Wakeboard Critic

Wakeboarding Seattle and Surrounds

With beautiful scenery, you'll find some top wakeboarding locations to explore

Seattle is probably best known for its cloudy skies, rain, and coffee. It’s the birthplace of the beloved Starbucks, after all. When you think of Seattle, wakeboarding and water sports in general probably aren’t the first things that come to mind.  Wakeboarding in California may be preferable and although Seattle probably isn’t the first place you’d gravitate towards for wakeboarding, there are some fantastic options. You might just want to make sure your wet suit is handy.


Despite its cloudiness, though, Seattle has a lot to offer, especially in the summer. Another of Washington State’s best-known features is its gorgeous scenery, no matter the time of year. There’s Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park, and so much more. What you may not know is that Seattle has some excellent spots for wakeboarding. If you want to go wakeboarding in Washington, check out our list of the best wakeboarding locations in Seattle and surrounding areas.

Best wakeboarding lakes in Washington State

  • Lake Sammamish
  • Bow Lake
  • Lake Chelan
  • Lake Union
  • Lake Washington
wakeboarding in washington

Lake Sammamish

Lake Sammamish has been a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts for over 60 years, and more recently wakeboarders have been flocking there. The lake was where Herb O’Brien, an icon of the watersports industry, first developed the compression-molded wakeboard. Since then many brands continue to create and test new gear on the lake.


Lake Sammamish is located in the east side of Seattle, surrounded by a state park. From the northern end of the lake you can catch a view of Mount Rainier. The lake is seven miles long and 105 feet deep, making it an excellent spot for watersports and fishing. It’s typically warmer than other lakes in Washington so it’s an ideal spot for wakeboarding Seattle.


If you don’t have a boat or board, you can easily rent one at Tibbetts Beach. If you’re not into water sports, spend some time soaking in the sun on one of the two lakefront beaches, walk one of the many walking trails, or have fun at the playground park. The park offers many community events throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is no individual camping available (only for groups), but it’s not far from the city.


  • Warmer water
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Multiple activity options


  • Can fill up quickly
  • Only group camping allowed
wakeboarding in washington lake sammamish

Bow Lake

Located north of Seattle, close to the Canadian border, Bow Lake is a private, man-made resort for water skiing and wakeboarding. It’s home to Bow Lake Watersports, the first cable wake park in the Pacific Northwest. The park caters to all levels of riders, from beginner to advanced, and provides lessons at all levels. They also host wakeboarding camps throughout the summer.


April through September you can spend time at Bow Lake and take advantage of their great amenities, including top-of-the-line competition boats and the latest equipment. Bow Lake Watersports offers rentals of all equipment if you don’t have your own. There are several campsites within a ten-mile radius of the lake, as well as nearby hotels. If you want more of the wakeboarding park experience, Bow Lake is one of the best wakeboarding lakes in Washington State.


  • Professional equipment
  • Rentals available
  • Private lessons


  • Costs money
  • No campsites on-site

Lake Chelen

Lake Chelen is the deepest lake in Washington State, at a maximum depth of 1,486 feet, and it measures fifty miles long. It’s fed by glaciers, giving it clear, refreshing water in the summer that’s perfect for wakeboarding in Washington, as well as all types of water sports.


For those who don’t have their own wakeboard or boat, you can rent a variety of water sports equipment from Chelen or Manson. If you’re hoping to camp out, you can find a variety of boat-in campgrounds along the shore, a perfect spot to go stargazing. At Wapato Basin or Manson Bay you can catch some stunning sunsets, or just take in the gorgeous views.


  • Gorgeous views
  • Great opportunities for stargazing and sunsets
  • Campgrounds available


  • Popular destination
wakeboarding lakes in washington state lake chelan

Lake Union

For both a city and water experience when wakeboarding Seattle, try out Lake Union, a popular destination for water sports of all kinds, as well as floating homes. Fun fact, Tom Hanks’ character in the movie Sleepless in Seattle lives in one of these homes. From the lake you can catch a view of the city, including the famous Space Needle. There are multiple festivals and events throughout the year, including the very popular fireworks display on the Fourth of July.


If you don’t own a boat, there are options for renting one at Waterfront Adventures. There are plenty of accommodations for overnight stays, and lots of great restaurants. You can catch a concert at Gas Works Park, or spend some time there with your family. There are several other parks around the lake as well.


  • Great views of Seattle
  • Lots of fun activities
  • Rentals available


  • Popular, fill up quickly

Great beginner's wakeboards for kids, women or men

wakeboards for beginners

Lake Washington

Just to the east of Lake Union lies Lake Washington – in fact, the lakes are connected by a canal, the Montlake Cut, by which you can access either lake. Lake Washington is one of the most popular wakeboarding lakes in Washington, and you can also do all sorts of watersports, swimming, sunbathing, or biking. It’s far larger than Lake Union, and while it doesn’t offer quite the views of the city as its smaller neighbor, you can still get a good view.


Lake Washington offers options for renting boats of all kinds, and you can stay at the many accommodations nearby. When you’re done on the water you can dry off in the sun on one of the beaches, or take a stroll down one of the walking trails. A popular natural attraction is the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum that lies along the shores of Lake Washington.


  • One of Washington’s largest lakes
  • Boat rentals available
  • Plenty of recreational options available


  • Can be very busy during the summer
wakeboarding locations in seattle lake washington

Have a blast wakeboarding Seattle

Whether you live in the area or are just visiting, don’t be put off by the stereotypes of Seattle being a dull, rainy city. There’s always plenty to see and do, and during the warm months you can go wakeboarding and catch some gorgeous views at one of the many wakeboarding locations in Seattle.


No matter if you want city views or mountain scenery, Washington State has it all. You can’t go wrong spending some time wakeboarding in Washington. So finish up that cup of coffee, grab your board, and have a blast wakeboarding Seattle!