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Summertime fun

Rent paddleboards on JBLM and the Tacoma and Olympia waterfronts

South Sound water views as paddleboarders head into the sunset. Photo credit: West Bay Paddleboards

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Summer in Washington means warm weather and clear skies.  This is the perfect time of year to get out and explore the beautiful scenery of the nearby lakes and inlets of the South Sound. Whether you want to sit down and kayak or stand up and paddleboard, there are several locations nearby where you can get rentals, lessons and more.

There are a few different options for paddleboard and kayak rentals on Joint Base Lewis McChord. You can rent kayaks by the hour at Russell Landing or rent paddleboards from Shoreline Park.  Shoreline has limited hours, so if you would like to board on a day it isn't open, or if you are looking to paddleboard or kayak off base, you can opt for a 24-hour rental from Northwest Adventure Center or Adventures Unlimited.  

Heads up: if you want a full-day rental, you will be required to watch a 30-minute instructional video.

Prices vary. Single kayaks start at $10 per hour and doubles are $15. Paddleboards start at $10 per hour.

Northwest Adventure Center, open 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, Bldg. 8050, NCO Beach Rd., JBLM Lewis North 253.967.7744.

Shoreline Park, Noon-5 p.m. Thurs-Sun., Shoreline Rd. JBLM North

Russell Landing, 8981 American Lake Ave., Lewis North, 253.967.2510

Adventures Unlimited, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Fri., Bldg. 739 off Barnes Blvd., McChord Field, 253.982.2206, visit

West Bay Paddleboards, located across the water from Priest Point Park, helps you explore the water and enjoy beautiful views around Olympia. These paddleboard specialists have been serving the South Sound since 2008 and have a storefront where you can purchase boards and accessories. The company offers up lots of options, including a paddle and brew, date night rentals and even yoga paddleboard classes.  It also offers a military discount of $5 off lessons. Prices vary by service.

West Bay Paddleboards, open 11 a.m.; closing hours vary, 2100 Westbay Dr. NW, Olympia, 360.584.0582,

The beautiful Point Defiance Park in Tacoma lets you launch kayaks from Owen Beach and paddle around the Sound. Your rental includes a kayak, paddle, life jacket and float cushion.  

Make sure to have your driver's license handy; it serves as your deposit while you have the kayak.

Prices vary but start at $16 for a single kayak on weekdays and $22 on weekends.

Ruston Recreation Rentals, Noon-7 p.m. daily, 5605 Owen Beach Rd., 253.759.8151, visit

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