Deception Pass Kayak Training

Covid-19 Update:

SBP is now open to individual and small groups (4p max) people.

Paddling is a naturally distanced activity and great for much exercise and fresh air. We’ll maintain a 6′ distance on shore and on-water, recommended mask use on shore. All gear is always cleaned. 

The Class

Learn the basics of river paddling in this surf ski class in Deception Pass State Park. Saltwater tidal rapids will prepare you for paddling in swift current, surfing tidal rapids, downwinding and the Deception Pass Challenge.  You’ll also get skills for exploring Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.

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.  Local paddlers paddle the Pass to simulate open ocean conditions to train for channel crossing races and Hood River.  

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.


After a safety talk, we’ll launch from Bowman Bay, portaging into Lottie Bay, then entering Canoe Pass at slack or the beginning of the ebb.

You’ll learn river kayaking skills in tidal rapids underneath the Deception Pass Bridge!

Once you’re comfortable with basic river skills we’ll float down the current around Lighthouse Point and explore a sea cave and kelp beds, returning to Bowman Bay.

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
  • Learn how to surf boat wakes which get big when bucking current in the Pass! 
  • Find out about downwind possibilities in the Pass. 
  • Learn River kayak skills – peeling in/out of current, ferrying, and remounts in current and wind
  • 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!
  • Paddling the Pass will help you have the skills to plan trips on Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and beyond

Class Details:

Covid Notice – SBP is open for classes. Distancing will be followed on land and water. Recommended use of masks on shore. Equipment is regularly cleaned. 

Experienced kayaks, prone and outriggers welcome to join this class.

Schedule: Sept 26 / Oct 10 / Nov 7 / Dec 12

Private lessons available on your schedule.

Training for the DP Challenge Races? This is the perfect class to learn DP. 

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

Skill Level: Must be a solid Intermediate Level and be comfortable paddling in rough water, boat and/or wind waves and know how to capsize and easily get back in your ski. 

Bringing Your Own Gear? You’ll need a properly outfitted 14′ or longer ski that you’re familiar with. I require a vest PFD, helmet and full wet or drysuit. Booties and gloves recommended for walking on rocky beaches.


Group Class 3 – 4 students – 190 per person – With rentals / 169 per person with your gear.

2 Person Class: 223 per person with rentals / 199 per person with your own gear

1-1: 399 – With rentals / 373 with your gear.

RENTALS INCLUDE:  Sit on top Kayak, Vest PFD, deck bag, 4/3mm toasty wetsuit, booties. gloves, hoods and helmet.

** Bonus Mini DP Guide sent to all students after class explaining currents, best apps, how it works in the Pass so you can paddle there on your own.

Alumni Discount: $10 off per person.

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