Our two-hour excursion will give you the basic guidance you need to safely SUP. We’ll show you how to:
Properly stand on your board
Place your feet for optimal stability
Perform basic paddle strokes to control the direction of your board
You’ll also learn the basics about currents, wind and safety, along with a little local history and suggestions for local paddle boarding spots.
Since 95% of the instruction is held on the water, you’ll have plenty of time to get comfortable on your board and practice your technique.
Aside from learning SUP basics, our excursions also give you the chance to enjoy your natural surroundings in a new way. The bay is teeming with marine life not always visible from the shore. It’s not uncommon to see Bald Eagles circling above, harbor seals, jumping salmon, and handfuls of starfish. We’ve even had gray whale and octopus sightings.
Most people are surprised at how fast it takes them to stand and maneuver on their boards. Within the first 15 minutes of our excursions, 95% of participants are standing and paddling. In fact, we usually tell people that if they don’t fall in within the first 30 minutes of class, they probably won’t fall in at all. But it’s okay if you do. And, it’s also okay if it takes you a little longer to build up the courage to go from kneeling on your board to standing. The idea is to have fun and do what’s most comfortable for you.
Stand up paddle boarding can be as leisurely or strenuous as you want to make it. In fact, the beauty of SUP is that it is so incredibly versatile — and accommodating to all levels of fitness. As long as you can kneel, stand, and paddle, you should be able to make SUP work for you. Our excursions are all about making your time on the water enjoyable as possible. That means that there’s no pressure to do anything that isn’t comfortable for you.
It is imperative that you arrive for your class on time. Once we’ve headed out for a lesson, we can’t leave a group unattended on the beach or in the water in order to help late arrivals get suited up and matched with a proper board. If you think you may be 5 minutes late, please call us at 206.387.9054 and we will do what we can to accommodate you. If you do not call or are more than 5 to 10 minutes late, you will be unable to join the lesson and your daily deal voucher will be considered used.
We provide wetsuits and booties for those who don’t have them, but if you have your own, please bring them along to wear. Everyone needs to arrive wearing swimwear or board shorts — and water shoes if you own a pair. Hats and sunglasses are optional; sunscreen shouldn’t be.
We are more than happy to take children on our SUP excursions, but please call us so that we can prepare in advance. We like to have a stronger instructor-to-student ratio when kids are along, so everyone gets plenty of personalized attention.
If there are spaces available, you’re welcome to park in the lot that we share with Paseo Restaurant. When the lot is full, there is plenty of nearby street parking. PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE ELKS’ PARKING LOT. VIOLATORS WILL BE TICKETED AND/OR TOWED.
Our group excursions max out at ten people per outing. We require a minimum of four participants for each group lesson. Lessons almost always fill up, but should the lesson you signed up for not reach the minimum number of participants, we will call you an hour before your scheduled lesson to let you know. At that point, you can either reschedule or receive a full refund. Happily, this is a rare occurrence.
You are more than welcome to bring along a camera on your outing — but please be aware that there is no guarantee that it will stay out of the water. Washington Surf Academy is not responsible for lost or damaged personal items.
This being the PNW, a little rain won’t stop us from holding lessons. Plus, wetsuits make the rain very tolerable. Should the weather be bad enough to cancel, we’ll call you using the phone number provided during registration at least an hour prior to your lesson.
Washington Surf Academy operates out of Surf Ballard, and is located just steps away from the waters of Shilshole.
With decades of surfing experience under our belts, we know how to deliver surf camps and stand up paddle lessons that are safe, informative and fun.