoy some water sports. In fact, Sterling Ranch will be holding several residents-only days at one of Chatfield’s beaches this summer! One of the fastest-growing activities happening on the water is stand-up paddle boarding, otherwise known as SUP. There are plenty of reasons to like it — it’s relatively easy to learn, fun, and a great workout!

    Stand-up Paddle Boarding: Getting Started

    If you’re thinking about giving it a try, the good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. There are two local businesses that provide lessons and rentals to help you get started: Surf’SUP Colorado in Morrison, and Colorado SUP Sports in Littleton. Renting a board is a great way to try it out and see how you like it. Then if you decide to eventually buy your own board, you’ll know which type is the best for you.

    Lessons are obviously helpful too! With just a few techniques and pointers from an experienced teacher, you’ll have a much more successful experience.

    Just the Basics

    If you’re just gathering information now and trying to decide if paddle boarding is something you’d like to try, we’ve compiled some basic facts and tips that will give you a head start.

    Beginner Boards – When you’re just starting out, bigger boards are your friend. They are more stable and require less precision from you (which means you’ll fall down a lot less). A wide, heavy board is the perfect way to learn how to balance and maneuver around the water. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can move on to smaller, lighter boards.

    Standing Up – Sitting on the board and wading out to deeper water is the easy part. Standing up is where your ability to balance kicks in (and it’s also where the core workout comes in!). Start by getting on your knees. Then slowly bring up one foot, then the other. Stay in the middle of the board and keep a wide stance to provide better balance.

    Paddling – A good paddle should be about 10 inches longer than you. Sink the paddle as deep into the water as you can, and don’t be afraid to lean on it—you’ll get better traction and speed. To turn to the right, place the paddle into the water on the left side of the board and turn your upper body to the right. Reverse that sequence to make a left turn.

    Safety – Wear a leash! They’re important so that you don’t become separated from your board. Always wear a life jacket, too — and be prepared to fall. You’ll fall multiple times, especially when you are starting out, and that’s okay! It’s all part of the experience, and you get more practice standing up that way.

    Once you’ve got the hang of it, who knows? You might even decide to try yoga on your paddle board!

    Sterling Ranch is a master planned community with homes from the $400s, located along the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Surrounded by state parks and open space, it’s the perfect place to connect with nature and explore everything Colorado has to offer. Visit today!