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Stand-Up Paddle Board on the Tacoma Waters

Stand-up paddle board (SUP) is a fast-growing and popular water activity. It’s obvious why – you can have an energetic, full-body workout that doubles as a relaxing water activity during a warm summer day. Paddleboarding is also a great way to take in the majestic views of the Pacific Northwest and Commencement Bay.

Stand-Up Paddle Board

For Tacoma residents and visitors, Dolan’s Board Sports on Ruston Way is the place to go for paddleboards. It’s one of the few shops dedicated to this pastime in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find top gear and equipment rentals, repairs and lessons from an ACA-certified Level 2 stand-up paddle instructor.

Dolan’s offers a local source for all your SUP needs. The store is ready to demo the best products and the newest technology. It carries popular brands including EKO, King’s Paddle Sports, ULI Boards, Red Paddle Co. and Lakeshore Paddle Company. Periodically, Dolan’s offers savings on used boards for some of the top SUPs.

The store also provides:

  • Hourly and overnight rentals.
  • Party/tour packages. The standard package is three hours, with four boards and an instructor.
  • Paddles and accessories from Kialoa, an Oregon-based paddle builder. Used paddle availability is updated regularly on Dolan’s website.

The shop is located along the shores of the South Puget sound at 2000 Ruston Way, in Jack Hyde Park. Just a short drive from Point Ruston. Experts and beginners alike can set out for a new adventure around Commencement Bay.


Choosing the Right Board

The national outdoor retailer REI recommends using a stand-up board with a “planing hull,” if you plan to use it for fun and fitness. Planing hull SUPs feature a wide, rounded nose. If you’re more of a long-distance thrill-seeker or racer, you’ll choose a “displacement hull,” which has a pointed nose similar to a kayak.

Tacoma Lessons

Corey Dolan provides local lessons. A surfer since 1994, Corey began stand-up paddling in 2008.  He’s an ACA-certified Level 2 stand-up paddle instructor plus a Level 3 PaddleFit coach. When you book lessons with Corey, you’ll also get board rental, paddle, life vest and safety leash. One-hour lessons/rentals and three-hour intermediate lessons are available – prices and additional information can be found at Dolan’

Tacoma PaddleFit/SUP Yoga

The Tacoma Paddle Fit program is Dolan’s Board Sports’ high-intensity workout, available as private lessons and group classes. Some knowledge of how to paddle is required.

Lindsay Lambert is an instructor in the SUP yoga program. She is a certified SUP yoga instructor and is certified/skilled at Pilates and suspension training. Specializing in Ashtanga, vinyasa and power yoga, Lindsay is available via the Washington Stand-Up Paddlers Meetup Group.

Other Rental Options

To meet the demand for stand-up paddleboards on the Sound, more local shops are renting SUP’s to beginners and intermediates. Rentals are available daily during the summer months, at the following places:

  • Point Defiance Marina
    • Noon – 7pm daily during summer months (weather permitting)
    • 5102 N. Winnifred St.
    • Ruston, WA 98407
    • (253) 759-8151
  • Dock Street Marina
    • 8:30am – Dusk
    • 1817 Dock St.
    • Tacoma, WA 98402
    • (253) 250-1906
  • Foss Harbor Marina
    • 821 Dock St.
    • Tacoma, WA 98402
    • (253) 272-4404

While you’re in the area, stop by the up-and-coming Point Ruston neighborhood, which features the nearly mile-long Waterwalk for walking, jogging, biking, and other wheeled activities. . In addition to kayaking and boating on the Sound, you can enjoy the forthcoming shopping, dining and entertainment destination.