Freighter Wave Surfing Class

Salmon Bay Paddle Ballard SUP Race, 7/29/13
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Learn to SUP surf in Seattle on waist-high to chest-high waves from container ships. When conditions are right, freighter waves break on shore like coastal beach waves, and the boat has already passed by when the waves start rolling in. This is a class for beginning to advance surfers, and requires at least Level 1 paddling skills. It is offered from Spring to Fall, when tidal conditions are right.

Beginner surfers will learn the basics of surfing a SUP in a safe and friendly environment. Experienced surfers will learn new tricks and will shorten the commute to waves by a few hours. Freighter waves originate from passing ships that push waves towards beaches on Shilshole Bay during specific tide levels. Waves vary from knee to chest high and can go for over an hour after a single boat has passed. Take advantage of this unique class as few other locations in the North America have this specific set-up for riding good sized waves from container ships.

Our patient expert instructors will work with you to teach how to paddle out over waves, choose where to take waves from and how to pick the best waves to surf for your skill level. You’ll learn how to fall safely, turn and avoid collisions with other surfers using Surfer’s Etiquette. You’ll learn about gear, clothing and how to surf in the Pacific NW. You’ll also receive a Freighter Surfing Manual to learn more about these waves and how and where to catch them on Puget Sound.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Best equipment and clothing for SUP surfing
  • How & where to catch waves on Puget Sound
  • Rough water paddling techniques
  • How to safely fall off your board in surf
  • Bracing techniques for stability
  • How to paddle out, choose waves and directional control
  • Surfer’s Etiquette and being a good SUP Ambassador
  • Water safety in the surf zone
  • How to surf boat wakes when waiting for ships
  • Experienced surfers – learn new tricks

Who Should Attend?

Advanced beginners (Level 2) and above. You should be comfortable paddling over boat wakes standing and paddling in wind. You should be in good physical shape as surfing can be exhausting.

Already a Surfer? These waves will keep you in shape when you can’t get to the coast. We’ve been stumped at the coast and sometimes have had better success in Seattle! Stable displacement boards welcome. We recommend that prone surfers take our SUP Basics or SUP Sampler class to learn basic SUP turns and the forward stroke.

Class size 1-4 People. * FREE Follow-up Class for students who don’t catch a wave during their first class.

Bringing your own gear? The best SUPs for these classes are stable surf style boards as well as stable displacement boards to 17 feet. Leashes and PFDs required (Shilshole Bay is considered a flat water location by the CG). Wetsuits required Fall – Spring.

Weather cancellations by instructor are a 100% refund.
- Last minute cancellations by customer less than 48hrs of class date will not receive a refund since we will most likely not be able fill that space.
- Customer cancellations more than 48hrs of class/tour date will receive 50% return.
- If you don’t show up for a class or tour without any notification, you won’t be allowed to work with us again.
- We will cancel any trips when there are safety concerns such as wind. We don’t cancel for rain.
- Recheduling or moving to an alternative location may occur at the discretion of the trip leader.

Salmon Bay Paddle

We provide premium Stand Up Paddling and Kayaking instruction and educational tours in the Pacific Northwest by certified instructor and guidebook author Rob Casey and our PSUPA certified guides. We’re a mobile business with great equipment, personal service and work with all skill levels. We specialize in offeringg small individualized class and tours. You deserve a good paddle!

More classes from Salmon Bay Paddle

Class Fee: $135

  Apr 26, 2017 - Apr 26, 2017
  Apr 28, 2017 - Apr 28, 2017
  May 12, 2017 - May 12, 2017
  May 13, 2017 - May 13, 2017
  May 14, 2017 - May 14, 2017
  May 17, 2017 - May 17, 2017
  May 24, 2017 - May 24, 2017
  May 25, 2017 - May 25, 2017
  May 27, 2017 - May 27, 2017
  May 28, 2017 - May 28, 2017
  Jun 7, 2017 - Jun 7, 2017
  Jun 9, 2017 - Jun 9, 2017
  Jun 10, 2017 - Jun 10, 2017
  Jun 11, 2017 - Jun 11, 2017
  Jun 14, 2017 - Jun 14, 2017
  Jun 28, 2017 - Jun 28, 2017
  Jul 7, 2017 - Jul 7, 2017
  Jul 8, 2017 - Jul 8, 2017
Days/Times:
Class Type: In Person
Location: Shilshole Bay

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Reviews of Salmon Bay Paddle

(5 Reviews)
Richard M.
My wife and I did a multi-hour, private lesson with Rob that was really one of the best and most satisfying learning experiences I have ever had. We had asked for a real overview and intro to sea kayaking-- and we really got it. Starting with a detailed discussion of basics, gear, different schools of thought, the whole nine yards --- then on to in-the-water instruction on self-rescues, etc. Rob went out of his way to make this work for us, including lining up wet suits and gear. He is a clear and direct teacher, patient, and clearly truly knows his stuff. We will return for more come spring!
Paul E.
Rob's personalized instruction greatly improved my skills and gave me the confidence to become fully immersed in stand up paddling. There are plenty of SUP classes out there, most with very large groups and not a lot of one-on-one time. Rob's classes are small and customized to suit your specific needs and perfect for those who really want to learn the in's and out's of the Pacific NW's perfect sport. Besides the instruction, Rob also gave me lots of great info on where to buy a board, suggestions for equipment, etc. Definitely money well spent! Thanks Rob!
Debbie G.
I have taken several classes from Rob and all I can say is Rob is the absolute best SUP instructor you are going to find. Not only is he an expert in SUP but he knows his environment - tides, winds, weather, and where to go. On top of that safety is his number one priority. Rob will get you standing and paddling if you are a beginner or take your skills to the next level. Don't pass up your chance to work with him!
Paul E.
Rob's personalized instruction greatly improved my skills and gave me the confidence to become fully immersed in stand up paddling. There are plenty of SUP classes out there, most with very large groups and not a lot of one-on-one time. Rob's classes are small and customized to suit your specific needs and perfect for those who really want to learn the in's and out's of the Pacific NW's perfect sport. Besides the instruction, Rob also gave me lots of great info on where to buy a board, suggestions for equipment, etc. Definitely money well spent! Thanks Rob!
Richard M.
My wife and I did a multi-hour, private lesson with Rob that was really one of the best and most satisfying learning experiences I have ever had. We had asked for a real overview and intro to sea kayaking-- and we really got it. Starting with a detailed discussion of basics, gear, different schools of thought, the whole nine yards --- then on to in-the-water instruction on self-rescues, etc. Rob went out of his way to make this work for us, including lining up wet suits and gear. He is a clear and direct teacher, patient, and clearly truly knows his stuff. We will return for more come spring!