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.
From two outposts on the shores of Mission Bay, Adventure Water Sports launches vessels and seafaring classes to introduce customers to the joy of cutting through veils of spray and sunshine. Both launching points are near the bay's full-speed zone, so captains hoping to tote skiers behindpowerboats or do donuts on a scuba diver?s lawn in waverunners don't waste valuable time idling through the no-wake zone. Kayaks, pedal boats, and paddleboards cut across the steel-blue mirror of the no-wake zone, an ideal stretch for learning and exploring.
Instructors from Adventure Water Sports impart nautical wisdom to youngsters in summer youth classes that focus on anything from waterskiing and wakeboarding to riding aqua cycles. The waterfront retailers also rent out single and tandem terrestrial bicycles for those looking to cruise the Mission Beach boardwalk or simply explain the motorcycle noises they are making with their mouths.
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.
San Diego Motorsport Rentals gives outdoor adventurers the ability to tame any obstacle with its fleet of all-terrain vehicles. Four-wheeled ATVs from Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki cut through more than 150,000 acres of off-road paradise. The on-staff mechanics also keep engines on four-stroke dirt bikes in tune so riders can tear through rugged paths.
Right around sunrise, the waters of the Mission Bay offer wakeboarders a buttery-smooth surface to practice their sport. On a Liquid Force or O'Brien board, ride the waves carved out of the ocean surface by new Correct Craft Nautique Super Air 210 vessel, practicing jumps, twists, and board-handling techniques.