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Fun Afloat: Where to Try SUP, Sailing, Kayaking and more

Where to get on the water with kids around Puget Sound

Alice_Crain, flickr CC

Where to try stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) around Puget Sound

What and why: Stand-up paddleboarding (also known as SUP) is a surface water sport where you stand up and paddle with a long paddle that is eight inches taller than you are. Andrew Drake, co-owner of Seattle’s Washington Surf Academy, and Surf Ballard, says SUP offers better views of the water and local wildlife than, say, kayaking (because of the standing position) and provides a full body workout.

Recommended age: Drake says 10 is a great age to start. Keep in mind that the smaller you are, the harder it is to propel forward. In addition to being a strong swimmer, a child learning to paddle board should have good coordination and be willing to work hard and go slow at first. It's also a great sport for grown-ups to try! 

Where to try it: Drake offers a group rate of $70 per participant for a two-hour class that includes all of the equipment. Kids and grown-ups can also try paddleboarding (and kayaking, sailing and canoeing), at Greenlake Boathouse in Seattle and Foss Bay Marina in Tacoma (Only kayak and paddleboard) or Sail Sand Point in North Seattle.

Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center offers a youth Adventure Camp that is water based and includes youth Stand-Up Paddle Board for kids ages 11–14. You can also rent paddle boards by the hour from Moss Bay on Lake Union for just $15 an hour.

Fun day trip: Salmon Bay Paddle offers multi-hour guided paddle board trips in beautiful locations that are rated easy for beginners, including a trip on the Sammamish River, where you can end your family’s tour with a meal at Red Hook Brewery, located adjacent to the launch site.

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