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.
Mission Bay Aquatic Center, which was voted 2010 Best Water Activities in San Diego by CityVoter, expertly guides more than 15,000 waternauts yearly in the ways of wave roving. Harboring one of the world's largest instructional seaside facilities, MBAC immerses beginners in basic sailing lessons held in four three-hour installments. Let the marine mavens fill your brain with essential sailing theories and boat handling tips while you man a Sabot, a single-handed boat that leaves your other hand free for high-fiving dolphins.
Amateur surfers are a lot like newborn fawns: they’re wide-eyed, full of life, and not so great at standing. That’s why head instructor and founder of Surfari Surf, Rick Gehris—along with his team of seasoned instructors—begins every first-time lesson by introducing a simple, achievable goal: stand. To increase the chances of success, Gehris and his instructors—well versed in Hawaiian, Californian, and Floridian surfing methods—hop right into the water to assist students as they cut into the waves. The instructors hang off the tails of their surfboards, stabilizing each board and repositioning students until they’re ready to take to the open water and try out their pickup lines on the nearest, cute-enough dolphin.
In addition to surf lessons and camps, instructors also show off their athletic prowess during standup-paddleboard lessons, which often are supplemented by independent board rentals.
The staffers at Cruiser King help pedalers to stay on the road with an impressive supply of bikes for sale or rent, handy cycling gear, and comprehensive maintenance services. At Cruiser King’s two locations, employees oversee a steady supply of the latest bikes from Hampton Cruisers and Fuji, doling them into the waiting hands of new owners or riders borrowing them for excursions, which can range from one hour to one week to cross-Atlantic cruises. Though the shop is known for its top-shelf beach cruisers, it also rents out mountain bikes, inline skates, and surfboards.
Cypress trees sway in the breeze, lush tropical vegetation soaks up the sunshine, and white sandy beaches glisten nearby as Buena Vista Watersports' rental jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and pontoons tote adventurers across the spring-fed waters of Lake Bryan alongside waterskiers and wakeboarders. The Key West–style resort, located just east of Disney World, allows families and friends to glimpse local wildlife as they skim scenic shorelines and chase picturesque settings at an aquatic reservoir as vast and secluded as Bigfoot's bathtub. The resort's alighted tiki torches and palm trees that border its tiki bar and pavilion attract groups for company picnics or private events such as weddings and parties, during which revelers can partake in watersports, dance to reggae, or watch a fire-dancing show.
Conquer the motion of the ocean with your choice of a foam (a $14 value) or epoxy surfboard (a $20 value). Strap on a pair of in-line skates, roller skates, and skateboards (a $14 value) that are more efficient and more tricked out than everyday walking. Or just relax with a stroll along the beach via comfort cruiser bikes and kids BMX bikes (a $14 value); also available are bike trailers for storage, tandem bicycles, and children's seats such as the alleycat bike trailer (a $20 value). Check out the full list of rentable fun here.