Tug Wave Surfing on Puget Sound

Covid-19 Update:  SBP is now open to individual and small groups to 4 people. 

We’ll maintain a 6′ distance on shore and on-water, recommended mask use on shore. All gear is always cleaned. 

Tug Surfing Class..

Tug wave surfing in Seattle is a unique opportunity to ride epic waves long distances on Puget Sound.

Waves are caught in deep water offshore unlike freighter waves which break near the beach.

Waves can vary from waist to chest high and go a half mile or longer depending on the type of board or boat you’re using your surfing skills, and conditions.

You should have intermediate to advanced paddling skills and be in good paddling shape. Having surf skills helps for catching more waves.

Tug wave surfing requires SUPs 14′ and longer  or OC1’s, surf ski’s and sea kayaks.

What’s the difference between freighter vs. tug waves?

Freighter wave season is Spring to early Fall due to low tides which help the waves break. These waves break on the beach like standard ocean waves and can last up to an hour. The boat is long gone by the time the wave arrives.

Tug waves occur in deep water with no beach and requires paddling a half mile into open water. I have a relationship with a tug company whose waves spreads out in a V shape about 50′ from the boat.  Click Here to Read About Freighter Wave Surfing. >>

The Inertia story on Tug Surfing.

Seattle Times story on our tug Surfing.

Men’s Journal story on Tug Wave Surfing.

See my YouTube page for Seattle tug surfing videos.

Core Skills You’ll Get:

  • Where and when to catch tug waves on Puget Sound
  • Best techniques for catching these waves
  • Which gear is best for tug surfing
  • Rough water paddling techniques
  • Water safety and open water rescues
  • How and when to catch similar other boat waves on Puget Sound.

Bonus Material

  • Receive a 3 page manual on where and how to surf tug waves on Puget Sound.
  • I’ll shoot video or stills of your experience.

Skill Prerequisites: Intermediate

Intermediate to advanced paddlers who are comfortable paddling on open water with previous surfing experience.

Tug waves are harder to catch than freighter waves and require more skill. We catch these waves a half mile offshore and rides can last as long as a half mile on a good day.

Racing or downwinding sups as well as OC’s, sea kayaks and surf ski’s are best to catch these deep water waves. Must be able to paddle 3-4 miles with ease in rough conditions.


We can’t guarantee waves. Tug 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.

I conquered several fears paddling in currents and surfing waves and owe it to Rob, where safety and professional instructions are Salmon Bay Paddle’s top priorities!

Margrit Ralph

Class Details:

Covid-19 Update:  SBP is now open to individual and small groups to 4 people.

We’ll maintain a 6′ distance on shore and on-water, recommended mask use on shore. All gear is always cleaned. 

Schedule:  Wednesday (2 boats) and Friday (1 boat) 1:30 – 4pm varying per boat arrival.

Duration: 2-3 Hours.

Class Size: 1 – 4 People

Location: Shilshole Bay, Seattle

Bringing You Own Gear? Displacement boards work best on these waves 12-6 to unlimited lengths. I have a few available to use. OC1’s, surf skis and sea kayaks are welcome. 


Group 3 – 4 Students: 149 per person with rentals / 123 with your own gear.

2 Person Rate: 169 with rentals / 149 with your own gear.

Individual Rate (1-1): 299 with our gear. Rental gear free with class cost / 279 with your own gear.

Rentals include: Displacement board, leash, paddle, wetsuit, booties, hood, vest life jacket.

Repeat Classes: $25 off per person.

  • If you didn’t get a wave your first class – come out again for free.

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