Alameda Islander Challenge
July 30th, 2022
What's the Alameda Islander Challenge?
Many of us have been paddling around the Alameda island for a few years. It's a challenging but magical experience. In a short amount of time, you get to see the beach, sea plane lagoon, fantastic views of San Francisco and Bay Bridge, the Oakland port and the cranes, Jack London Square, Coast Guard Island, San Leandro Bay, and cross under four bridges of Alameda.
It's a challenge definitely - kind of like running your first half marathon but with less intensity. With the right conditions and support, it is much less arduous than a half marathon (even though it's 16 miles vs 13 miles) because of the ease of paddling and gliding through the water rather than pounding the pavement.
There are two options:
1. Half Islander : Mike's Paddle to Grand Street Boat Ramp: 9.5 miles. Board and kayak shuttles are provided Lyft/Uber yourselves back.
2. Full Islander: Mike's Paddle to Mike's Paddle.
How should I prepare for the Challenge?
Like all around the island adventures, there are magical moments and there are difficult moments. The western point of Alameda is exposed and the entrance to the Oakland Estuary can be congested with boat and boat wakes - definitely an area for those who have taken a level 3 class and level 4 and 5 touring classes are highly recommended.
In addition, our Ohana Paddle Club have put together a series of training paddles in anticipation of the challenge. You would need to have taken at least a level 4 touring class or demonstrate 3-4 mph speed for an hour on a board.
How safe is the Challenge?
We take safety seriously and will have three boats supporting the challenge. Each boat is equipped with a captain, an EMT and a photographer. Part of the safety is making sure paddlers have the skills to complete the challenge, so beef up your skills now!