Josh Lepik: Walking on Water 9200+ ft. Above Sea Level

Walking on water 9200+ ft. Above Sea Level

Instagram Handle: @joshlepik

Location: South Catamount Reservoir in Pikes Peak, CO

Board: Explorer and Lotus

Story:
It is Memorial Day Weekend 2019. Our family has been itching to get on the water for several months now, but with winters hitting low teens and high negatives, we never had the option. Today is a beautiful 75 degrees with blue skies. Now where do we go? Our local lake is extremely packed and almost everyone is on motorized boats. A quick Google search tells us the two lakes in Colorado Springs are open, but on this day it’s only for motorized boats. Then it hit us — 9,200 feet above sea level is the base of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

Connected to this monster are three reservoirs that provide Southern Colorado drinking water. The best part of a place that provides drinking water: no motorized boats allowed. Two hours in the car, a 45-minute wait to get through the gate, and we were set.

My wife and I were introduced to paddle boarding on a summer vacation several years ago. From the moment we touched the water we knew it was an activity we had to continue. Only one problem though. Colorado at the time did not provide much in terms of companies supporting paddleboards. A few of the big resort areas had them, but everywhere else thought we were crazy for wanting to stand on water. Our obsession with paddle boarding was coming to an end because of the state we called home. After hours of research and multiple calls to companies, we found Isle Surf & SUP. Their expertise and knowing how to help us get on the water in a state that had barely heard of it was outstanding. Within a few days, our new boards arrived and we were ready.

That was several years ago, we haven’t looked back since.

Today, standing at the edge of Pikes Peak with 250 acres of water gave us that feeling we had several years ago. The only difference, we were not on a coastal state. We were in the heart of the Rockies. Before us was a beautiful snow-capped peak, and nothing but beautiful mountain water waiting to be crushed. With our three boards, myself, my wife, and our 12-year-old daughter paddled out on the lake. Fisherman on the shorelines thought we were crazy. Kids of families having a picnic screamed how they wanted one. The feeling of true bliss and calmness came over us. We are in one of the most beautiful places on earth, standing on water. If we said that sentence even 20 years ago people would think we were crazy. But not anymore.

Isle has provided us a family activity that not only promotes a healthy physical lifestyle but a healthy mental lifestyle as well. There is something about being in the middle of a lake or ocean, away from the tourists, and away from the noise of life. Paddle boarding will be part of our lives for many years. It has become a way of life for us. For us, it is a way we live and a way we grow as a family. It challenges us to become stronger, to fight wind and waves. It teaches us patience and to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Pro Tips:

  • Don’t overthink your gear. All you need is your board, a paddle, some sunscreen, a few snacks, and a camera.
  • There are always excuses to not go on the water. But none of them are worth loosing the experience.
  • Always ensure you bring the pump and hose. There’s nothing worse than getting to a destination only to find you left your pump at home.