Hello from Alameda! In 2013 I decided to leave my professional career as a Finance and HR manager at UCSF and start my own business. Before then I had been working in offices since I graduated from college and doing a lot of paddling on the weekend (mainly kayaking and rafting). I had developed severe back pain from all of the sitting activities in my life: sitting in offices and meetings, sitting at home watching tv, sitting to drive to rivers and oceans, sitting paddling in kayaks and rafts… Just sitting all the time! I realized that I needed to make a change and hence STAND UP PADDLE! SUP combines my passion of paddling and being healthy. I am enthusiastic about teaching people how to paddle and how to stand up. I love sharing my love for the sport. This sport is open to everyone! Originally from China, I have travelled the world in search of water. I was first introduced to paddling on a frozen lake in Beijing when I was a child. I love all water-based activities: kayaking, rafting, stand up paddle and surfing. I have 16 years experience in kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddling. Destinations include many parts of the San Francisco Bay, California coast and rivers in the Sierra. Paddling has also taken me to many beautiful international locations: Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Canada, Mongolia, Mexico, Hawaii, and China. However, my favorite paddle is right in my backyard: Ballena Bay of Alameda.
The following are the details of my service:
At Mike’s Paddle, we proud ourselves in the best SUP instruction that you are going to get anywhere in the world. Instructor to student ratio is 1:5. Instruction method is based on 20 years of experience from Mike and a combination of several certifications through PaddleFit, American Canoe Association (ACA), Stand Up Paddle Industry Association and International Surf Association. Check out our Yelp Reviews.
LEVEL 1 : INTRO TO STAND UP PADDLING (SUP) - $80 3 HOURS
Your very first stand up paddle board class! All beginners are welcome. In this intro class, we take it slow: half an hour of equipment, paddling and safety orientation on land; paddling through the marina; paddling and self rescue instruction in the beautiful and protected Ballena Bay; touring through a small channel and out into open bay; demonstration of PaddleFit and SUP Yoga.
Class times: Every Saturday and Sunday 10am to 1pm. Max # of students: 10 Pre-requisite: No experience necessary.
LEVEL 1: INTRO TO SUP YOGA - $80 3 HOURS
Our Intro to SUP Yoga is the best first class to SUP Yoga! We require all students who take Beginner Yoga drop in classes to take this intro class which will teach you the proper technique for paddling. Yoga is awesome but you’ll need to learn how to paddle too! The first 1.5 hours of the class is combined with the Intro to SUP class where we teach you the basics of paddling. The second 1.5 hours of the class is taught by a Yoga teacher on SUP Yoga specifics.
Class times: Every other Sunday 10am to 1pm. Max # of students: 5 Pre-requisite: No experience necessary.
LEVEL 2: ESSENTIALS OF SUP - $80 3 HOURS
After taking a level 1 class, you should paddle for at least 5 times before taking Level 2. In this class you will improve your forward paddling technique and learn some more skills for turning strokes. We will also teach you the basics of navigating in open water and how wind, tides, and other environmental factors affect paddling. We often take you paddling in open bay and sometimes along the rock wall to experience a closer look at the navy ships, San Francisco, the rock wall and Bay Bridge.
Class times: Every other Saturday 2pm to 5pm. Max # of students: 5 Pre-requisite: Intro to SUP or equivalent.
LEVEL 3: INTRO TO DOWNWIND SURF - $120 3 HOURS
Welcome to the exciting world of downwind surf! If you have surfed before, you know how crowded it can be in the Bay Area. Well no more! Downwind surf is the best of both worlds - surfing with no crowds and getting a fitness workout while you paddle. In this class, we teach you some advanced techniques in both surfing and paddling: switching to surf stand, trimming your board, fast forwarding paddling, quick and small turns without slowing down the board, and much more. We also discuss conditions that affect wave height and strength and share with you our forecast methods and apps. In this class we teach surfing at the gental beach break of Crown Beach: the only warm water beach in the entire Bay Area!
Class times: Once a month 2-5pm in spring and summer, condition dependent. Max # of students: 5. Pre-requisite: Essentials of SUP or equivalent. Surfers are welcome too!
LEVEL 3: WHITEWATER SUP - $120 FULL DAY ON THE AMERICAN RIVER
Whitewater SUP is becoming the fastest growing whitewater sport in the world! With Mike’s 20 years of whitewater instruction experience in teaching students and developing kayaking and rafting instructors, we have a great whitewater SUP Program. We start you out in the calm, wide and deep American River Class I & II (not to be confused with the South Fork of the American River Class III where most people go rafting for the first time). After 1 hour of prep, safety talk and river orientation, we take you on a small 5 mile paddle on the river showing you river techniques of ferrying, eddying in and out, running rapids, and much more.
Class times: Once a month 10am-4pm in spring, summer and fall, condition dependent. Max # of students: 5. Pre-requisite: Essentials of SUP or equivalent.
LEVEL 4: INTERMEDIATE DOWNWIND SURF - $120 3 HOURS
You’re hooked! Now that you have had some experience surfing on the beach break of Crown Beach, we take you out into the open bay. The breaks are bigger, steeper and faster! Intermediate techniques include: wave recognition, connecting bumps, paddling significant upwind, and much more.
Class times: Once a month 2-5pm in spring and summer, condition dependent. Max # of students: 5. Pre-requisite: Intro to Downwind or equivalent. Surfers are welcome too!
Certifications: PaddlFit Coach level 1 to level 3, American Canoe Association (ACA) SUP instructor level 1, 2, Level 3 Whitewater, First Aid and CPR.