SUP Expedition and Distance Race Training Course with Rob Casey & Karl Kruger

Learn how to prepare for an overnight sup wilderness adventure or long distance adventure race such as the Seventy48 with two of our region’s experts in long distance paddling on Puget Sound – Karl Kruger and Rob Casey.

The 2.5 day course will be on on of the top paddling destinations in the world, Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. You’ll train with Karl’s fitness trainer and we’ll plan an open water day trip from Deer Harbor either northwards to Flat Top Island, through the Wasp Islands or a circumnavigation of Shaw Island depending on conditions.  The course will only be offered on April 26 – 28th. 

We’ll Cover

  • Hands-on Marine Navigation
  • Cross training for core strength, stability and balance with Karl’s trainer Chuck Silva
  • Nutrition and hydration basics for trips and endurance racing
  • Board and gear outfitting tips
  • Distance trip and race tactics and strategy
  • Skills for paddling at night and in fog.
  • Learn about Karl’s summer trip through the Northwest Passage on SUP

Schedule – April 26-28 on Orcas Island

  • Friday – Cross training for core strength, stability and balance with Karl’s trainer Chuck Silva in his gym n EastSound on Orcas. 
  • Saturday – Discussion of above listed skills then 5 to 10 mile paddle to continue learning on-water. Possible circumnavigation of Shaw Island or similar adventure.  (February’s class did Deer Harbor to Flat Top Island, Jones then Wasp Islands).
  • Sunday – Morning paddle then brunch followed by discussion of skills and additional questions. Done by 2 pm.
  • After Class – Receive a follow-up document listing gear, apps and techniques mentioned in class.  

Your Instructors

Karl Kruger was the first stand up paddler to complete the Race to Alaska in 2017. He completed the 750 mile race un-assisted on a 17′ board in 14 days. He lives with his family on their boat on Orcas Island where he offers sailing charters in Puget Sound and the Inside Passage.  Learn more about Karl

Rob Casey owns Salmon Bay Paddle and is the author of ‘Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips‘ and ‘Stand Up Paddling Flat Water to Surf and Rivers‘ both by Mountaineers Books.  He has been on the board of the Washington Water Trails Association and the Paddle Sports Advisory Group with WA State Parks. See the About page on this page for more on Rob. 

Skill Level: You should be able to paddle 5 – 10 miles in varied open water conditions. We will set the paddling pace for your skill level and take breaks when needed. Take my SUP Basics 2 and Deception Pass courses to gain essential skills for this course. A custom pre-trip private lesson with Rob in Seattle is an option with me if you’re unsure of your skills. 14′ and longer boards required (SBP Rentals in Seattle available). 

“I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge about longer distance and open-water paddle trips. Rob and Karl held a supportive and challenging space for me and the other participants, who were all particularly race-focused, to find our individual edges and push them further. They generously shared their collective decades of world-class experience and wisdom without hesitation, with grace, humility, and respect. Being fairly new to endurance paddling, I was happily saturated with experience, tips, tools, and techniques to make every trip a safer and enjoyable one. Having this kind of access such a high level of expertise was a real treat.”  

- Chris Doree, Port Townsend, WA

Thank you Karl Krüger and for prodding us onward during class – it was a beautiful tour and went on long enough to push my edges and bring up issues and questions I’d had lingering.  The gym time with Chuck on Friday night ruled – Thanks to Chuck!

Thanks also for being so generous with your time – the ranging conversations on board ocean watch were valuable in many ways, as was the company. I enjoyed learning more about the expeditions you are undertaking and the serious commitment and skill you are bringing for those. I feel more prepared for sure for future long distance SUP expeditions!


- Liza Sheehan, Seattle, WA

Karl's trainer Chuck Silva on Orcas

Class Details:

Date: April 26-28

Location: Orcas Island, San Juan Islands.

Duration: 2.5 Days. Learn at your own pace.

Schedule: Friday: Gym session with Karl’s trainer Chuck Silva at 5:30pm. Saturday: All day paddle with breaks to cover navigation, strategy and trip planning.  Sunday: Morning paddle then brunch on Karl’s boat for more discussion. Done by 2pm.

Instructor to Student Ratio: 2:8 – With two instructors, course will be in 2 groups for slower and faster paddlers.  

Instructor Follow-up: Rob will send you a summary of skills you learned in class. 


599 per person.  Rental gear additional through Salmon Bay Paddle. 

Sign Me Up!  Through Isla Vida Group on Orcas.

“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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