Skip to content

Buy a paddle board today and get 10% OFF paddles & leashes at checkout

Previous article
Now Reading:
California Dreaming: Top Paddle Boarding Destinations from SoCal to NorCal
Next article

California Dreaming: Top Paddle Boarding Destinations from SoCal to NorCal

California offers a stunning variety of paddle boarding spots, from the sunny beaches of Southern California to the rugged coastlines of Northern California. Whether you're a seasoned paddle boarder or just looking to try something new, the Golden State has a destination for you. Let’s dive into some of the best places to paddle board in California.


Have you ever wondered what it feels like to glide across the water with nothing but the sound of your paddle dipping into the ocean and the call of seabirds overhead? Paddle boarding in California offers just that, merging serene landscapes with a full-body workout.

Why Paddle Boarding in California?

California's coastline stretches over 800 miles, dotted with bays, coves, and open beaches perfect for paddle boarding. The state's diverse marine ecosystems and consistent weather provide unique experiences that differ from one location to another.

Top Spots in Southern California

Malibu Surfrider Beach

A haven for surfers and paddle boarders alike, Malibu offers crystal clear waters and an iconic long ride for those looking for a challenge. Don't forget to watch for dolphins!

San Diego’s Mission Bay

Perfect for beginners, Mission Bay’s calm waters and lack of strong currents make it an ideal spot to learn and enjoy paddle boarding.

Exploring Central California

Monterey Bay

As you paddle out, keep an eye out for sea otters and seals in one of the richest marine habitats in California. Monterey’s protected bay is perfect for all skill levels.

Northern California's Hidden Gems

Tomales Bay

Less crowded than other destinations, Tomales Bay offers a peaceful retreat with its calm waters and stunning scenery. Ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

What to Bring on Your Paddle Adventure

Ensure you have a safety kit, plenty of water, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. Don’t forget a waterproof bag to keep your valuables dry!

Best Times to Paddle Board in California

Late spring through early fall offers the best weather conditions for paddle boarding, with warmer waters and lighter winds.

Safety Tips for Paddle Boarding

Always wear a life jacket, check weather conditions before heading out, and make sure you are aware of the local wildlife and boating traffic.

Local Paddle Boarding Communities

Joining a local community can enhance your experience, providing you with tips, company, and sometimes even group discounts on gear and lessons.

Paddle Board Rentals and Lessons

Many coastal towns offer rentals and lessons. This is a great way to get started if you’re new to the sport or visiting without your gear. For those looking to purchase their equipment, consider exploring the wide selection of inflatable paddle boards.

Wildlife and Scenery

Paddle boarding in California isn’t just about exercise; it’s about immersing yourself in the natural beauty and wildlife. From the majestic kelp forests to the playful sea lions, there's always something to see.

Eco-Friendly Paddling Practices

Respect the environment by avoiding areas with restoration efforts and never disturbing the wildlife. Always follow the “leave no trace” principles. For more insights into eco-friendly paddling, check out Starboard's sustainable initiatives.

Paddle Boarding Events in California

Check local calendars for races, festivals, and group paddles that bring the community together and offer a fun way to test your skills.


Whether you’re looking for a serene solo trip or a fun way to connect with friends and family, California’s diverse paddle boarding spots offer something for everyone. So grab your board and hit the water!


What is the best paddle boarding spot for beginners in California? Mission Bay in San Diego is highly recommended due to its calm waters and accessibility.

Can I paddle board if I can't swim? It’s essential to know how to swim before paddle boarding for safety. Always wear a life jacket, regardless of swimming ability.

Are there any age restrictions for paddle boarding in California? No, but younger children should be accompanied by an adult and always wear a life vest.

How much does it cost to rent a paddle board in California? Rental prices typically range from $20 to $50 per hour, depending on the location and rental duration.

Is paddle boarding a good workout? Yes, it’s an excellent full-body workout that improves balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. For comprehensive beginner's guides and tips, visit the Starboard SUP blog.



Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options