The team at Paddle Planet enables aquatic exploration with its shiny fleet of watersport vessels from brands by the likes of Naish, Starboard, Amundson, and Ocean Kayak. Patrons can purchase or rent their desired mode of transportation before they embark on muscle-powered paddleboard voyages, master the tides on a soft-top surfboard, or glide across flat-water lagoons in a tandem kayak. Paddle Planet's aquatic experts also teach first-time paddlers the basics, and lead yoga lessons atop standup paddleboards. While enjoying the tranquil lagoon waters of Agua Hedionda, yoga students hop on floating mats and practice poses that give them the balance and focus needed to tightrope walk across power lines.
Kayak and dive shop Everyday California, formerly OEX, wrangles an experienced team of experts to escort patrons on scuba-diving and snorkeling tours. The shop as been lauded by publications including the Chicago Tribune for its exploration of the earth's watery expanses that offer glimpses of marine creatures such as sea turtles, sea lions, seals, dolphins, and cormorants. Kayak tours take paddlers out on a variety of adventures, including destinations such as seven sea caves, the paths of migrating gray whales, and underwater kelp forests. The PADI 5 Star–certified shop also rents out scuba-diving gear suitable for all experience levels, as well as kayaks, snorkel gear, surfboards, paddleboards, and saddles for baby belugas.
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.
At La Jolla Shores, the ocean bottom slopes gently out to sea and the waves roll gently toward the beach, where seals can be found sleeping in the sun. This unique ecology makes the area an ideal entryway into the ocean, which the native La Jollan owners of La Jolla Kayak take full advantage of, leading kayaking excursions past the steep cliffs and through the secluded sea caves where humans first learned to douse fire. Alternatively, snorkel tours allow explorers to dive into the 6,000-acre Underwater Park to spy the leopard shark, garibaldi, and dolphins swimming underfoot. To facilitate journeys, La Jolla Kayak transports visitors' kayaks to the beach straight from its outfitting shop, which also houses complimentary lockers and rents out wetsuits to keep love-struck sea lions from slipping notes into divers' pockets.
Operating under auspices of Pacific Beach Sports, the standup-paddleboard enthusiasts of SUP Diego lead adventures on the waters of Mission Bay. During lessons, instructors teach standup-paddleboard fundamentals, such as stance, paddling form, and which dance calls forth which water god. For more experienced riders, they also rent their fleet of standard-size boards measuring 142 inches long and 33 inches wide. Further activities include tours and yoga-based fitness classes that includes the added challenge of remaining balanced despite the water's gentle undulations.
Carlsbad Lagoon's on-water adventures take place at a private beach area lined by palm trees. Here, wakeboards, waverunners, and water skis speed across the water’s surface, bouncing into the air with each wave. The fleet also boasts more leisurely watercraft, such as kayaks and aqua cycles—oversized, buoyant tricycles that fulfill the dream of every child who drove his big wheel into the bathtub.
Of course, Carlsbad Lagoon doesn’t leave its customers to paddle hopelessly in circles. The staff includes instructors, who teach the basics of the various on-water activities. The aquatic educators also run a children's camp.
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.