Paddling Festival is May 1

May 7, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Lake Sammamish hosts the third annual Northwest Paddling Festival this weekend.

Experienced kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders will descend on Issaquah to celebrate all-things paddle sports, with a daylong festival May 11.

The event will feature paddling industry vendors, product demonstrations, kayak tours, stand-up paddleboarding lessons and a 6-mile paddle-craft race.

Certified guides and experts will be on hand to introduce novices to the world of paddle sports through 45-minute kayak tours or a 30-minute stand-up paddleboarding class.

“What we’re trying to do is make an experience for new paddlers coming in,” said Paul Riek, one of the festival’s co-founders.

Cautious attendees who want to try stand-up paddleboarding, but are hesitant to get out on the water, will appreciate the dry-land paddleboard simulators that will offer the feel of the real thing, Riek said.

Access to the festival and vendors is free, though there is a $10 daily parking fee for the state park. Guided tours and paddle-sports demonstrations are available for a $5 registration fee that covers the cost of insurance, Riek said.

Last year’s event attracted about 2,500 spectators, a number the festival organizers hope to improve on, though attendance is largely based on the day’s weather.


If you go

Northwest Paddling Festival

-9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 11

-Lake Sammamish State Park

-2000 N.W. Sammamish State Park

-Participants are encouraged to register for the race on the website.

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