I’m good at some stuff. And definitely not good at other things. Skateboarding would be one of the latter things.
But, after I saw Coloradans shooting the rapids on stand up paddleboards (SUP’s) on the Colorado River, I got interested in the activity.
There was no way I was just going to get out in that freezing whitewater rapids without some training and preparation. Even though I used to swim in the Mississippi when I was a kid and literally had to hop icebergs just after the river’s ice broke up for the spring. I can tell you, I’m not like that now!
So, when I found out about the AKZ Paddleboard Company, I knew I was on to something. I met company creator Keith Zaring at a Denver city park. Man, I was so lucky to have him as a teacher.
My wife Julie and our video director Stephen were skateboarders in their youth. They took to these things like second nature. They were sidewalk surfing circles around me.
But, Keith, who does racing on water SUP’s, was a patient coach. He gave me the basics so that I could ride, even if at a turtle pace. Also, taking wide-turns on the board was a real win for me. Baby steps.
But here’s the deal about AKZ Paddleboards: they are specifically designed for training for stand-up water paddleboarding. When you’re in Colorado, where there’s not that many lakes and the water temperatures can be uncomfortably cold for most of the year, these training boards are genius.
The uniquely design pole that pushes you along the “concrete rivers” of a park, street or wherever, simulates the paddle you’d use in propelling yourself on a stand-up water paddleboard. And the stance you use on the AKZ boards, again simulates the stance for water paddleboards.
And I’ll clue you in on something. The core workout you get on the AKZ paddleboards is intense. You’re working the very muscles that are needed on water. Believe me, it’s better to train those muscles on land if you’re not a fan of falling into mountain rivers, like me.
By the end of my training session with Kieth, maybe a 1/2 hour, I was getting around on the AKZ board with confidence and having fun! I definitely feel better about taking on the rivers now.
These boards are super innovative. We carry the whole line here on the No Huddle Shop. Check out the video series where inventor Kieth Zaring explains the different models to find one that’s best for you.
So, when you see me doing “Colorado Surfing”, riding the whitewater rapids on one of our great rivers on a SUP, you’ll know where I got my chops. AKZ land paddle boards.