Deception Pass Challenge Clinics

If you want to succeed at the upcoming Spring DP Challenge Race, being comfortable paddling in Deception Pass is essential. We see a few paddlers who only paddle the race and don’t spend time in the Pass – and it shows.  Take these Deception Pass Challenge clinics to find out how to race smart vs hard in the Pass.

I learned to sea kayak in the Pass 20 years ago and have been teaching SUP tidal rapids classes for a decade. Like any river, it’s not about brute strength or even the fastest craft. But the more you know about reading water, paddling in dynamic conditions and knowing the area, the more likely you’ll place higher and have more fun.

Clinic dates were chosen to match the tidal currents for both the Spring 12/26 and winter 12/5 races.  It takes most paddlers 45min to an hour to reach the bridge. We’ll launch a little more than an hour before slack to give us time to train while paddling to the bridge.

Private and custom designed clinics are available to meet you specific interests and/or skill level.  Check Details for rate info.

Take my Deception Pass Tidal Rapids class to get more familiar with paddling in the Pass and more water time prior to the race.

Core Skills You’ll Gain

  • Learn how to read the water in the Pass so you can make smart route decisions.
  • Learn the smartest route using eddies, current and wind breaks
  • Find out how to paddle over eddy lines, boils, whirlpools and other funky water
  • Get training tips for paddling in tidal current so you’ll be prepared on race day
  • Learn how to take advantage of current, boat wakes and progressive waves to get there easier
  • Get tips on outfitting your watercraft for carrying gear
  • Find out how to be seen better by other racers, boats, our safety staff
  • Learn how to use a handheld VHF radio, an essential safety tool in the Pass
  • Find out about other cross training options which will benefit your performance in tidal rapids
  • Learn about race nutrition, hydration and recovery so you don’t bonk

Photos of the December 2019 DP Challenge Race by Jasmine Speaks

Skill Prerequisites: Intermediate to Advanced

You should have basic swimming skills, be comfortable paddling in rough water and know how to self-rescue quickly. Take my SUP Basics 1 & 2 classes and Deception Pass Tidal Rapids Training to gain essential skills for the race. I can also train kayakers, prone and oc’s.  

“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

Deception Pass Challenge Clinics Details:

Class Size: 2 – 6 People group or private class

Duration: 3-4 hours. Learn at your own pace.

2020 Schedule: Jan 19, Feb 15, March 28th, April 25.  OR available as a Private Clinic on your schedule and per currents.

Instructor to Student Ratio: 1:6 or 2:6.

Instructor Follow-up: Rob will send you a summary of skills you learned in class. He’ll stay in touch with you after class to assist with finding paddling equipment and offer tips for paddling in the Pass.

Gear Required – Vest life jacket and dry suit or full wetsuit for immersion. Waist leash for SUPs. Getting wet means you’re pushing yourself and learning.

Group Rates:

Group Rate: (3 – 6 person capacity) 123 per person.  Add a full wetsuit, hood and booties: 25 per person.

Private Rates: 

Groups (3+ people) – 123 per person. Add a wetsuit, hood and booties: 25 per person.  

Two People: 149 per person. Add a wetsuit, hood and booties: 25 per person.

One on One: 299. Rental gear free with class cost.

Rental gear can include: PFD (life vest), leash, 4/3mm wetsuit, booties, hood, gloves, helmet.

SBP Alumni/Repeat Classes: $25 off per person.

Take my Deception Pass Tidal Rapids Training class to build essential Pass skills.

Sign Me Up!

“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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