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Wet Suit Free SUP at Dillon Looks Promising

Stand up Paddlers and Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC) meet with positive results!


Denver 9News with Matt Renoux also covered the story!


DILLON RESERVOIR, Colorado - Recently some paddlers feared that SUP could become banned from Dillon Reservoir.  This is because even though there is currently a regulation in place prohibiting stand up paddlers from getting on the water without wearing a wet suit or dry suit, some people were still paddling without them.  Sometimes the lack of using a suit was done out of ignorance to the rule or because it was like wearing a sweat box in the summer time, but regardless, the non-compliance caused a little difficulty between stand up paddlers and those enforcing the Dillon Reservoir regulations.  However, after a meeting this past Tuesday with the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC) everything is looking very positive for all parties involved! 


To understand why wet suits or dry suits are required, one simply needs to take a look at DenverWater.org where the current general regulations for use of Dillon Reservoir state, "Due to the cold temperatures and water quality concerns, water contact sports, including swimming, scuba diving, water skiing and other water contact related activities, are prohibited. Windsurfing (sailboarding) with a full body wet or dry suit is permissible." 


So far, stand up paddlers have been treated in a similar fashion to that of windsurfing and have been allowed on the reservoir if the paddlers wear a wet suit or dry suit.  Yet, many stand up paddlers have been concerned with this regulation for various reasons including the facts that it makes it more difficult for people to participate in the sport, is very uncomfortable for paddling in the summer heat and also because many other people using the reservoir with fishing boats, sailboats, kayaks and canoes do not have the same restrictions.


The good news is that after stand up paddlers met this past Tuesday with the Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee to discuss and express their concerns, the committee passed a recommendation that the wetsuit regulation be removed from Dillon Reservoir with respect to SUP.  The recommendation will now be taken back to each respective town council and agency to hopefully also be approved there.  Again, this is definitely a step in the right direction.


Mike Durkee, aka "Ace", is a local leader in the Dillon SUP community who after the Tuesday meeting stated, "On behalf of all those who would use Dillon Res on a SUP, I would like to thank the DRReC on making the recommendation to relax the wetsuit regulation!  It was a fun, informative meeting today, believe all sides of the SUP/wetsuit question have a better understanding of the big picture, and where we are all coming from.  We are very excited about the future of SUP on Dillon Res!"  He then went on to invite many including any DRReC member to, "get on these silly things, if you haven't already, and experience the rush......if you try it you will be hooked!!!"


What a tremendous display of SUP Ohana, respect and how stand up paddle continues to be a great unifying sport for so many people.  Time will tell what the ultimate decision will be but for the moment the future is bright.  


Were you at the DRReC meeting?  We'd love your feedback below.  

(For further assistance with content regarding SUP and Dillon Reservoir  please contact Mike Durkee at [email protected])


Last modified onWednesday, 28 January 2015 13:11
Erin Blunt Robbins

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