Justin learned quickly.
Friday afternoon, 80 degrees and sunny. Nice! Time to try stand up paddling (SUP) at Greenlake. I pulled my crew together: Justin, who enjoys scuba, mountain climbing, traveling and has taken a surfing lesson. And Bobbi, who travels extensively in South America and does yoga. We found no hassle parking on the neighborhood streets and took in the lively beach scene. Seattle definitely knows how to enjoy summer.
Bobbi changed into her swimming suit at the Community Center while Justin and I rented the SUP boards from the energetic staff at Greenlake Boat Rentals. Fourteen dollars an hour after twelve noon, twelve bucks an hour in the morning.
Hummm, what should we do with our stuff while we are out on the lake? Staff hung our car keys on a peg on the key board, and Justin put our credit cards and cash in a waterproof lanyard case around his neck. Then we piled everything else at the base of a nearby tree. Sunshine on the water was a shimmery backdrop for the five minute SUP lesson provided by Shunta, one of three fun “beach boys”. One at time we began paddling and gliding across the water, easily finding our center of gravity.
If all else fails…
Standing up in the middle of Greenlake, we became inspired to paddle over to the big trees on “Duck Island”. Just because we could. Bobbi got tossed as she tried to land on the Island. Justin and I decided it would be more fun to circumnavigate it. On the far side we chatted with a unique paddler, Lucy the Dog, sharing her board with her best friend.
The adventure to Duck Island seemed to be enough exercise for one day, so we paddled back to shore and checked out. We had paid for an hour rental, but 40 minutes was long enough for us. Feeling jolly, we decided to make the day even better by taking a dip in the lake. Brilliant idea.
Walking distance from Tacos Guaymos, we topped off our afternoon in the water with an outside table and happy hour prices. Bobbi, who is very selective about her tacos, said “bueno” and the sangria captured the sunlight in its fruity splendor.
SUP boarding is growing rapidly in Seattle. The largst SUP event in the Northwest, Round the Rock 2013, takes place in Seattle’s Seward Park on September 8. This race and expo is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association. All proceeds benefit Athletes for Cancer.