Tidal Rapids SUP Class in Deception Pass

Learn the basics of river paddling in this SUP Class at Deception Pass State Park. Saltwater tidal currents which will prepare you for open water exploring on Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Inside Passage. You’ll learn river SUP paddling techniques, rough water skills and coastal paddling methods in an amazing place.

To some, Deception Pass looks scary and untouchable. I will share with you how to read the water, understand the currents and know when to be in the Pass for the best paddling.  Most classes will start at slack, the calm water period between the ebb and flood tides. Soon thereafter the currents will slowly increase as your skills also progress.

You’ll paddle with harbor seals, see bald eagles, possible orca sightings and enjoy majestic views of the San Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula and on a clear day, Victoria BC.

Watch this class on King 5 TV’s Evening Magazine, 5/2016.

Core Skills You’ll Gain

  • How to forecast marine weather, tides, and currents so you can plan your own trips to the Pass
  • Learn to paddle with control and confidence in swift current and rough water
  • You’ll learn how to read water so you can make smart route decisions in current
  • Learn River SUP skills – peeling in/out of current, ferrying across current and rescues in current
  • We’ll help you choose the best best gear for river paddling so you stay warm and comfortable
  • Rescue skills  in dynamic water will give you confidence for paddling off shore and in remote areas
  • If conditions are right, we’ll surf standing waves in the Pass!
  • Paddling the Pass will help you have the skills to plan trips on Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands

Skill Prerequisites: Intermediate

Required completion of our SUP Basics 1 and/or 2 classes. These basic classes can be taken at Deception Pass in calm protected water before we enter the Pass or in Seattle prior to the class date.

If you’re unable to take these prerequisites classes and feel your skills are sufficient, I will ask that you take a short test paddle with me prior to the SUP Class in Deception Pass date to confirm that you have the skills needed to paddle in rough water similar to tidal rapids.

Skills required to take this class: You must know how to swim, can fall off and climb back on your board with no problem, you can paddle comfortably in boat and wind waves (not on knees), can paddle straight and have directional control of your board.

Class Details:

2019 Dates

  • July 21
  • Aug 18 
  • Sept 7
  • October 12

Private lessons to your schedule available weekdays and weekends. 

Advanced Private Classes:  For those with river or tidal rapids sup experience looking to learn how to paddle in Deception Pass or improve your skills. We can also schedule for standing wave conditions. 

Duration: Half day (4-5 hrs). We’ll take regular breaks on protected pocket beaches.

Skill Level: Must be a solid Intermediate Level – Comfortable paddling standing up in rough water, boat and/or wind waves and know how to fall and easily get back on a board.  SUP Basics 2 is required if you’re unsure of your abilities.

Bringing Your Own Gear? You’ll need a super stable board (No 23-25″ wide race boards!) to have a fun day in the rapids. Narrow race boards will be tippy and difficult to manage. I require a vest PFD, leash, helmet and full wet or drysuit. Booties and gloves recommended for walking on rocky beaches. 


2 – 6 students – 225 per person- With our gear / 199 with your gear.

Private (1-1): 499 – With our gear / 475 with your gear.

Rentals include: Stable boards, paddle, leash, vest PFD, deck bag, 4/3mm wetsuit, booties. gloves, hoods and helmets.

Alumni Discount: $25 off per person.

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