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Showing posts with label Magnuson Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magnuson Park. Show all posts

Windsurfing Your SUP/Paddleboard

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It's been a while since I went windsurfing. After my windsurfing lessons two years ago, I took my board out maybe two or three more times before realizing that it wasn't for me.

Windsurfing in Washington is a very weather dependent sport . The only place where it blows consistently is the Columbia River Gorge. But even that place has its disadvantages ( 3 hour drive from Seattle, not exactly "beginner friendly"... ).

But about a year ago, I bought an awesome SUP that can be used for stand up paddleboarding, surfing, and even windsurfing !

Kiteboarding And Windsurfing At Magnuson Park In Seattle

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Kiteboarding and windsurfing at Magnuson Park in Seattle

Magnuson Park in Seattle is one of my favorite ! For ExtraHyperActive folks like myself, the park offers an abundance of adventures : climbing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, and for the past few years, has become a popular launch spot for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

Biking And Sightseeing Along The Burke-Gilman Trail In Seattle.

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I don't consider myself to be a "cyclist".  I don't owe a team jersey, shave my legs, or ride a 5K bike. I am, what they call, a "bike enthusiast ", a " recreational cyclist ".  For me, biking is not about getting a great work out, being eco-conscious or saving a bunch of money on gas ( well, all that too ). For me biking is a new , great , inexpensive way of traveling , sightseeing and a chance to experience the area I'm visiting at a leisure pace.

As of 2013, for the sixth year in a row, Washington is considered to be the most bike-friendly state in US ( by the League of American Bicyclists ). And why not ? With its numerous bike paths, and designated bike trails, Washington is a great place to explore by bike.

Take , for an example, Burke-Gilman Trail. Almost every WA state tourist's guide book, local biking/outdoors book and magazine has mentioned this bike trail. But not many of those publications mentioned what that trail really represented.

Called "a major transportation corridor ",  the trail is also a major sightseeing route that gives an opportunity to see some of Seattle most iconic sights.

The trail begins in Ballard and follows along the Lake Washington Ship Canal and north along Lake Washington. Along the way it passes numerous points of interest, neighborhoods , local landmarks and offers a variety of other outdoors activities along the way.

Start your trip at The Hiram Chittenden Locks ( Ballard Locks ), where you can roam around Botanical Garden, then cross over the locks and spillway dam to the fish ladder and viewing windows, and before you go home, you can stop by the visitor center and browse through the gift shop. Biking around the historic Scandinavian community of Ballard transports you to another time.

Then head east to Fremont. Sometimes referred to as "The People's Republic of Fremont," "The Center of the Universe" and at one time a "center of the counterculture", Fremont is famous for such cultural landmarks as Statue of Lenin, the Fremont Troll, the outdoor sculpture "Waiting for the Interurban " and an old rocket fuselage. A growing number of technology companies have a presence in Fremont, including Adobe Systems, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Getty Images, Google, and others. Fremont for cyclist ( especially naked cyclists ) is home to Fremont Solstice Parade.

Next stop -Gas Works Park. The strangest park in Seattle, and may rank among the strangest in the world, the old gasification plant has been reconditioned, painted, and incorporated into a children "play barn" structure. The park offers a panoramic view of the Seattle skyline, Lake Union and snowcapped mountains. It also a very popular put in spot for kayakers. Gas Works Park has been a setting for films, such as "Singles" and " 10 Things I Hate About You" and also on the travel-based television reality show "The Amazing Race".

 Don't just bike by the University of Washington campus. The bridge connecting the BGT with the Husky Stadium, gives you a great chance to padle around the stadium on the campus of the University of Washington. Located directly behind Husky Stadium on Union Bay and the Montlake Cut , The Center for Water Sports offers canoe and rowboat rentals for general public.

Further along the BGT passes a few local beaches -Matthews Beach , Cedar Park, Lake Forest Park.

In one of my posts, I've already wrote about the Magnuson Park, the Mountaineers' new headquarters and a place to learn climbing, backpacking, sailing, and kayaking.

Jump off your bike and straight into seaplane cockpit in Kenmore Air Harbor. Whether your destination is Sun Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula or just a flight-seeing excursion over Seattle, it will be an experience you'll treasure for a lifetime.

At Blyth Park in Bothell the trail becomes the Sammamish River Trail and continues for 10 miles (16 km) to Marymoor Park, Redmond, on Lake Sammamish. But I'll cover that in my upcoming posts.

SUPing/Paddleboarding With Seattle REI

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Many people tell me that they would like to try activities like sea kayaking, climbing, mountaineering, or even skiing/snowboarding. The only thing that stops them is finances.

Remember, that you don't have to invest tons of money into gear just to try out an outdoor activity. The cheapest way to get a taste and see if something like kayaking, mountaineering or skiing is for you is to take a class. Usually, the outfitter provides all the necessary gear, basic training and makes sure that you'll be safe.

Even cheaper ( or to be exact - free ) is to attend a free demo presentation.

The past couple years , a few outfitters have been offering free SUP demos in the summer.

Last Saturday, I attended a free SUP on-the-water demo day at Magnuson Park organized by Seattle REI.

Paul "ExtraHyperActive" FrolovI've been on the fence about this sport. Should I spend $ 800-1000 on a board and a paddle, just so I could go paddling a few times during the summer ? Which board should I go with ? Is it really that much fun ( I did it last year a few times, but needed to reassure myself ) ?

After that demo...I think...I am going to buy one of those boards !

First, I realized that buying a cheap inflatable board ( like Solstice Stand-Up Inflatable Paddleboard ) is not worth saving the money.

Solstice by Swimline Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard

Second, The Ocean Kayak Nalu paddle board is not really an ocean kayak...or a paddle board.

Ocean Kayak SUP Nalu 12.5 Stand Up Paddleboard

Third, boards with thick traction pads ( stomp pads) that cover the majority of your board makes SUPing a much more enjoyable mission.

And finally, YES, it was a lot of fun ( OK, I admit, the hot weather was a huge part of that decision ) !

Looking for more outdoor activities, and Bucket List adventures in Washington state ?
Read more here...

Climbing At Magnuson Park in Seattle.

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This post is not just about me climbing at Magnuson Park. It's another example of how easy it is to get into climbing. If you read my " The best way to learn climbing", you know the first steps:

-visit REI and get a "feeling", see if you like it
-take a belay class (don't sign up yet) at a local gym
-get your belay card
-invest in basic climbing gear (harness,shoes,a couple carabiners and a belay device)
-find (reliable and knowledgeable ) partners.
-keep learning

After I've done all of the above, I took another class- "Lead climbing", to learn:

• how to clip quickly, safely and properly
• advanced belay skills
• to fall safely
• understand the consequences of lead fall forces
• gain the skills necessary to pass your lead test ( hate tests).

I don't like dealing with all this "gym policy-safety first-do what we say", so I took my skills to Magnuson Park.

Did I mention it's FREE ?!

Best time to go there is on weekdays ( weekends tend to be swamped with "hard core climbers". Bring your own rope, quickdraws and , of course, a partner (or two). Basic knowledge I learned from the class, was enough for me to lead.


My next stop- investing ( or may be somebody will be generous enough to donate it ) in some basic gear -my own rope and quickdraws.