The Ultimate Guide to Paddle Boarding in San Diego

Summer is fast approaching and it is time to enjoy the cool waters of San Diego again! There are a lot of water sports you can try experiencing but you certainly cannot miss paddle boarding in San Diego if you live in or are visiting the place this summer. Yes, the place boasts of fantastic locations for paddle boarding and you cannot afford to forego the experience. Interested? Well, here are tips to help you get started.

What Kind of Paddle Boarding Gear Will I Need?

Find all the gear you will need in the first place. Do some research and identify the best deals on offer so you can enjoy the best watersport while spending the least.

SUP board

Choosing a stand up paddle board San Diego is quite a task. If you are a beginner, we suggest you choose a wider, thicker and longer board. Such boards offer great stability which means you will spend more time paddling and less time balancing. Wider boards come with a handle to make carrying easier but if you are going to transport your board for a long distance, you are best advised to hire a vehicle. Don’t worry! There are transport systems available to ferry paddle boards to and from the water bodies.


If you are entering calm waters for paddle boarding in San Diego, longer paddles are the best choice. However, if you are going to surf in rough waters, choose a shorter paddle for greater control.


Stand up paddle boards are considered as vessels. The U.S Coast Guard, therefore, requires you to have a Personal Flotation device when paddle boarding in San Diego, type 2 and type 3 are approved and best preferred. Wear inflatable life jackets and don’t forget to have a safety whistle and light, particularly if you are setting out in the late evening.


Avoid wearing cotton clothing. Choose swimwear with long sleeves that helps you stay cool and offer protection from the sun. One more thing, you are in San Diego, so sunscreen is a must!

The Best Paddle Boarding Spots in San Diego

Once you get the gear, enter the waters for unlimited fun. Choose a water body with placid waters if you are a beginner. Keep your feet centered and upper body, straight. Avoid looking at your feet, stay focused on the water ahead. Keep your knees bent and get moving. Once you find stability, which is a matter of time, you will have the best experience of paddle boarding in San Diego.

Stand up paddle board san diego is all fun. You can buy a paddle board if you are planning to go paddle boarding often, either for fun or workout. It is a worthy investment. However, if you enter the waters rarely, there are paddle board rentals available you can check out.

Now you know all about the gear, stability and positions, we shall discuss the best spots for paddle boarding in San Diego.

San Diego is an awesome place with amazing weather all through the year. The place prides itself on the diverse marine life and endless waterways. San Diego is the ideal place for paddle boarding regardless of whether you are a beginner or professional. There are peaceful water bodies that offer the beginners a great opportunity to stand up paddle board San Diego. You can also find waters with rough waves that offer core thrill and excitement to the pros.

Lets explore the locations.

Coronado Island

Coronado Island is one of the most beautiful places and a brief drive from downtown San Diego. This small island houses the naval base and some incredible beaches. The place attracts tourists from across the world all through the year and it is one of the best spots for paddle boarding in san diego. Some beaches on Coronado Island have consistent waves which offer great scope for stand up paddle board San Diego. Simply take a walk on the beach with your loved ones or go surfing on the gorgeous waters. No matter what you choose to do, Coronado Island is a place you cannot miss.

There are a number of paddle board rentals in Coronado Island. You can simply hire a board and venture into the waters. If you want an instructor to help you stand up paddle board San Diego, you can book one and surf confidently.

Mission Bay

The Mission Bay is also a short drive from downtown, and is spread over 4600 acres. The place houses peaceful waterways and inlets which are great for beginner explorers. Swimming, jet skiing and boating are also popular activities in this bay area but of course, paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport. This place is a must-visit if you want to try paddle boarding in San Diego.

Mission Bay is also a wonderful place to laze in the sun, go fishing or simply relax doing nothing. The Santa Barbara cove is another attraction in Mission Bay. Besides having a large parking area, the cove is protected on three of its sides which means, the water stays placid even on windy days. This is therefore one of the best spots for paddle boarding in San Diego.

Bordered by Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, Mission Bay is known for spectacular marine life. You can also find amazing wildlife in this place. To summarize, the Mission Bay area is great for fun and entertainment and perfect for adventure seekers by board. No matter what time of the day you choose to visit this place in San Diego, you are not going to be disappointed. The bay is full of activity from sunrise to sunset. If you are however planning a trip to the Mission beach during weekends for paddle boarding in San Diego, we suggest you make a reservation beforehand.

La Jolla Cove Marine Sanctuary

This is yet another fantastic place when it comes to paddle boarding in San Diego. This spot offers a great view of the Pacific Ocean. The clear blue waters, rocky cliffs and the locals here all add to your paddle boarding adventure. You can find seals on the cliffs, keenly sunbathing, and if you are one of those animal lovers, you can even get close to them and take some pictures. Once you enter the waters and start paddle boarding, you can also see bat rays, jellyfish, sea turtles, and leopard sharks.

If you are choosing La Jolla Cove for paddle boarding in San Diego, you are advised to enter the waters during the afternoon, explore some caves near the cliffs and return before dusk. The city lights that turn on in the late evening are a sight to behold and seem like they are welcoming you back to the land. However, this is a risky adventure and we recommend this only to experienced paddlers. Oceans can change every second and you can never predict what’s in store!

Del Mar

Officially known as the North Beach, the Del Mar beach is famous as the Dog Beach. Dog owners take their dogs to this wonderful hybrid beach where there are calm waters for beginners and pets and a river mouth for adventurous surfers. Take your family or friends along to this North beach and we promise you will have the experience of a lifetime. Del Mar is an amazing location if you are looking for stand up paddle board San Diego. If you, after hours of paddling feel exhausted with the watersport, take a stroll along the beach or play volleyball. This beach is simply the right place for paddle boarding in San Diego.

Thinking about what to do with your dog when you are paddle boarding? Well, your dog can do it too! As we said earlier, this is a dog-friendly beach! With your dog beside you in the waters, paddle boarding in San Diego couldn’t get better!

There are beach rentals in Del Mar too where you can find everything you will need for a great day at the beach.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Agua Hedionda Lagoon is the place you should check out if you love paddle boarding in San Diego but hate crowds. This is a quiet spot where you can find only a few other people like you. The water body is calm and serene where the slow-moving waters soothe your mind. The stand up paddle board yoga classes are another attraction at this wonderful location.

Spend an entire day at this lagoon for a memorable paddle boarding in San Diego experience. If you are short of time, you can spend an afternoon with your loved ones, paddling in the flat waters.

Lake San Marcos

San Marcos is the only lake in the United States that allows for stand up paddle boarding. The lake features calm waters and is perfect for beginner paddlers. The spot is rarely crowded, so it is the ideal place to visit if you want mental relaxation too along with some fun and entertainment. There are stand up paddle boards for rent, so don’t worry if you couldn’t get one. Once you are done paddle boarding, get on the shore to enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant. A day paddle boarding in San Diego combined with fresh seafood is going to be heavenly!

Lake San Marcos is fast becoming a favorite for paddle boarding in San Diego. If you are exploring places to try this watersport, San Marcos can make a great choice.

Oceanside Harbor

This place sees rough waves and wind, therefore best suited for experienced paddlers. If you are a pro and can take on this challenge, you may even be lucky to get a glimpse of the whales while paddle boarding. If you want to experience a true adrenaline rush, Oceanside Harbor paddle boarding is for you.

There are not many places where you get to see lovely marine life while paddle boarding in San Diego. Oceanside Harbor offers a treat to the eyes while keeping you thrilled as long as you are on the waters. After you are finished, get set to taste the delicious local seafood.

Paddle boarding in San Diego is getting synonymous with Oceanside Harbor. If you want to try stand up paddle board San Diego for adventure, this is the place to be.

Tourmaline Surf Park

Want to up your stand up paddle board surfing skills? Tourmaline Surf Park Northern Pacific Beach is the place you should check out! The place attracts friendly crowds that love to surf the mild waves, and it is an ideal location for paddle board practice. In other words, the placid waters offer a great opportunity for beginners to learn balancing and find stability.

This stretch in San Diego also scores high on scenic beauty. It is no doubt best known for paddle boarding in San Diego but if you on any day don’t want to enter the waters, simply relax with your dear ones by the beach.

Shelter Island Shoreline Park

This place is located close to the urban area of San Diego and one of the best spots for stand up paddle boarding. The place is scenic, offers undisturbed ocean views and what’s more, you get to see the gorgeous sunrise and sunset like nowhere else. The calm blue waters are also inviting and provide the ideal atmosphere for paddle boarding in San Diego.

In San Diego, you can find as many paddlers as swimmers. The watersport is a favorite with the locals, and a lot of tourists too get motivated to paddle on the welcoming waters. The extensive beaches and the beautiful harbors all make this place one of the top destinations for paddle boarding.

When can you try paddle boarding in San Diego?

San Diego has mild to moderate weather all through the year. So regardless of the time of the year, you can plan a visit to this harbor city. The idyllic climate offers the perfect scope to plan your outing anytime, at your convenience. However, generally, the travel rates go down during March-May and September-November. May and June also see cloudy days, so it’s going to be really cool and relaxing.

If you are planning a visit for paddle boarding in San Diego, we assure, your visit is going to be worth it.

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