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Frequently Asked Questions

Q Do I need experience to try a paddle board (SUP)?

A No prior experience is necessary to enjoy a day out SUP-ing on Fidalgo Bay. Almost everyone who rents from us are first timers or novices. We love catering to families and beginners, and our paddle boards are perfect for them because they a quite stable.

However, you should be physically fit enough to be able to get to a standing position from your hands and knees. Participants should also not have any balance issues.

Q So just what is a paddle board?

A A paddle board, otherwise known as a SUP or Stand Up Paddleboard, is configured similarly to a surfboard, but is usually longer, thicker, and much more stable than a traditional surfboard. The operator of a paddle board stands upright on the board and propels it through the water by using a long paddle.

Q How old do I have to be to rent a paddle board?

A Anyone under the age of 18 who wants to rent a paddle board unaccompanied by an adult must first have their parents print out and sign a Release Form.(Be sure that all parts of the form are filled in completely, including any necessary initialing at the bottom of the pages.) Parents must then email Blue Otter Outfitters to let us know that you signed the form.

Due to the inherent risks involved with paddling on the sea, all participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult, except by prior arrangement with Blue Otter Outfitters management. Parents must use their own discretion when taking boards away for use on freshwater, and anyone who may be using the rented paddle board must first sign our Release Form.. All rentals are required to have a Rental Agreement. signed by an adult, and renters are responsible for any damage or loss to the equipment.

Q Can my young child go paddle boarding?

A Parents know their children best and so we are reluctant to set a firm age limit. If your child is small, or not super athletic, then we suggest choosing a warm and calm day. If you stay in Bowman Bay, you should be fine. If you are taking the board away from our facility then we suggest the same thing. Choose a warm and calm day, and stick to very protected water that has no boat traffic.

Most kids above the age of 8 years do fine, but there are kids several years younger who will also pick it up quickly. You will want your child to have the arm strength to pull the paddle through the water, and for your child to know how to swim. It will make the experience much more enjoyable for you, and for them.

Q What is the weight limit?

A Our larger boards can support people up to approximately 265lbs.

Q What kind of shape do I need to be in?

A A lot depends on the weather, and how far you would like to go. This activity can be as strenuous, or as leisurely as you make it. If the wind is blowing then you will have to work harder to make the paddle board go where you want it to.

Your upright body provides a fair amount of resistance to the force of the wind causing you to get a decent workout if you have to travel any appreciable distance. Kneeling on the board can reduce the wind resistance if you find yourself struggling.

You will want to bestrong enough to pull yourself back up on to the paddle board in the event that you fall of. This is not difficult, but does require a certain level of fitness. Most people find Stand Up Paddleboarding to be fairly easy, and only a moderate workout. Come out for an hour and give it a try! You'll likely want to make a day of it the next time.

Q Do I have to wear water shoes?

A It really depends on where you are going to be paddleboarding. Seafarer's facility in Anacortes" to "Bowman Bay location in Deception Pass State Park, it is advisable to have some sort of footwear for launching and landing. SUP-ing in the sea means that you will have to avoid stepping on barnacles if the tide is out. You will want to have some sort of footwear available to you for this. There are bungee cords on the from of the SUPs that can hold sandals, or we have a limited supply of neoprene booties for rent.

On lakes and freshwater many people prefer SUP-ing bare foot, but you can wear water shoes if you'd prefer. Blue Otter Outfitters cannot be responsible for anything in the water that you may step on. When in doubt, use common sense.

Q What clothing should I wear?

A Wear whatever will make you the most comfortable while paddle boarding, given the weather conditions of the day. SUP-ing is a water sport and so you will want to wear clothing that you don't mind getting wet in the event that you fall into the water. Most guests come wearing swimwear, or board shorts and have water compatible shoes. A hat and sunglasses will be appreciated if the Sun is out, and do not forget to apply sunscreen. Bring a spare set of clothes to change into afterwards, in case you are wet. We have a limited supply of wetsuits and booties to rent if you would prefer to paddle in them.

Q What happens if I am late for my reservation?

A You may lose all, or part of your reservation depending on how busy the day is. We will try to accommodate you, but out of fairness to others you might lose your time. Your reservation begins at the time you reserve the board, not when when you actually begin paddling.

Q Is parking available?

A Please change to "Yes! Bowman Bay is in Deception Pass State Park. Parking is available for $10/day; or you can buy a Discover Pass for $30, which you can use in any Washington State Park for a whole year!

Q What is your cancellation policy?

A Paddle Boards For 1-2 boards; cancellations can be made up to 4 hours prior to scheduled reservation. For 3-6 boards; reservations must be cancelled at least 48 hours in advance. For 7+ boards cancellations must be made 7 days in advance to get a refund. *see additional notes below.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks
We ask for 24 hours advance notice for cancellations os sit-on-top kayak reservations. *See additional notes below.

*For paddle boards and sit-on-top kayak rentals your credit card is charged at the time of booking. Reservations may be rescheduled at no charge, but cancellations are subject to a $5.00 administrative fee.