Apr 24, 2017

Largest paddling festival in the Northwest includes tours, demos, seminars, Northwest Paddling Challenge and new SUP Dragon races.

Issaquah – April 18, 2017 – The Northwest Paddling Festival, the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, is set to return to Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Friday May 12 and Saturday May 13. During the two-day celebration, attendees can demo kayaks and stand up paddleboards, take kayak tours, attend seminars and check out more than 60 paddle sports businesses. There’s no better place to learn how to get started in paddling or find the latest gear and accessories. New for 2017 is the addition of a Red Paddle Dragon World Series Race. The Dragon World Series is the world’s first team SUP racing competition, with races taking place around the world, culminating in the Dragon World Championships in Barbados in October 2017. Anyone entering the Dragon Series race at the Northwest Paddling Festival will automatically be entered to win a drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip to the World Championships!

Free seminars are offered throughout the day on Saturday and are for all experience levels. New seminars for 2017 include Cooking in the Back Country (Freeze-dried no more!); Surfski Paddling (How to go faster, further, and have more fun); Cascadia Marine Trail – Paddler’s Paradise; Journal Sketching Your Paddle Adventure and more.

In addition to kayak and SUP demos, other on-water activities include 30-minute Intro to Kayaking and First Time SUPin’ sessions. There will also be on-water Flow Motion Fitness Boot Camp and Yoga classes. TheFlow Motion Fitness Mat made by Evolve Paddle Boards is the newest rage in aquatic fitness. Flow Motion classes deliver a completely different kind of exercise – standard exercises from the gym are taken to a whole new level of challenge when on an unstable surface on the water! Certified trainer Christen will lead participants through workouts that build core strength and improve balance and mobility on every turn of the mat.

A complete schedule and seminar descriptions can be found at:

PaddlingThe 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. Beach Camp at Sunset Bay will be offering a kids and paddling seminar; Issaquah Hatchery a coloring activity; and kids 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. And new for 2017 is a climbing wall.

Red Paddle – Dragon World Series Race: Saturday May 13, 2:00 p.m.

Dragon SUP racing takes place on four-person boards and mixes the intensity of SUP racing with the camaraderie of team spirit. Seasoned SUP-ers are welcome to enter the event along with casual cruisers and complete newbies. For those more interested in individual competition, there will also be the annual Northwest Paddling Challenge – for kayakers, stand-up paddleboarders and outriggers – with a six-mile course and a two-mile course.

Red Dragon four-person boards are 22 feet long, 34 inches wide and 8 inches thick. Four-person teams will race in head-to-head, out-and-back sprints, two teams at a time. The event is tournament-style, so the winners of each race move on to the next heat and keep competing until eliminated or in the finals. Red Dragon boards will be provided and must be used. Registration will take place onsite throughout the day Friday and Saturday morning. Races start at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Northwest Paddling Challenge: Saturday May 13, 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 or day-of at the event.

When: Friday May 12 – Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hours: Friday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road, Issaquah, WA. From I-90: Drive east to exit #15, and follow the signs to Lake Sammamish State Park.

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.


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