If you’re visiting Los Angeles and want to really get into the Socal vibe than a stand up paddleboard lesson, rental or tour is a must! Los Angeles has amazing beaches along a huge coastline running from Malibu to Palos Verdes. With a number of SUP beach front launch options for first timers and novice paddlers there is no better place to start stand up paddle boarding than in Marina del Rey. As any water activity is dependent on wind, wave and weather conditions you can be certain that almost any day of the year is a great day to go for a paddle in Marina del Rey. With eight smaller channels (or basins) and one main channel that leads to the Santa Monica Bay, marina del rey has plenty of water front to explore on a SUP. In fact paddlers of all level come here year round and around the clock to learn technique, get a paddle workout or just leisurely paddle with friends. Numerous SUP service providers offer the opportunity to learn the basics of SUP in a group or individual lesson, group guided tours to visit sea lion colonies or sunset paddles for exploring the marina at night.
When booking your next paddle experience or even your first it is best to understand that just like paddle boards not all stand up paddle board providers are the same. Some offer discounted groupon deals and may feature foam light weight boards that are great for those looking to float around; while others may have rental ready rugged heavy duty boards that can handle the crowds but are a struggle to find the glide, and still others may have high quality boards but generic rubber bladed paddles that can be awkward for new and experienced paddlers alike. When doing your research look for high quality rigid expoxy boards for maximum glide or high performance inflatable paddleboards in both cases ask about the paddles too! Carbon fiber or fiber glass performance paddles offer a light weight option that makes paddling more enjoyable for all levels and give a mechanical advantage in the water to boost you forward so you will catch the glide and experience what stand up paddleboarding is all about!
With a number of paddle shops to choose from Marina del Rey has operators who will launch you from a dock or, if you go to Marina del Rey’s Mothers beach (aka marina beach), a sandy protected lagoon awaits where you can walk in and gradually get comfortable on the boards before you paddle out into the main channel or even all the way to Santa Monica bay!
While paddling in the Marina always be on the lookout for boats and give them plenty of space. Also keep an eye out for the Pacific brown Pelican, California Sea Lion, gold throated Cormorants, Sea gulls, the occasional dolphin and on rare events grey whale calves or sea turtle! Just to the north of the Ballona Creek, MDR opens up into Santa Monica bay where you can learn to SUP surf and paddle all the way to the Venice pier and beyond!
When in Los Angles whether it be for a layover, long term visit or maybe you just moved to town, the best place to start your stand up paddle boarding life is Marina del Rey!