Northwest Paddlefest

Splish Splash, We’re Paddling Fast

Eva Seelye Nautical News SUP

The Northwest Paddling Festival Returns For Its 8th Year

Kicking off the on-water fun of summer is the 8th annual Northwest Paddling Festival, May 11 and 12 at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Washington. Considered the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, this is a celebration of all things paddle sports with two full days of kayak tours, stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga classes, seminars, and more.

Free seminars are available on Saturday, May 12. Choose between Sea Kayak Camping 101, Back Country Cooking; Dressing for Paddle Sports; Choosing the Right Kayak; Eight Essential SUP Yoga Poses; Ease of Family Paddling; and Kayak Fishing. An on-water boot camp and SUP yoga classes will also be available throughout the day.

Northwest Paddlefest

Left: Participants of the festival from last year gather on the shore of Lake Sammamish. Right: Stand up paddleboards are popular at the festival, and people even do yoga on them.

The festival has many activities geared toward the kids as well. Build a sandcastle or two, play corn hole, or have your face painted. Children eight years and older can take out a single kayak or double up with their parents. Children younger than eight can still get in on all the aquatic fun by testing out the Aqua Paddler paddle boats.

Interested in showing off your mad paddling skills? Sign up for the Northwest Paddle Challenge or watch from the shore as kayakers, stand up paddleboarders, and outriggers cruise through this three-lap, six-mile, spectator-friendly race. There’s also a shorter, two-mile race option. Pre-register online for Friday, Saturday, or both at northwestpaddlingfestival.com; or register at the event. For $35, racers will receive a competitor race T-shirt and wrist band for on-water demos. If you’re not racing, there is a $10 fee to demo kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes.

Parking is available at Lake Sammamish State Park using a Discover Pass. Check out northwestpaddlingfestival.com for the complete schedule, seminar descriptions, or to register for the race.

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Eva Seelye

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Raised in the Marshall Islands but with Washington as her second home, Eva Seelye is an independent writer and former assistant editor at Northwest Yachting. Her on-water enthusiasm surfaces in every aspect of her life. Read up on her adventures at wanderinraw.com

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