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Deception Pass Dash – Extreme NW Paddling Event

Do you wonder if you have what it takes to paddle Northwest waters in extreme conditions? The cold water temps, chilly weather conditions, onshore winds, and choppy waters of the Washington coast combine to provide a challenging playground for experienced paddlers who have mastered their defensive boating techniques and self-rescue skills.

Extreme Paddling Event!
Each December nearly 200 adventurous paddlers converge on Deception Pass State Park near Oak Harbor for a 6-mile paddle race known as the Deception Pass Dash. In it’s 8th year, the DPD has become the extreme winter paddling event of the Northwest. The event is open to all human-powered craft. This years event will be held on Sunday, December 8, 2013 with rescue practice and on-water clinics held at the Park on Saturday, December 7th. Racers come from as far as California and Montana to compete in the challenging conditions and swirling waters of Deception Pass, known for intense currents and whirlpools.


Safety is paramount for Outdoor Adventure Center, who puts the event on, and works with the Coast Guard, Skagit County, and Washington State Parks to ensure that procedures are in place to minimize and handle any incidents. A safety crew of 20+ experienced boaters (mainly expedition kayakers) and several motor boats are on hand and stationed along the race route to oversee the participants and provide assistance to any racer who needs it. Racers are also encouraged to assist each other, if necessary, and competitor’s finish times are adjusted to account for time spent helping another boater when this situation arises. All race participants are encouraged to have solid, proven self-rescue skills and to arrive the day before the event to test their skills and ensure that they are adequately prepared. On Saturday, Outdoor Adventures is also providing safety and rescue clinics from qualified instructors for those who wish to gain additional training prior to race-day.

NEW for 2013! Outdoor Adventures has added a beginner competition and will be offering a 2-mile short course following the main event. This shortened race will allow novice paddlers to compete in open water with a full safety crew on hand.

Learn more about the 8th annual Deception Pass Dash and register online at