As part of my quarantine discovered outdoorsy self, I got us an inflatable stand up paddle board [SUP]. It was one of those things I’d see in instagram photos and think, that could…NO. That should be me! We all think that about a lot of things on instagram I assume… that’s kind of the filtered-FOMO-everyoneislivingtheirbestlife- point of it all right? But after a year of still wanting one, still dreaming of slicing through the morning lake glass, taking pictures of [just the] tip with all sorts of pristine nature surrounding us, I made the decision to do it. And it is hands down the best purchase I have ever made. From the first afternoon I went out, it felt like I had found something that had been missing in my life and I never even knew it. I still haven’t figured out a poetic or logical way to explain it. But I’m working on it…From sharing it with friends to going out solo, my SUP is everything I dreamed it would be and more. It is the ultimate adventure partner. Besides Gavin of course…
Here is my first [of many] write ups of my PNW SUP location experiences!
Accompanied by my BFF Pilar & her inflatable kayak, I had a fun Friday afternoon on the water at Luther Burbank Park, which is quickly becoming one of my go to spots to SUP. We had great luck with the weather and very little boat traffic. We launched from the beach at the tip of the park but I have also launched from the little hidey holes you can find along the path leading to the beach.
Where: On the Traditional Land of the Coast Salish, Stillaguamish, Duwamish, & Muckleshoot [source: Native Land App]
2040 84th Avenue Southeast | Mercer Island, WA | Lake Washington
When: Friday, May 21st, Waxing Gibbous
The Weather: Started out cloudy but the sun came out for us! Little to no wind.
The Beach: Smooth pebbles/rocks at water’s edge. Sandy as you move out and away from the water. Then a big grassy area [great for letting your board dry out].
The Water: Water temp was good [for me]. I didn’t go all the way in but it was definitely swimmable [for me]. Murky once you get 15-20 feet from shore. Few boats and almost no wind made for some easy paddling. It’s not always like that but when it is I’d definitely recommend this spot for people starting out their SUP adventures!
Parking: Free. Two lots. They do fill up on a nice summer day but I have always managed to get a spot eventually.
The Amenities: Trails to the beaches. Off leash dog park if you have a buddy! Bathrooms by the playground by the parking lot. A pretty cool playground. Picnic tables. Docks I’ve seen people fishing off of. An amphitheater for when theatre finally returns!!! Seattle Shakespeare has been doing summer shows there for years. I highly recommend taking a picnic to one when they come back!
My New Tools/Tricks: I took a zoom meeting out there! I try to keep it a sacred space but you got to do what you got to do. My phone did overheat so I learned to keep it tucked under my dry bag so it wasn’t in the direct sun. I only felt safe doing this because of my great floaty phone case. I got mine from Eddie Bauer & highly recommend the $11 investment.
Final Thoughts: I’m trying to explore as many beaches as possible this summer but I’m sure I’ll find myself back at Luther Burbank sometime soon just because it is so accessible. Quick drive from Seattle + Free Parking. You’ll get me everytime.
If you’ve been to Luther Burbank and have thoughts – post them in the comments or on my Instagram! If you have any questions about it – post them and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge!