Downwinding - Level 2

Downwinding Level 2 SUP Class

Downwinding Level 2 will take you to your next level on Shilshole Bay in Seattle. We’ll cover where to downwind in the Pacific Northwest. wind forecasts, catching waves with less effort, safety, stability in rough water, reading water and how to stay off the evening news by making smart decisions.

Seattle area downwinding is very good all year with a lot of options for different wind directions. This class is a prerequisite for downwinding in world class locations like Maliko and Hood River.  Learn the basics here to be more comfortable elsewhere. I also work with Jaecy Suda in Maui and Joel Yang in Hood River to prep students for their downwind runs.

How it Works

Downwinding can be epic yet also dangerous if you don’t have right skills to make make your destination, can’t stand up in bumps or lack the physical shape required to paddle in gale force conditions. You’ll put yourself and others in jeopardy unless you’re ready for this experience.  Ready means being in strong paddling shape and having solid high wind paddling skills.

Too often we get folks who think after a beginning SUP class they’re ready to hit prime time at Hood River. You have no business being in 6-8′ swell in 40 knots of wind until you have the right skills and on-water time. This takes learning the core skills and lots of water time in those conditions.

  • Unless I’ve worked with you before, I require you take my Downwind Level 1 to assure you’ll have the skills to safely paddle in high winds. This class may be in wind or flat water. The goal of the class is to train you so you have a strong forward stroke, can paddle a straight line in any conditions, can fall safely and remount in high wind and waves, learn rough water stability skills and how to read water so you can make smart decisions to get back safely.

Questions? Contact me

Skill Level and Requirements for Downwind Level 2:

  • You should be an Intermediate or Advanced stand up paddler.
  • You should be able to paddle 5-10 miles non-stop.  if the wind shuts off or changes direction getting back requires this.
  • You can paddle in a straight line in rough water and high wind
  • You can remount and stand up on your board in waves and wind
  • Comfortable standing on/surfing boat wakes and/or can SUP surf and/or river sup (actually done it recently)
  • You paddle regularly (have been out recently) and can swim (the basics)
  • Be in good physical shape.

Take my SUP Basics 2 class, Ultimate SUP Class of my Deception Pass class to build your skills.

Required Equipment (if bringing your own) – Vest PFD (no waist C02’s), hi-vis colors, booties, gloves, full wetsuit (4/3mm or 5/4mm) or drysuit, leash, paddle, stable board (super narrow 21-23″ will mean a lot of swimming); tethered communication device such as a VHF or phone.  Helmet for 27+ knot days where boards can go airborne. Boards should be 14′ or longer hard or inflatables.  Rentals Available for all gear.

Core Skills You’ll Gain

  • Wind forecasting tools and techniques so you get more downwind days
  • Stroke analysis for your forward stroke so you get more glides
  • Directional control such as nose rudders, the dufek, and tail rudder
  • Footwork to adjust trim which means longer glides, less work. Essential for any surfing.
  • Rescues & Safety – Learn how to rescue yourself and others in high wind
  • Downwind Gear – boards, double leashing, visibility, clothing and communication.
  • How to choose where to go and when, planning put-ins and take-out, shuttles and backup plans
  • Get solid skills for rough water and high wind so you can have more fun
  • How to train for downwinding and cross training options
  • Going to downwind Maliko or Hood River? I work with Jaecey Suda in Maui and Joel Yang in HR to prep you for their classes.
  • Downwinding common sense keeps you off the news.
  • Check out my blog for more info on downwinding 


Schedule: 3hrs: When the wind blows. Wind isn’t consistent in Seattle so we have to set a date that works for you with an upcoming windy forecast. Contact me for your available dates.

Class kept small to 1- 3 people capacity for safety.

Location: Will be held on Puget Sound in Seattle unless otherwise requested

** Covid-19:  SBP is open to individual and small groups to 2-3 people for DW. We’ll maintain a 6′ distance on shore and on-water, recommended mask use on shore. All gear is always cleaned. 


Group Rate: (3 students) 169 per person with rentals / 149 per person with your gear.

2 Person Rate: 199 pp with rentals / 169 pp with your gear

Individual Rate (1-1): 299 with rentals / 273 with your own gear.

My Rental Gear: Stable 14′, 17′ and 18′ SUPs, paddle, coiled leash, vest PFD, hi-vis clothing, 4/3 or 5/4 mm surfing wetsuit, booties, gloves, optional helmet.

After Class Review: Receive a summary of strokes covered and tips of skills to work on. Optional video or stills of your experience. Help with purchasing gear and learning where to DW.

Alumni Discount: $10 off for returning students.


“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

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