Wendi Olson

As an ACA-certified SUP Instructor, I enjoy introducing folks of all ages to my favorite pastime, stand-up paddling on the beautiful Bay! Whatever your level, I’ll show you tips and techniques for optimal performance and enjoyment. As a Bay Area local since the ‘70s, I’m also happy to share my knowledge of seabirds, marine mammals, and tides. 

Before I took the “Intro the SUP” class at Mike’s Paddle in the summer of 2017, I feared my days of water sports were over. My time on the water was limited to brief vacations--ocean kayaking in La Jolla, white river rafting on the White Salmon, hopping waves in Cancun. My days windsurfing at Candlestick Point seemed a lifetime ago, back before I had kids. (And before I had creaky knees and a stiff back from computer work.)

My son introduced me to SUP in Lake Tahoe, and I loved it so much I thought I’d have to move to a warmer climate. But no worries! On the SF Bay, SUP is a year-round sport! (I now own 3 wetsuits!) Within no time, I was competing in races, such as Battle of the Bay; doing the Glidezilla Monster Downwinder; and learning to surf in Taiwan. I couldn’t wait to do more incredibly fun social trips with the Mike’s Paddle crew: paddling with dolphins in Costa Rica; downwinding in the Sea of Cortez; and more “Escape from SF” downwinders! 

I’ve had a long career teaching in the Bay Area, both in the Oakland public schools and at the Academy of Art University in SF. Now I’m thrilled to be teaching outside the classroom, on the open water, on my Infinity Blackfish board! And I’ve never felt better--in just three years, my knees and back feel 20 years younger!