Imagine seeing a green-blue glow every time you paddle and when the nose of your sup slices through the water. Bioluminescence occurs throughout the year in Puget Sound providing a surreal experience in the right conditions. It can be seen by us moving through the water or by waving our hands or paddle underwater to generate the effect. Passing marine life under our boards can also generate the effect. 

What is Bioluminescence?  The production and emission of light by a living organism. It is a form of chemiluminescence. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi, microorganisms including some bioluminescent bacteria and terrestrial invertebrates such as fireflies. (from Wikipedia)

This bioluminescence sup tour takes place on Puget Sound on Shilshole Bay. We’ll launch just before dusk to paddle about 20-30 minutes to a location free of shore based lights which dilute the effect.  Scheduling can be tricky for the right sky and water conditions.  Contact me to discuss possible dates.  Custom locations away from the city for better results can be arranged.  

SBP in Seattle Times article on Bioluminescence


Skill Prerequisites: Intermediate

You should be comfortable standing while paddling over boat wakes, in wind waves and in mild current. This tour includes paddling in current 2-4 knots, crossing a boating channel and we may need to negotiate incoming ship waves. The tour does include Night Paddling Instruction. Aside from a few hot nights in summer, wetsuits, lifejackets and leashes are required.

Take my SUP Basics 1 and/or 2 class to jump-start your skills to be better prepared.  

“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

Tour Details:

Private Tours Only

Tour Size: 1 – 4 People 

Location: Ballard Elks beach on Shilshole Bay in Seattle.  This tour can also be held at a location of your choice for the same cost in Seattle. Add additional travel fees (and/or ferry fees) for tours outside of Seattle.

Duration: 3 hours. We’ll start with a safety talk and night paddling instruction. About 20-30min paddling time to a location where we escape the city lights for best results.

Schedule: Private tours only. Contact me to schedule. Specific conditions allow for best conditions.  Wind will dilute the effect and require rescheduling. 

Skill Level – Must be Level 2 – Intermediate.  You should know how to stand with ease, paddle over small waves and know how to fall and get back on your board. 

Instructor to Student Ratio: 1:4 or 2:4. 


Private Tours Only

3 – 4 People: 133 per person with rentals / 110 per person with your gear. 

2 Person Rate: 173 with rentals / 149 with your gear

Individual Rate (1-1): 299 with rentals / 273 with your own gear. 

Rental Gear Includes: Stable board, night paddling light, paddle, PFD (life vest), leash, wetsuit, booties, gloves.

Alumni/Repeat Classes: $10 off per person.

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“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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