Learn to surf in Seattle! Beginner surfers will learn the basics of surfing a SUP in a safe and friendly environment. Experienced surfers will learn new tricks and will shorten the commute to waves by a few hours. Freighter waves originate from passing ships that push waves towards beaches on Shilshole Bay during specific tide levels. Waves vary from knee to chest high and can go for over an hour after a single boat has passed. Take advantage of this unique class as few other locations in the North America have this specific set-up for riding good sized waves from container ships.

Our patient expert instructors will work with you to teach how to paddle out over waves, choose where to take waves from and how to pick the best waves to surf for your skill level. You'll learn how to fall safely, turn and avoid collisions with other surfers using Surfer's Etiquette. You'll learn about gear, clothing and how to surf in the Pacific NW.  You'll also receive a Freighter Surfing Manual to learn more about these waves and how and where to catch them on Puget Sound.

Read about freighter vs. tug waves

Things You'll Learn

  • Best equipment and clothing for SUP surfing
  • How & where to catch waves on Puget Sound
  • Rough water paddling techniques
  • How to safely fall off your board in surf
  • Bracing techniques for stability
  • How to paddle out, choose waves and directional control
  • Surfer's Etiquette and being a good SUP Ambassador
  • Water safety in the surf zone
  • How to surf boat wakes when waiting for ships
  • Experienced surfers - learn new tricks


    Duration: 2.5 – 3 Hours. Class Size: 1 – 4 People
    Location: Shilshole Bay, Seattle; Spring – Fall only.
    Instructor to Student Ratio: 1-4

    Who Should Attend?
    Advanced beginners (Level 2) and above. You should be comfortable paddling over boat wakes standing and paddling in wind. You should be in good physical shape as surfing can be exhausting.

    Already a Surfer? These waves will keep you in shape when you can’t get to the coast. We’ve been stumped at the coast and sometimes have had better success in Seattle! Stable displacement boards welcome. We recommend that prone surfers take our SUP Basics or SUP Sampler class to learn basic SUP turns and the forward stroke.

    * FREE Follow-up Class for students who don’t catch a wave during their first class.

    Group Rate: $135 per person. 2 – 4 students. Rental gear free with class cost.
    Individual Rate (1-1): $179. Rental gear free with class cost.

    Alumni / Repeat Classes: $10 off per person. If you didn’t get a wave your first class come out again for free.

    Bringing your own gear? The best SUPs for these classes are stable surf style boards as well as stable displacement boards to 17 feet. Leashes and PFDs required (Shilshole Bay is considered a flat water location by the CG). Wetsuits required Fall – Spring.


    We can’t guarantee waves. Freighter waves can be fickle. On no wave days I’ll teach you the strokes we commonly use in surfing or bombproof your current skills. Three core strokes will increase your wave count both here and on the coast. We’ll cover self-rescue, water safety and rescues for rough water conditions and where to find and how to forecast tug and freighter waves. We offer one free followup class for students who don’t catch a wave during their first class.

    2017 CLASSES

    Mar -- 12, 15, 17, 25, 26, 29, 31

    April --1, 2, 8 , 9, 12, 26, 28

    May --12, 13, 14, 17, 24, 26, 27, 28

    June --7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 2, 23, 24, 25, 28

    July --4, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29

    August —4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 20, 23, 25, 26, 27

    September — 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 24, 30

    These dates don’t work for you? Let us know what does and we can determine if there’s a boat coming!

    VIDEO: Freighter surfing with Evan of

    VIDEO: Freighter surfing with Evan of