12/19/2014

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Guided kayak tours, stand up paddle boarding at NW Paddling Fest

Guided kayak tours, stand up paddle boarding at NW Paddling Fest
Locals try out kayaking and stand up paddle boarding at the Northwest Paddling Festival, Friday morning in Issaquah, Washington. May 9, 2014.
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SEATTLE - Stand up paddle boarding is a popular sport in Western Washington, and the Northwest Paddling Festival is giving everyone a chance to get on the water and check out all kinds of human-powered vessels.

"Our goal is to get people onto the water, so we want all the newbies to come out here and check this out. It's a very inexpensive event, and they'll be out here all day, and will get to try out the different boards and kayaks, and learn from the best paddlers in the Northwest," Mountain to Sound Outfitter's Greg Whittaker said.

Whittaker and his crew from Mountain to Sound Outfitters are offering standup paddle board lessons as part of the festival.

The Northwest Paddling Festival has been expanded to two days, hosts more than 60 vendors, and has many seminars at Lake Sammamish State Park.

The event also includes gear demos, and a guided tour up Issaquah Creek.

Barbara Gronseth has been leading kayaking tours for 18 years, and says the coolest thing about kayaking up Issaquah Creek is when the salmon swim in the fall, as you can see them circling the water with their fins up.

Gronseth also says there are hundreds of fish swimming upstream in September, and this tour gives kayakers a taste of what they can enjoy.

Seminars on Saturday include incorporating yoga into your paddling fitness routine, fishing from a kayak, wearing the right clothing and more.

The festival runs Saturday, May 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free; gear demos are $7. And remember, you'll need a Discover pass, or be prepared for a $10 fee at the entrance at Lake Sammamish State Park. More information can be found at the event's website.
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