Surfing, paddleboarding + kayaking are great ways to explore the San Diego area. These water sports also offer both physical and mental health benefits that extend far beyond a day on the water.
Do you have a go-to spot for catching waves in San Diego? | Photo by Sophie Cloonan + SDtoday
Know before you go
- Read up on the guide to all open beaches across the San Diego area and find the area that suits your skillset the best.
- San Diego County has a list of health + safety advisories that are updated to match current conditions.
- Always wear a PFD or personal flotation device.
- Start small. Water, especially flowing water, can be intimidating. First-timers should opt for calm waters or lakes. You don’t want to get in over your head.
- Consider a guided adventure from Bike and Kayak tours of La Jolla before heading out on your own.
- For a fully detailed list of do’s + don’ts, check out this paddling safety guide.
Where to rent your equipment
🌊 Aqua Adventures | 1548 Quivira Way
This Mission Bay shop offers it all — stand up paddleboards, all kayak types, Hydrobikes, pontoon boats, and Duffy boats. Reservations are not required but highly recommended.
🌊 Disco’s Paddle Surf | 5000 N. Harbor Dr.
Formerly OEX Point Loma, this shop sits on the Sun Harbor Marina in one of the most wind protected areas on the Bay for easy + smooth sailing (or riding).
🌊 Pacific Beach Surf Shop | 4208 Oliver Ct.
If you’re looking to surf but don’t know where to start, go with the classics. This shop has been serving San Diego for more than 60 years, so you can pick up your beginner-grade surfboard or test out a new board style from your favorite brand before buying your own.
🌊 La Jolla Surf Systems | 2132 Avenida De La Playa
As one of the closest businesses to the beach and surf in La Jolla Shores, you’ll be able to rent surfboards, wetsuits, kayaks, boogie boards, snorkeling gear + beach chairs and get right into the action.
🌊 Just Kayak | 4090 Dawes St.
Want someone to bring your equipment to you? Check out this shop that drops rentals off at Dawes St. by Mission Bay — with ample street parking — walk right up to the beach. When you’re ready to wrap up your adventures, give them a call to get picked up.