Paddle Boarding in Marina del Rey
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding aka “SUP” has become a very popular trend these days, though it originated back to the 1960’s from beach boys in Waikiki, Hawaii. SUP is a less demanding sport than surfing, fit for all ages and body types. All that’s required is a paddle board, very similar to a surf board but typically larger & sturdier (especially for beginners) and 1 paddle. You can practically paddle board on any type of water surface, most popular is lakes or beaches. Paddle boarding is an amazing way to get in shape, working out all your core through balance on the board, using your waist & back to turn the paddle as well as the arms. Way more fun than being at the gym!
My first lessons was with a professional named Wade in Marina del Rey. He recommended we start at 7 am for a calmer wave and less traffic in the bay. As a beginner, it’s recommended to start early before the sun hits the water, which causes temperature changes as the wakes become stronger. For any other reason to be up that early, I’d be the grouchiest of the grouch. But this particular morning I was perky for this occasion. I love the water. The weather in Marina del Rey was a bit gloomy and chilly this morning. Nonetheless, being up early on the water is a beauty of its own, independent of the weather. I was with 3 other beginners and we learned the basics on the sand. Then paddled out around the Marina for 2 hours.
I really enjoyed the relaxing nature of paddle boarding. I went surfing a few summers back but got discouraged after a few very uncomfortable tumbling experiences, feeling much like a fish being flushed in the bowl.
Less Crowded Beaches near Santa Monica
Besides the water sport culture such as paddle boarding, boating, jet skiing in Marina del Rey, there is a surprisingly less inhabited beach there, just south of Venice. I’m a beach bum & river rat, probably a dolphin in my last life. As a resident of West LA, the thought of going to the beach on weekends get me grumpy thinking of all the crowds. I was in Marina del Rey 2 weekends ago at a friend’s condo and walked along the bike route from Marina to Venice. There was a major difference just an inch apart across the city-lines! A few families and individuals gracefully played volleyball and laid out in Marina. But as soon as you crossed over to Venice, massive crowds of Hippies, muscle-men, tourists, potheads, and gypsy psychic readers frolicked the scene.
Venice is great when you’re in the mood, but if you’re looking to relax on the beach with a book on a Saturday, Marina del Rey is a hidden gem worth noting.