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Monday Evening SUP Races! We run these races June-September on Shilshole Bay. Entry is $5 per person. Proceeds go to the Ballard Elks Scholarship Fund. Ok for participants to park for race in Elks lot. Register in the Elks lot as well. The course route varies each week per conditions and is usually 1.5 to 3 miles. SUP experience is required to participate. Contact us for more info.
Where do you hold your classes? Our L1 to L3 classes are held at the Ballad Elks Lodge beach in Seattle. Freighter and tug wave classes are offshore from the Elks beach. Coastal surfing is held near Port Angeles and the WA coast near Neah Bay. Tidal rapids are held at Deception Pass State Park 1.5hrs north of Seattle.
We can do private classes at a location of your choice for normal fees in Seattle, and extra fees outside Seattle.
Why do your classes and tours cost so much? We believe our classes and tours are unique and provide you with a personable level of instruction not available anywhere else in our region. We also take time to train and certify each of our instructors so you get best instruction possible. We don’t offer Groupons as we believe you get what you pay for. Our equipment is also of high quality so you have the best experience possible.
Do you rent SUP boards? We’re not a brick-and mortar-shop but do rent to our customers who have taken the SUP Sampler and/or L1 & L2 SUP Basics. We provide boards and paddles for our students for their classes. For large group rentals contact Urban Surf, NW Outdoor Center, Aqua Verde, Perfect Wave and NW Paddle Surfers.
Do you sell SUPs? Yes we do on occasion sell boards and used paddling gear. We’re not a full-time retailer or have a shop but can sell customers used or demo boards. We work with Imagine Surf, Amundsen, and Echo Composites. Check our Shop page for current listings.
Do I have to wear a life jacket? The Coast Guard requires life jackets (PFDs) for flat water paddling. We require and provide non-inflatable MTI Type 3 lifejackets (PFDs) for our classes at no cost to you. Vest style lifejackets will keep you warmer, are better visibility in busy waterways and make it easier to get back on the board. Experienced students are welcome to bring their own C02 PFDs (with cartridge).
Do I have to wear a wetsuit? We recommend full surfing wetsuits in fall, winter, and spring and for all surfing and tidal rapids classes. We provide wetsuits for free as part of your class. In summer we also have neoprene tops and bottoms for non full wetsuit days and as an alternative should a full wetsuit not work for you.
Will I get wet? Yes. We launch in waist deep water. Also there’s no shame in falling. You’ll learn more and have more fun if you get wet. Experienced paddlers fall all the time especially in surf and rough water.
I have poor balance. Is SUPing for me? Poor balance is a concern for most people, but is not necessarily a problem in learning to SUP. We make sure students are properly matched with the right size board for their height and weight, which gives them maximum stability on the water. We also teach to use the paddle as a brace when standing (like an outrigger) and about using momentum to create stability. Many are surprised at how easy it is to stand.
Will I Fall off the Board? Possibly! Falling is part of paddling. You have to learn how to get back on the board for your own safety. We teach you how to fall safety (flat) and climb back on 3 different ways. Falling is not a fail. As expert paddlers we fall all the time and as a result have more fun!
Do I have to be in shape to SUP? Nope. But SUP can get you in shape. You determine how much you want to put into it. You can take it easy on flat calm lakes or choose to make it a fitness routine.
What if I get cold? We make sure each student is warm and comfortable in our classes and on tours. A good wetsuit or dry suit will keep you warm and toasty. We have extra booties, gloves and hoods for student use. We can provide additonal tips and trick for staying warm.
Are you a Certified Paddle Instructor? Yes. Rob teaches PSUPA instructor certification and has ACA L1 & L2 SUP Certification and is also certified through WPA, ASI and Paddle Fit. Rob also has a First Aid/CPR Certificate and Wilderness First Aid certification. All our guides are PSUPA and First Aid/CPR certified.
Can I paddle in winter in the Northwest? We paddle year-round even in rain and snow! The right size board and proper clothing will go a long way to keep you warm and comfortable even in winter!
Do you teach outside of Seattle? Yes! Recent classes have been in Port Angeles, Tacoma, Bellingham, Spokane, and Portland, Oregon. Rob is available for out of state travel as well. We also work with Blue Planet Surf in Honolulu for our annual Surf Camp in Oahu. Contact us to discuss possibilities.
When is paddling season in the Pacific NW? We paddle all year. With adequete training and proper clothing you can paddle all year here (or anywhere). Life’s too short to wait for a sunny day in the NW!
We’re starting a SUP business, can you help? Yep! Rob has helped businesses of all kinds add SUP instruction, rentals, and sales to their services. He can also help you start a SUP race or other paddling events. Please contact us for business consulting. Rob is available to speak with you per an hourly basis. Our certification program, PSUPA does have SUP Business training as part of Flat Water 1.
I’m not athletic, is this for me? With good training, SUP is ideal for anyone from kids to seniors and will increase your balance and get you into shape. You don’t need to be in shape to take our classes!
What gear should I get? Always try before you buy gear! Rob loves to help folks find the right gear for their needs from car racks and boards to paddles and wetsuits, we can help! Demo Rob’s Amundson, Echo Composites, Imagine Surf boards, Accent Paddles, Salamander & NorthWater Paddle Gear, Seattle Sports and MTI lifejackets. We also have a variety of gear from NRS.
Can you train our staff on our SUP & kayak gear? Rob has trained businesses such as REI Spokane, Row Adventures, Gorge Performance, the Whidbey Naval Air Station Recreation Center, Body Boat Blade, Kayak Academy and the WWU Outdoor Center.
Are your class rates negotiable? We are not able to negotiate posted rates but can negotiate for corporate or large group tours and lessons. Our rates allow us to keep classes small so you receive the most individual attention and attain your paddling goals.
How do you define your paddling skill levels?
Level 1 – Beginner: No or limited paddling experience.
Level 2 – Intermediate: Some flat water paddling skills: ability to turn and stop, launch and land. Some rough water experience: ability to manage small boat wakes, small wind waves and/or navigate gentle current.
Level 3 – Advanced: At least 2 years of paddling experience.
Comfortable with large wind waves to 3’ surf and/or fast moving current.