Deception Pass Challenge

Original idea drawing for DP Dash

The Deception Pass Challenge is Sunday, December 8th and is the same 6 ish mile course as the Deception Pass Dash. The DP Challenge is the new official version of this classic NW winter race in the tidal rapids of Deception Pass but under new management.

Directions to Bowman Bay

The 2019 Race is Full!  Sorry folks, gliche on my insurance. Will be bigger with one date set in 2020.

But don’t fret!

New Upcoming Races

Spring Deception Pass Race (Spring) Bowman or Cornet to Hope and Skagit Islands in current, 10ish miles.

Bremerton Port Washington Narrows Race – Spring or Early Summer. 10 miles in tidal currents.

2nd Annual Makah Coast Race at Hobuck – Late Summer. 10 miles through the surf into the bay and back.

DP Challenge Race Details

The DP Challenge starts at slack (before ebb) where participants race from Bowman Bay around Deception Island then through the main Pass (south channel) before the ebb current becomes too strong to paddle against.

The ‘crux point’ is the last somewhat doable eddy on the SE corner of Pass Island before open water leading to Strawberry Island. Many don’t make it past this point. If you do, you’ll go around Strawberry Island, then through Canoe Pass (north channel) back towards Deception Island then finish at Bowman Bay.

Challenges on the course aside from tidal currents include boat wakes, progressive standing waves from current bucking wind, reefs and kelp beds around the islands, wind and well.. its December.


10:30 – Sign-in tent open

12 (noon) – Safety Meeting

12:40 – Race Start (Start of slack tide)

2pm – Awards

*Due to our insurance, only 50 participants will be allowed to compete in the 2019 Challenge. This will open up to a larger number in 2020.


Suggested Routes using eddies. Blue is an alternative if you miss the crux.

Race T-Shirt

Local paddler Ayu Othman designed a sweet shirt for the race which is available for an additional $15 upon registration.


Percentage of proceeds donated to the NW Straits Commission

Lodging / Travel Info

There’s ample lodging in Oak Harbor and Anacortes nearby. ‘DP’ is a 1.5 hour drive in good traffic from Seattle with no ferry required.

Terms and Conditions

NOTE  regardless off circumstances

  • Refunds cannot be issued

  • Tickets cannot be transferred to different participants

  • Tickets cannot be deferred to next year.

  • Any request for the above will be ignored.


SBP student in Canoe Pass


I offer year round SUP classes in DP. Learn to river sup in saltwater tidal rapids! And where and when to surf the Pass.

2020 NW Races 






Skill Prerequisites: Advanced

Must be competent with winter paddling in tidal rapids, waves, wind and rough water. Lifejackets required for all participants and leashes for SUPs.  If you’re unsure of your skill level, contact us to discuss or for additional training.

Event Details:

Race Date: December 8 

Location: Deception Pass State Park,WA

Course – Bowman Bay – Deception Island – main Pass – Strawberry Island – Canoe Pass – DP Island – Bowman Bay.

Distance: 6 miles

Overall Event Duration: 4 hours (11am – 3pm)

Participant Capacity: 50

Bring your Discover Pass for parking. Or $10 cash. 


Private Race Clinics AvailableContact me for rates and/or to save your spot.

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