Kayaking in West Hills

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Gently lapping waves, fresh ocean air, and the dip and splash of oars: this is the scene at Phins Water Sports Club. Here, the Pacific serves as a sweatband-free gym, inviting newly-trained sailors to pilot their own craft while strengthening their bodies. Skilled staffers give first-times and club members alike the skills to glide through the water in sleek slide seat rowing boats, atop Hovie standup paddleboards, or inside lightweight Ocean sea kayaks. Visitors who can take craft out on their own can also enjoy the club’s dog-friendly policy, with a canine first mate.

14045 Panay Way
Marina Del Rey,
CA
US

Situated along Surfrider Beach and across the street from the famous Malibu Pier, Malibu Surf Shack has been a destination for ocean activities since it first opened its doors in 1972. Crashing waves and surfboard migratory patterns lure instructors to the point-break beach. Here, the pros teach small classes how to shred and duck atop waves. Students can rent boards and other watercraft including kayaks and standup paddleboards to join in on the fun.

Inside the retail shop, boards from brands such as Walden and McTavish await their next wave-riding excursions. Malibu Surf Shack's staff demos all of the new and used gear, letting customers try boards or take them to a romantic dinner before making long-term commitments.

22935 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu,
CA
US

At its prime waterfront location in Marina Del Rey, Marina Paddle introduces students to standup paddleboarding, a hybrid sport where one stands on a modified surfboard and steers through the water using an elongated paddle. The aquatic environment and steady pace make for a fun and safe workout on the glassy surface of a river, lake, or ocean. The school's lessons match participants up with the proper equipment and shed light on proper handling technique, including turning, maintaining balance, and avoiding the wake from motorized boogie boards. Once paddlers have a grasp on the basics, instructors point them to prime spots for showing off their new skills. Courses require zero prior experience and take place on calm, protected waters, meaning beginning paddlers need not fear losing balance due to unexpected waves.

4625-A Admiralty
Marina Del Rey,
California
CA

Scenes of learning and enjoyment spark infectious enthusiasm among Channel Islands Kayak Center's guides, who thrive on bringing adventurers up close to the wildlife of Channel Islands Harbor and Ventura Harbor. The team furnishes independent explorers with kayak rentals, which include safety briefings so kayakers can tell the difference between a sea lion and an actual lion.

3600 S. Harbor Blvd
Oxnard,
CA
US

From dawn to dusk, Hopper Boat Rentals fleet of small, maneuverable crafts weave past the sailboats and houseboats docked in the tree-lined Channel Islands Harbor. Though the compact vessels are easy to master, Hopper Boat Rentals’ aquatic experts still happily help customers suit up in provided lifejackets and then impart a brief tutorial on operating their vessel of choice. They then rent out their watercraft by the hour, allowing customers the freedom to enjoy a quick jaunt or a daylong quest to overthrow surrounding sandcastle fiefdoms.

2741 Victoria Ave
Oxnard,
CA
US

It's not all about adrenaline at 4Points Expeditions?although the group's backpacking, kayaking, and stand-up-paddleboard excursions are quite thrilling. The team of experienced adventurers here cares as much about safety as it does about the outdoors, which is why it keeps trained EMTs and Wilderness First Responders among its ranks. The team members share their knowledge of CPR and first aid during detailed classes, whose past students have included members of the National Park Service. When they're not doling out lifesaving tips, the guides are leading groups through California's most beautiful natural treasures in Ojai, Ventura and Malibu.

162 W Shoshone St
Ventura,
CA
US