Best Boards for Locavores — SUP 2016 | Hala Gear | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

The stand-up paddle-boarding (SUP) craze has officially swept the state, from downtown spots along the South Platte River to raging whitewater in the mountains. When you're ready to give it a try, start slow and scenic — and at the source — by renting an inflatable board from Steamboat Springs's Hala Gear and taking it out on Steamboat Lake. The learning curve is pretty shallow when you're out there standing on the lake on flat water, and the views are so spectacular that you'll be hooked from the get-go. When you're ready for an extra shot of adrenaline — and a few servings of humble pie — try some of your favorite yoga poses or running some rapids. For a few pro tips, sign up with an outfitter like Steamboat Paddleboard Adventures for lessons on the Yampa River. Buying a board will set you back about $1,500, but they're portable enough to not require a roof rack, and some models include a StompBox retractable-fin design that you'll appreciate when the river gets shallow.

Mark Antonation

The backdrop of the sleek, U-shaped bar at WTF features four large screens that are visible from the elevated booths across the room, which makes for some serious sports watching — a focus here anytime something of athletic importance occurs. But this retro-feel bar in Prospect Park also gets points for offering more than 100 whiskeys — served with a little housemade salted caramel. And if you crave a classic while watching your team, it's hard to beat the burger, the fried chicken or the shrimp and grits here. Go, team!

Readers' choice: Highland Tap & Burger

A select few in the metro area brave the early hours of weekend mornings to watch their favorite sports team streamed live from across the world. The Three Lions pub will open as early as 5:30 a.m. for English Premier League soccer matches, and plenty of coffee and tea will be poured prior to 7 a.m., when alcohol service begins. Also available: $4.50 Bloody Marys and mimosas, and a proper English breakfast. After the morning rush of diehard fans, the pub will make way for more sports watching throughout the day, including American football games, rugby, Formula One racing and other international soccer games. The full menu includes the standard comfort food of English pubs, with shepherd's pie, fish and chips and England's favorite dish: curry. Of course, all of your favorite pints are offered, and with its many loyal supporters, the pub is always filled with the kind of good cheer, warmth and camaraderie that only a popular neighborhood spot can provide.

Readers' choice: Stoney's Bar & Grill

Let the games begin! Since 2003, Blake Street Tavern has been scoring big with sports-bar fans, and the best got better when it moved down the block to a much bigger space on 23rd Street. That space came with a huge basement that posed a quandary for the bar, but when owner Chris Fuselier finally decided to turn it into Underground Social, he came up with a winning solution. The spot has its own bar, jukebox, photo booth, games — everything from giant Jenga to shuffleboard to darts — and big-screen TVs, and it's a great place to get away from the crowds upstairs, where there are even more games, TVs and sports fans.

Readers' choice: The 1up

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