For expert paddlers or those looking to try sea kayaking or stand-up paddling for the first time, the eighth annual Northwest Paddling Festival is the place to be to get started for a summer on the water.
Held at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Washington Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12, the festival is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. During the course of the two-day celebration of paddle sports, attendees can demo boats, take kayak tours and SUP yoga classes, attend seminars and check out gear from the more than 60 paddle sports businesses. There truly is no better place to learn how to get started in paddling or find the latest gear and accessories.
Free seminars are offered throughout the day on Saturday and are for all experience levels. The 2018 lineup includes: Sea Kayak Camping 101; Back Country Cooking; Dressing for Paddle Sports; Choosing the Right Kayak; Eight Essential Standup Paddleboard Yoga Poses; Ease of Family Paddling; and Kayak Fishing.
In addition to kayak and SUP demos, there will be on-water boot camp and yoga classes by Flow Motion Fitness and SUP yoga classes offered by Paddling Yogini.
A complete schedule and seminar descriptions can be found at: www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com
The event and seminars are free. There is a nominal fee of $10 to demo canoes, kayaks and SUPs. Those who register for the Paddling Challenge will receive a wrist band which is good for the whole day of demos.
There’s plenty for the kids to do and learn as well including sand castle building on the beach, corn hole and face painting. Children eight years and older can kayak in a single or double up with their parents. Even the youngest of paddlers can join in the fun testing out the Aqua Paddler paddle boats.
Northwest Paddling Challenge: Saturday May 12, 10:30 a.m.
This spectator-friendly race features a six-mile course of kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and outriggers in a three-lap race along the shores. There will also be a two-mile course for those interested in a shorter run or just new to racing. The cost to register is $35 and includes a competitor race T-shirt and a wrist band for on-water demos during the remained of the event. Pre-registration can be done at www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com or day-of at the event.
When: Friday May 11 – Saturday, May 12, 2018
Hours: Friday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Parking: Parking is available at Lake Sammamish State Park using a Washington State Discover Pass. A one-day pass is $10 or an annual pass is available for $30. Passes can be purchased at the Park entrance. Passes are also available online or at select retailers for an additional handling fee.