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Paddle boarding – Exploring Silverton Reservoir just got easier

By Melissa Wagoner

Making the Silverton Reservoir more accessible to more people was high on Britt Edmondson’s list of priorities when he decided to open Paddle Silverton – a mobile stand up paddleboard (SUP) and kayak rental service – on June 14.

Britt Edmondson.      Melissa Wagoner
Britt Edmondson.        Melissa Wagoner

“I decided to go out on a limb and do what I had hoped someone else would,” Edmondson – an avid surfer who moved to Silverton in August 2022 – said of the impetus for the service he hopes will appeal to both locals and visitors.

“I would say there are two audiences,” he said, “locals within 25 miles, for whom I created a punch pass… and travelers spending the day in Silverton or Mount Angel who book in advance.”

For those living nearby, Edmondson has reduced the rental cost by half to make getting out on the water on a regular basis a more affordable option. 

“I wanted it to be something you use in town if you have a family,” he said. “But you do have to commit to ten hours.” Or, to one hour as a group of ten, a scenario that Edmondson’s stock of six SUPs and four kayaks makes a distinct possibility for those wanting to get together as a group or to hold an on-the-water class. 

“I would be super open to classes,” Edmondson said. “And I would love to do events. Like it would be awesome to do a third or fourth of July parade.”

But whether you’re interested in paddling as a group or going out alone, Edmondson thinks getting out on the water is something just about everyone should try at least once. 

“I love paddleboarding because you get to stand above the water and if you have sunglasses, you can look down and see the fish and the sandbar,” Edmondson said. 

Kayaking, too, has its appeal. 

“With a kayak it’s easy to fish,” he pointed out. And then there’s the nature above water as well. “I’ve seen a bald eagle, there’s osprey, hawks and some pretty cool birds. I recently caught a fish with talon marks on it.”

You don’t need to be an expert to rent either craft. 

“When you book I have you put down if you’re a beginner, so we plan more time for a tutorial,” Edmondson said. “But I don’t think you need classes.”

It can be helpful however, to keep a few tips in mind. 

First, “if you paddleboard, it’s OK to sit down,” Edmondson advised. “You won’t look weird and it’s nice.”

Second, “if you have the mentality you’ll fall in, you’ll have more fun, especially as a beginner.”

And third, consider the time of day you want to be on the water.

“Morning is more calm, there’s less wind and it’s easier to paddle. It’s also cooler,” Edmondson said. “And lunchtime is the best to swim.”

And evenings – those are great for groups. 

“Most of the time when I paddle in the evening it’s with friends to have snacks – a picnic and some drinks,” Edmondson said. And though that time of day can come with a bit of a breeze, “luckily here the wind never gets too bad.”

Because the weather in the Willamette Valley stays mild, paddling is an option during about any month of the year.

“Starting in July I’ve had constant bookings,” Edmondson said. 

“It’s been really cool. I like being in the business of fun and would love to make the reservoir more accessible and help kids and families get outside to enjoy the beauty of Oregon.”

Paddle Silverton

A mobile stand-up paddleboard and kayak rental service at Silverton Reservoir.

Cost: $20 per hour or $100 for a 10-hour pass

Booking: www.paddlesilverton.com

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