Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Editor
Are you on a quest for the ultimate stand-up paddleboarding experience? Cast your compass towards the sun-drenched shores of Los Angeles. A city adorned with a stunning array of beautiful beaches, LA is a haven for paddleboarders. It’s a paradise that invites you to delve in, whether you’re dipping your toes into the world of paddleboarding for the first time, or you’re an expert waterman. Boasting a vast, inviting shoreline peppered with an abundance of captivating SUP spots, Los Angeles promises an unforgettable adventure that will leave you yearning for more.
To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best paddleboarding locations near Los Angeles that you should definitely visit. Buy yourself a good iSUP (inflatable paddle board) or simply rent a board when you are there.
Los Angeles Paddleboard Locations
1. Marina Del Rey
Paddleboarding LA is never complete without visiting Marina Del Rey. In fact, if you’re a beginner and still looking to test your balance before venturing up in the high seas, Marina’s flat waters are perfect for you. With plenty of waterfronts to explore on your SUP, this place is good for paddlers of any level to learn new techniques and get a complete paddle workout.
Additionally, if you don’t have your own board, you can rent one from the rental shops who might even decide to sell you a used board on a discounted price. This place has so many SUP options that I’m sure you’d like to visit once more. Visit the Pro SUP shop for rentals and group tours; they have a good selection of isups and solid boards along with kayaks to rent.
2. Cabrillo Beach
This accessible beach launch is located at the center of Long Beach. This beach is very large, and you’ll often find families gathering here for picnics. As for paddlers, you can enjoy the calm, protected harbor or decide to get to the more challenging conditions outside the break wall. You can also enjoy the Southern California marine life at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium near the launch sites.
However, when paddling here after the morning hours, you should exercise a lot of caution due to the afternoon winds, which could make your return to the launch site a bit difficult.
3. Los Alamitos Bay
Located in Long Beach, this place is a medium-sized recreational harbor that is very popular for paddle boarding, kayaking, and kayak fishing. If you’re a beginner, you might want to consider this place because it’s a protected harbor, therefore, the conditions are calm. You can decide to go on an exploration mission to the north at the Los Cerritos wetlands.
In addition, Los Alamitos Bay has very calm waters and channels with houses on the sides to protect you from the winds. In December, you can also attend the boat parade that includes boats of different sizes. You can also get a rare chance to view the migrating birds at the wetlands up in the north.
Topanga is one of the most popular places among surfers and SUPers alike. You can challenge your balance by riding on waves closer to the shore or decide to paddle out further into the calmer waters to get a better view of the coast and the PCH. However, you should arrive early to get the best parking and once you’re done with your morning paddle, you can head over to the many restaurants offering fresh seafood.
5. Latigo Beach
Located very close to Pepperdine University and central Malibu, this small public beach is certainly a great place to SUP in the absence of the summer crowds. While paddling, you can get a proper view of Malibu’s cinema-worthy shoreline as well as the beachfront houses. If you’re lucky, you can get an up-close view of seals and other marine life. However, you should carry your own board since there aren’t any rental spots on this beach.
6. Surfrider Beach
Famous for being one of the pioneer surfing places, this beach is also becoming a hot spot for SUP. To make it even better for novice paddlers, the beach normally has a small shore break making it an ideal spot for any paddler to test their balance.
If you don’t have your own board, don’t worry! There are lots of rentals to help you out. Don’t forget to go take a bite at the pier’s end after your paddling adventure. There are high chances of potential celebrity sightings at this place. Paddleboarding LA doesn’t get any better, does it?
7. King Harbor
Located in Redondo Beach, this popular launch spot is very popular among most kayak fishermen. Don’t be deceived by the harbor’s small size since there is a lot of paddling and fishing going on here. Paddlers can venture past the hotels and yachts on the shore while taking a view at the harbor’s clean water, which can be seen as far as 15 feet down.
That said, the best time for paddling and fishing is before 11 A.M., especially if you’re going to paddle outside the harbor. In conclusion, just know when to turn around in case the winds begin to pick up. You can rent NRS Thrive boards there for $10/hr.
8. Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake is a famous fishing and paddling destination situated at the Angeles national forest. That being said, the lake’s coves make this place very peaceful and favorable for fishing and paddling in the morning. If you plan to stay for a few days, you can visit the exciting Los Amos campground. All in all, if you like fishing, this is certainly your area.
However, the authorities only allow 200 watercrafts on the lake simultaneously, so plan on arriving early. Also, as with most other places we’ve seen, the winds can pick up during the afternoon, so be careful while using your paddle board.
9. South Bay Beaches
The South Bay Beaches – mainly Redondo, Hermosa and Manhattan are fantastic ocean playground spots for surfers and SUPers alike. To make it better, there are plenty of places to rent paddle boards, attend lessons, and even set up camps for young paddlers. You can also grab a Brazilian bowl from one of the many restaurants at Manhattan Beach.
Whether you want to SUP or just have a refreshing swim, the 3 miles of manicured beach is the perfect spot. That said, you’ll like this kind water spot, and if you’re not a local here, you can rent a paddle board from the local guides.
Alternatively, SUPers can enjoy paddling through the canals which run through the city. The historical canals were built in 1905 by Abbot Kinney – a developer, as part of the Venice of America plan. These canals will offer you a completely different view from the famed beachfront neighborhood. Also, you should consider carrying your own paddle boards since there are no rentals along the canals.
The summing up
So did your favorite destination make it in our ultimate list? In short, when it comes to paddle boarding, LA is definitely a premier destination endowed with many exciting spots. Simply pick one of these areas and enjoy your next SUP adventure.