Ballard Travel Guide for Paddlers

Ballard Travel Guide for Paddlers

Where to Stay in Ballard


Recommended Ballard Restaurants


Boat Ramps / Paddling Launches

  • 14th Street Boat Ramp, east of Ballard Bridge
  • Golden Gardens Park boat ramp and beaches
  • Shilshole Marina hand-carry put-in, north end 
  • Ballard Elks Club ‘Secret Beach’ put-in (hand carry) Must be Elks member
  • Commodore Park across channel on Magnolia Side, hand-carry


Paddling / Boating Shops

  • Surf Ballard – Surf/SUP shop across from the Ballard Elks (opens in May) Open during Round the Light Race
  • West Marine – in Ballard Blocks by 14th St Boat Ramp
  • NW Outdoor Center (NWOC) on Westlake and Lake Union in Seattle. Kayak and SUP. Great store.
  • Urban Surf – Surf, kite, foil and SUP shop, north end of Lake Union


What to Do / See

  • Sea lions most of the year from the Ray’s Boathouse dock
  • Visit the Ballard Locks to see the water go up and down, fish ladder and gardens
  • Golden Gardens Park to beaches
  • Shilshole Marina
  • Ballard Ave – Historic district with shops, beer, food, Kavu Store, and Sunday Farmer’s Market 


Puget Sound Weather Links

“I’ve had many SUP, surfing (and beyond) lessons world-wide but I haven’t found an expert in the area that compares to Rob’s level of quality experience, competency and teaching skills. Rob emphasizes safety first and caters to each individuals personal learning style in delivering quality instruction to paddlers of all levels. He truly went above and beyond and has set the bar extremely high for a business model that I hope to mirror. I will definitely return to him for further training.”
- Amber W

West Point Lightouse
Shilshole Bay
“Rob is an expert in SUP and offers even more relevant training and helpful information because of his background in kayaking. His skill, knowledge and expertise exceeded my expectations. He presented the information and training in a very clear and concise manner; adding many various tips throughout his instruction. Rob is encouraging, patient and practical – all very important traits when teaching a subject. The course more than met my needs – I learned a lot and as a beginner – I have a lot to learn. I will continue to turn to him as my ‘go to’ resource in all matters SUP. I’m extremely glad I chose Salmon Bay Paddle and Rob for my first professional training in SUP. I felt safe and confident with him the whole time.”
- Leah R

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