Before ocean surfing, thrill-seekers were forced to sneak onto rock-concert stages and leap board-first into waves of undulating humans. Practice paddling atop waves that won’t defect mid-surf with today's Groupon: for $43, you get a paddleboard rental from Wave Hounds in Fremont (an $86.70 value). This Groupon can be used for either a single-day rental for two people or a two-day rental for one person.
Wave Hounds’ staff of paddling pros connects surf riders with outstretched waves via easygoing paddleboard rentals and lessons. For those requiring a car rack to hoist boards to the beach, the stoked staff at Wave Hounds can provide temporary use of one for no additional cost. With a board onboard, water-walkers can speed off to any nearby body of water, including Green Lake, Lake Washington, Lake Union, or Lake Sammamish, or any other spot indicated by a blue blob on a map. A stand-up paddleboard not only imbues stand-out abs, but provides a quiet, connected-to-the-sea means to poke around mysterious inlets and intimate coves. Though a stand-up paddleboard is easy to operate, the shop can provide a condensed 10-minute lesson for those who request it. With multiple boards in stock, the husband-and-wife team behind Wave Hounds can provide a well-fitting 3-D steed for any rider. Wetsuits are also available to rent for an additional fee.
Todd Welter learned to surf before he learned to drive, and to this day the board seems to be his preferred mode of transportation. A native of the Oregon coast, he hasn't been able to shake his longtime lust for the sport; in turn, he opened up Wave Hounds, which helps surfers of all stripes acquire a board, find their footing, and set out into the blue.
Wave Hounds carries new and used boards from brands such as Bing, Webber, and Aloha, as well as wetsuits, surf wax, and other accessories that let everybody know you’re not a skateboarder that didn’t see the end of the pier. The store also rents out surfboards and paddle boards. Todd himself holds lessons at Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park, where students can practice their skills on land before venturing into the water to surf the way the Pilgrims intended.