Joe Paddler: Meet Corey Dolan

Corey Dolan

Where were you born and where do you live now?

Born and raised here in Tacoma WA, move to Lake Tahoe for a little while and now back to the great Pacific Northwest, Tacoma WA.

What is your occupation?

Technically I am a Commercial and industrial Pipe Fitter, But I also Own and Run Dolan’s Board Sports here in Tacoma. I also work For King’s Paddle Sports as their northwest sales rep. I also enjoy being part of the Paddle Fit team as a Certification Coach, and in the Winter I am a ski and snowboard instructor. So, yeah,  I have my hands in a little of every thing.

Where do you SUP the most?

I spend most of my time on the Puget Sound.


Do you have a favorite local paddleboard shop?

I’m Kind of partial but Dolan’s Board Sports.

What paddleboard, surfski or OC do you ride the most?

I paddle my King’s Paddle Sports 14′ AC Elite the most.

Do you own any other paddleboards, surfskis or OCs and if so, what kind?

I have a 20′ King’s Elite Tandem race board, 17′ King’s AC Elite, 14′ King’s Downwinder, 11′ King’s Croc, 14′ King’s prone, Red Paddle Company 10’8″ and 12’6″ for travel, OC1 Viper, OC2 Tempest

What paddle do you use?

I use Kialoa Hulu for racing, Kialoa Insanity carbon for most everyday paddling, and a Kialoa GL Surf for surfing.

Have you changed boards/paddles/equipment since you paddled? If so, why?

Yes, I have. I started out with a Surftech Laird model and a Werner paddle. Once I got comfortable using that equipment, I started jumping on any board I could and paddling any brand paddle I could, trying to find what worked best for me, as well as trying my hardest to find stuff made in the USA. So, after paddling on all sorts of different brand board and paddles it took me about four years before I found King’s And Kialoa and I never looked back!  Not only have I been happy with the performance of this equipment, but both of these brands make you feel like family and are the best people to work with!!!

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Namotu, Fiji

Best piece of SUP advice you have ever received?

If you have never taken a SUP lesson or worked with a coach, do it.   You will be surprise at what it will do for your stroke, paddle ability and your enjoyment.

Weirdest thing that’s happened to you while paddling?

I was teaching a high school PE class how to SUP. Once I put the last student in to the water, I hopped on my board and we had a grey whale surface within about 20 feet of most of my students and about 50 feet from me.

Favorite SUP nutrition (during races/long haul?)

I am super bad about nutrition. I might bring a granola bar and drink a ton of water. As a coach, this subject is more of a do as I say not as I do.

Goals for this year?

Focus a little more on me and my paddling, and doing some more expedition paddling and surfing.

Favorite post-paddle nosh (snack/beer/recovery drink?)

Defiantly the fish tacos on the pier at the Hood River event site, and if you have had these you know what I’m talking about.

Your favorite non-paddle thing to do?

Man, this is kind of hard, but it would be a toss up between going skiing/snowboarding, dirt bike riding and exploring old logging roads in the mountains – all with my wife and kids.

What piece of SUP gear do you wish someone would invent?

I would have to say a better hydration system/pfd combo set up

What is your biggest challenge with SUP?

I would have to say getting out to paddle for myself, where I’m not focused on helping someone else, whether it’s staying back as the sweeper to make sure everyone gets back safe or being someone’s board caddy, but it’s hard not to do all that  because I love making people better paddlers.

What is your proudest moment in a SUP race or event?

When a good friend of mine and I finished our first race on our tandem race board. It was the 12 (almost 13 mile) Round the Rock race in Seattle and we had only been on the board for about 30 minutes total the day before, so we jumped right in to the long race the next day – it was one of the windiest and roughest years to date for that race.  We not only manage to finish but we made pretty good time considering the conditions .

Corey Dolan Tandem

Tell us about the best friend(s) you’ve made through SUP

Oh man, this is super hard because there have been so many new and awesome friends that I have made since I started paddling. I’m going to have to say my buddy Kevin is one of my best friends I have meet through SUP. A mutual friend  of ours, “Vince,” who I surfed with and who he slalom skied with, introduced us after I got Vince hook on paddling and Vince got Kevin hooked on paddling. So the three of us started going paddling together and exploring the different rivers and I got him hooked on downwinding. He was always up to go try and paddle somewhere new, no matter how crazy it may have seemed at the time. He would also keep me paddling through the winter no matter how cold or how bad it was raining. Let’s face it, up here in the the Pacific Northwest, it is cold and rainy most of the year it seems like, but he is always up to paddle!  He also plans on coming with me to do different events when I have a booth to help set up and tear down, schlep boards for me – no questions asked!! He’s  just there to help! We be came such great friends I ended up buy the house on the property right next to his and now we go out and ride dirt bikes in the back yard with the kids together and paddle when we can. So I would have to say he is probably my best friend I have made because of SUP.

Corey Dolan and friends

What is your best SUP travel tip?

My best Sup trip, I would have to say the trip I did for my 30th birthday.  It started off with spending a week down in Hood River,Oregon doing the first Kalama camp in Hood River. Spent that week working on my stroke and learning how to downwind and getting to meet some of the best people I have meet since I started paddling. Then left Hood River and went home to pick up my best friend since we were four years old, and headed over to eastern Washington to camp out and to explore a ton of small lakes and a different section of the Columbia River. It was a blast! We intend to do another trip like this for our 35th birthdays and I can’t wait.

Corey Dolan's trip