Tidal Rapids Kayak Class in Deception Pass

Learn the basics of river paddling in saltwater with this kayak class in Deception Pass State Park. Tidal rapids will prepare you for exploring on Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, the Inside Passage and will build your overall skills. Paddling in tidal rapids is great cross training for downwinding, surfing, racing and more!

For many, 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 and surfing.

Our ACA certified guides will keep you safe while providing patient expert instruction to assist you in building new skills.

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.

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
  • Find out how to read water so you can make smart route planning decisions
  • Learn River Kayaking skills – peeling in and out of current, ferrying across current and rescues in current
  • I’ll help you choose the best best gear for river paddling so you stay warm and comfortable
  • If conditions are right, we’ll surf standing waves in the Pass!
  • Get expert balance skills for paddling in rough water
  • Paddling the Pass will help you have the skills to plan trips on Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands
  • Find out how to paddle Deception Pass on your own. The Pass isn’t just fast water!


DURATION: 1/2 day (4 hrs). We’ll take regular breaks on protected pocket beaches.

SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate and Advanced. Must know how to swim and be comfortable paddling in rough water, boat and/or wind waves and know how to wet exit and self-rescue.  Kayaking Level 1 and/or 2 are required if you’re unsure of your abilities.

Bringing Your Own Gear? You’ll need a sea kayak with bulkheads. I require a vest PFD, leash, helmet and full 5/4mm wet or drysuit. Booties and gloves recommended for walking on rocky beaches. Rentals Available.


Public Group Class Dates – (Limited to 4 students):  July 20 August 18 (Full), Sept 3, Oct 15

Private classes available all year.



Group Class 4 – 6 students – 349 per person

2 Person Class: 459 per person

1-1: 729 Get personalized training from a patient expert coach with a strong focus on safety.

Gear Rentals Available:

  • $30 per person – Stable Sea kayak, paddle, PFD (life vest) 
  • $20 per person – full 4/3mm or 5/4mm wetsuit, spray skirt, booties, hood, gloves, pump, paddle float

Rates are non-negotiable / Gratuities are welcome!

Contact Us for Info and to Sign Up

Covid-19: SBP is open to individual and small groups to Deception Pass (6p max) people. Paddling is a naturally distanced activity. We’ll maintain a 6′ distance on shore and on-water, recommended mask use on shore. All gear is always cleaned. 


“Paddled Deception Pass with Rob as my patient, professional guide – excellent experience! I was terrified and almost decided not to go at the last minute, and Rob calmly explained the plan, assured me my skills were solid (I took 2 classes from him in preparation over a few weeks) and got me back in the right frame of mind.

It was a beautiful paddle, challenging at times in a good way, and we got to see seals, barnacles, a short tour through the sea caves as a bonus, and received excellent instruction from Rob from start to finish. I’m forever grateful and pleased with all my classes and the DP paddle as well.

I love that he’s so into safety, customized teaching at your pace (meeting where you’re at in your skills and able to push you further without overwhelming you), and he’s just a pleasant person overall. I recommend this to anyone interested in paddling, learning new things, and adventure!”

- Mary P


“Rob and Harry are outstanding instructors. They know the industry and are willing to share their knowledge to make you better. Rob excels in the technical areas and his teaching provides insight in helping you increase your skills. I have taken the instructor training and the Deception Pass’s tidal rapids class and both experiences were outstanding. The classes were held in epic places in the PNW. Salmon Bay Paddle will make you a better paddler and you will have a good time doing it!”

- John G

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