How to have the Best Paddle Method Experience.

This is a guide to help you get started:


Our “Basic Lesson” is for kids 10 and up who are accompanied by an adult 18 and over. It’s best if they take the class with the child or if they’re nearby to watch them from the beach as the class lesson has time with the coach and some practice time alone to paddle on the water alone to practice what you’ve learned.

The basic lesson is also good for adults who want to discover SUP or want some time with a coach to get comfortable with the basics of how to stand, paddle forward, stop/turn, and what to do if you fall – you will get time with the coach and time on your own to practice. Not sure if you’re ready for our full lesson? This is the lesson for you!

Notes for Basic: You must be able to swim and self-rescue. Any physical limitations or non-swimmers should call 310-770-7291 and discuss with a coach.

For those interested in the adult classes, the Marina Lesson One and Sea Lion Tour are the starting points for you. Learn the skills to go through a marina with boat traffic, wakes, and wind to explore the wildlife, get a workout, and start your SUP journey.

The Marina lesson involves more focus on techniques, and the sea lion tour is more relaxed. However, all paddlers must be able to perform the basic moves to go see cool stuff like sea lions, stop, turn, and paddle back to their flip flops.

Both Lesson 1 and the sea lion tour are available every day all year long in small group classes and all day long as private experiences.

Best Time of Day to Paddle:

Picking your time – any time is a good time to start, but here are some tips: If you are not truly active and want to start paddle boarding as a recreational, low-impact activity (that’s great – woo hoo! Stoked for you to try SUP!), the morning classes are definitely the way to go. Pick the 8:30 AM for less wind and boat traffic for a mellower paddle experience. Just a heads up – wind does happen, so come back for our wind lesson or repeat the class at 10:30 or later to build your skills.

If you’re a beginner who is active and rides a bike, hikes, and can swim, the 10:30 class is a good place to start with a little bit more challenge. If you’ve paddled a few times before and never had any instructions, it’s good to take the 10:30 Marina class because it’s pretty specific to close-quarter paddling in Marina, which is an important skill for everybody to learn all the skills and techniques involved.

Private Lessons:

If you paddle quite a bit and have tried other lessons already but still want to move up the learning curve, the private coaching sessions are the way to go. And if you sign up with two or more, the pricing is virtually the same. If you have paddled quite a bit and want to just jump into the wind class, it does start with a bit of a review, but it might require a repeat visit because a lot of it is built on lesson 1 – no sense in learning how to go fast if you’re still trying to paddle in a straight line!

The Tours:

The Sunset Tour is actually a really great place to paddle or start if you’ve paddled a few times. There is potential for some wind and extra boat traffic – everybody loves a sunset on the water! – and it can make paddling a bit more challenging. There is a coach, so the super sneaky move is to come to this paddle often, paddle with the setting sun, and get ongoing coaching, so why not take advantage of that! Check out our paddle club and track your progress and get points towards discounted paddles – the more you come, the less expensive it is!

The Malibu Paddle Tour is really what SUP around here is all about! Paddling in the ocean is all about respecting the ocean conditions – When it comes to ocean paddling, we say either you have a lot of skill and can handle whatever’s happening that day, or you have a very flexible schedule and you’re able to come at other times when the conditions are right for you, or you just get lucky, which can happen – the ocean can be very calm.

Since relying on luck doesn’t always pan out, it’s better to go through the whole SoCal SUP series 1, 2, 3, and learn about control, speed, and wave timing. Then you’ll have a better time, feel more controlled and more relaxed, and you’ll have a really valuable life skill. You’ll be able to do that Malibu tour a lot more often, which is really the best way to go see whales and dolphins. Repeat visits, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and for those that are really into it.

What should I wear during my lesson?

SUP is a year round activity so where whatever you would wear to go for a jog or light hike on that particular day. Plenty of SPF sunscreen, a hat, SPF clothing, sunglasses that will float or stay attached to your head are recommended but usually a bathing suit or workout attire is the right choice. For ocean paddles in the winter you may want to wear a paddle jacket or even a wetsuit. For night time winter paddles booties will keep your toes warm. Feel free to call (310) 896-8175 for any paddle related questions

Where do we depart from?

Typically most lessons and workouts, unless otherwise noted, launch from a flat, enclosed waterway, like Marina del Rey, so you can get acclimated to the sport and learn the basics or refine your skills before heading out into the bay or ocean. Some intro lessons, when conditions allow, take place from a beach launch into the ocean. Tours can launch from anywhere but Malibu, Palos Verdes, Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Venice, Newport are some of our favorites!

Will I fall in the water?

SUP is a water sport and so there is always a chance of falling in the water. That said, most people don’t fall even on their first time out and that’s because we start in a flat, enclosed waterway and use big stable boards. I always say that the odds of falling in are slim but bring a towel and a change of clothes just in case.

Is stand-up paddle boarding difficult to learn?

SUP is a huge sport! Not only is it one of the fastest growing but so many people can do so many things with a stand up paddle board, from big wave surfing to paddling a lake with your puppy dog and a cooler and everything from fishing to yoga in between. What is so great about the sport of SUP is that anyone from 5 years old to 95 years old can do it. If you can stand up you can stand up paddle in a flat, enclosed waterway. Paddle Method is all about taking you through the learning curve so you can paddle efficiently in any conditions so you can explore the world of SUP and get one of the best whole body workouts in the process!

How long is my lesson?

Most SUP rentals shops offer a standard 10 minute lesson that consists of where to stand and how to hold the paddle, etc but you’ll soon realize that when the wind and waves picks up there is more technique to know. Paddle Method lessons are 90 to 120 minutes so there is plenty of time to learn, build some muscle memory and apply your new skills while getting feedback from a pro. Try a Paddle Method workout and technique clinic to take it the next level and you’ll feel a full body workout in only 75 minutes — better than the gym!

Cancellation Information

– Weather cancellations by instructor are a 100% refund.
– Last minute cancellations by customer less than 1 week of class date will not receive a refund since we will most likely not be able fill that space.
– Customer cancellations prior to 1 week of the class date will receive 50% off re-booking fee.
– We will cancel any trips when there are safety concerns such as wind or lightening. We don’t cancel for rain.
– Rescheduling or moving to an alternative location may occur at the discretion of the trip leader.