Kayaking in Bonita

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Staff members at Rick's Rent-A-Boat outfit water-riders with the necessary safety equipment before sending them off for a ride on a professionally maintained jet ski, kayak, or boat. During excursions, riders safely glide over the ripples and spray of San Diego Bay's coastal waters atop a Kawasaki or Honda jet ski, kayak, or Triton ski boat. Sporting a provided life vest and drawing on operating instructions included with each rental, riders cruise atop their seafaring stallions, skimming over foamy waves and leading schools of local fish in a Hamlet lecture. Depending on Mother Nature's mood, guests can make waves 8 a.m.–8 p.m. every day of the week.

550 Marina Parkway
Chula Vista,
CA
US

Disguised in wetsuits, flippers, and diving masks, humans almost seem indistinguishable from the scores of aquatic life that thrive among the San Diego coastline. In the water, curious sea lions tug playfully at divers' fins, and thick stalks of kelp wave like Queen Elizabeth telling the gathered crowd to go home already. With access to five separate sites in which to see such wonders, the guides at San Diego Excellent Adventures tailor their adventures—whether snorkeling, diving, or paddling—around the experience level of each tour group, ensuring an easy assimilation to undersea life.

During guided dives along La Jolla Shores, swimmers peer in on frolicking creatures such as lobsters, octopuses, and leopard sharks, and standup paddleboards grant access to Mission Bay's shoreline views previously seen only by terribly lost Venetian gondoliers. Currently the largest manmade bay in the country, Mission is known for its calm waters suited to beginners just learning to explore the ocean.

1133 Coast Boulevard
San Diego,
CA
US

Over the course of its 22-year existence, Ocean Experience Surf School has helped somewhere in the neighborhood of over 15,000 students to safely discover and refine their passion for watersports. Students 6 or older hop atop surfboards, paddleboards, and kayaks for on-the-water practice under the care of experienced instructors during private lessons and group classes.

The local press and community showers the school's companion retail outlet with praise, which won both the Best Surf Shop and Best Skate Shop in CityBeat's 2010 Readers' Poll. In an effort to give back to the community, the organization runs an afterschool sports program offering surfing and skateboarding lessons to kids up to 18 years old and adults with a note from a certified kindergarten teacher.

4976 Newport Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

San Diego Motorsport Rentals gives outdoor adventurers the ability to tame any obstacle with the fleet of all-terrain and aquatic vehicles. Four-wheeled ATVs from Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki cut through more than 150,000 acres of off-road paradise. Their mechanics also keep engines in tune on four-stroke dirt bikes so riders can feel the wind blow through their hair while tearing through rugged paths or their high school graduation. From their Grand Avenue and Mission Bay outposts, customers can check out jet skis or boats ready to break through incoming breakers.

2727 De Anza Rd
San Diego,
CA
US

What started as a camp founded and staffed by schoolteachers has turned into a year-round surf school for one reason: people love to surf. Today, the school offers everything from lessons for first-timers to professional surf clinics for advanced surfers. Their teaching model focuses on private and small group lessons, which they believe is the quickest and easiest way to learn to ride the waves. And for their graduates, they’ve even created a surf team that is cheered on by countless adoring seagulls.

819 1/2 San Fernando Pl
San Diego,
CA
US

Enthusiastic instructors at OEX Mission Bay invite beginning and experienced adventurers into the cerulean waters of the Pacific. The outpost began as a kayak and freediving center, but has since branched out to include standup paddleboard, outrigger canoes, and poker tournaments with local sea bass. Staff members happily help sea student get fitted with the perfect-sized gear and train them in basic safety before their expedition over and under the blue bay waters.

1010 Santa Clara Pl
San Diego,
CA
US