I drove my Surf’SUP Colorado rig, a black Xterra pulling a trailer full of paddleboards, down to the Gravel Pond at Chatfield State Park for the afternoon. I was supposed to meet a client who wanted to rent a paddleboard for a couple of hours. The client had to cancel at the last minute, but it was a gorgeous fall day in Colorado and I really needed a paddle. I spend about 25 hours a week paddling a SUP board during the height of the SUP season teaching clients and watching over our rental quiver. With the winding down of the SUP season, and trying to catch up with some long neglected business concerns, I have been lucky to get out once a week recently. Can you say SUP withdrawal?
As I was pulling into the parking lot, I spied a familiar figure. Our local GLIDE rep, Ryan Mullen, was at the Gravel Pond with friends and family to take advantage of the beautiful fall afternoon as well. And he just happened to have the new 2014 version of the GLIDE Lochsa paddleboard with him. After getting Ryan to promise me some ride time on the new Lochsa, I got in one lap around the Pond on a 12’6” touring board and then one more on a GLIDE 11’ Retro to keep my surfing stroke in shape. I then hopped on the new 2014 Lochsa. I must admit I am a big fan of the older 2013 style Lochsa. Not so much because of its remarkable river running ability, as I rarely get to indulge in that pleasure because we are so busy with flatwater clients. It is because of its flatwater versatility. The 2013 Lochsa is a wide, stable 10’6” board that still paddles reasonably well in a straight line with a 9” fin. We use it as a SUP for unsteady clients who can’t seem to find their balance on other boards. We also use it as a fitness and yoga board and to teach river skills on flatwater before clients head to the river. It is a fun board to paddle and we often have clients requesting the Lochsa for rentals. I had expressed my apprehension to Ryan last summer when he told me about the upcoming changes to the 2014 Lochsa. He said that the Lochsa was going to be cut down to 9’ and it would have a completely different rail configuration. I was concerned about how that would affect the flatwater use of the Lochsa, admittedly a secondary use for that board. Well, having now paddled the new 2014 Lochsa, I must admit my concerns were unjustified. The new 2014 Lochsa is a very fun board to paddle. It is quick to accelerate with a few hard paddle strokes. The new rail configuration makes the board very dynamic. The hard rails make the new Lochsa very fast edge to edge, yet give the board even more side to side stability. This board is very easy to get up, and stay up, on edge for high side drills. It is super easy to turn. Tail and nose spins are very fast and consistent. I always seemed to know how the board was going to respond to my movements and to whatever paddle stroke I threw at it. The feel of the 2014 Lochsa reminds me of how the GLIDE NineSix SUP Surfboard feels while riding waves. And anything that reminds me of how great the GLIDE NineSix SUP Surfboard feels while surfing waves at Makaha is a feeling worth pursuing here in ocean deprived Colorado. Most surprising of all was the new 2014 Lochsa’s ability to keep a straight line on the forward stroke. Ryan had a 9” fin installed which helped with that. But by moving a bit forward of the handle with my stance I was able to engage the new nose “V” which made a big difference in holding a straight line through the water.
Would you want to use it for a 10 mile tour? Probably not; that is what the GLIDE Quest is for.
But is it usable and so much fun for flat water sessions? Absolutely!
I can not wait to get into the river with the 2014 Lochsa. Yet its flatwater abilities may surprise you. The kids in our SUP camps are going to be fighting over this board next summer for sure. Much like they fought over paddling the Mongo and the 2013 Lochsa this past summer. I may still keep a 2013 Lochsa or two around for a Big Kahuna board for those who might need a larger SUP to paddle. However, with the new width of the Rental SUPs, there may be less of a need for the Lochsa for that purpose.
I’m headed to Utah soon with the Surf’SUP Colorado rig to pick up a trailer full of new 2014 GLIDE SUPs for our business. GLIDE SUPs are always in demand for our rental and teaching quivers. I love the new color schemes, shapes, and the new production methods that will improve upon the GLIDE SUP’s already remarkable performance and durability. The new 2014 Lochsa will be the first SUP I unpack to drop in the water for a paddle. I am looking forward to exploring the Lochsa’s potential on the river and on flatwater. I may not even wait to get it home to Denver. I-70 runs along the Colorado River for a lot of miles.
I wonder if there could be a bit of a wave in Glenwood Springs to ride.
14011 W. Quincy Ave., Unit D
Morrison, CO 80465