SEATTLE — If you don’t want summer to end, you’ll find like-minded people at Surf Ballard in Seattle – a shop dedicated to getting everyone out on the water.
"Although it's called stand up paddle boarding, there's no reason you can't sit down,” said owner Lisa Rider. "It is for everyone, it truly is."
She’s the “mom” and husband Dave is the “pop” of the family-owned business.
They took over operations in 2020 from the original owner and stayed true to the community ethos of the shop: regular customers are the foundation, and they welcome anyone who’s trying water sports for the first time.
"They come down and go, 'We had no idea this little gem was here,’” Dave said. "We're just the current stewards, and I say that a lot because there will be people who own it after us."
Customers can buy swimsuits and other beach gear and get hooked up with a board that fits their individual shape and size. The ideal place to launch is literally across the street, at Ballard's "secret beach."
Surf Ballard also helps people find their zen with WASUP Yoga (stand up paddle boarding yoga classes.)
“It’s a concierge service yoga class. We take the boards to the water for you, the instructor helps get you to the cove," Dave said. “The boards are tied off to two mooring buoys so they're nice and stable.”
Lisa takes the class whenever time allows.
"Most of the poses on the boards are designed so people don't fall in because the instructor doesn't want wet people in the class, they like everyone to be dry. There's lots of animals - seals, herons. You'll see eagles out there,” Lisa said. “My favorite pose is shavasana, where you just lay out in the sun."
Customers can also treat themselves to a shaved ice or espresso at The Shorehouse, a new food stand right in front of Surf Ballard.
Owner Tim Nelson is living a childhood dream.
"When I was younger, I always wanted to sell lemonade by the beach,” Nelson said. "I feel like I'm on vacation every day that I'm at work, I'm just hanging out by the beach, having a good time and meeting people."
He makes shaved ice for humans both and dogs - theirs is made with bone broth.
"I feel like I'm living in an endless summer right now and it's absolutely amazing,” Nelson said.
Surf Ballard is like an escape from Seattle without leaving city limits.
"It's sort of a destination within your own city because you can have lunch at Un Bien and you can go paddling and you can get shaved ice. You could spend two hours or you could spend the whole day,” Lisa said. "If you haven't tried paddle boarding or kayaking, come see us. We'll make it happen!”
Surf Ballard is open Thursday through Monday and is located at 6300 Seaview Ave. NW.