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Orange County’s Best Paddleboarding Scenes

Part of the appeal of living in Orange County is its close proximity to the coast, and stand up paddleboarding (SUP) offers a fantastic means of enjoying the local surf. Anyone can pick up on SUP’s easy-to-master techniques, and Orange County boasts a number of prime boarding locations, as well as many shops that offer lessons and equipment.

Newport Beach-Back Bay

The California Junior Lifeguard Program offers paddleboarding summer camps and classes to guests of all ages, and the bay’s calm waters make for the perfect environment to learn the sport safely. The organization provides boards, paddles and wetsuits along with goodies from local sponsors. Sign up for group or private lessons; group lessons require at least four participants and are offered every hour.

Dana Point Harbor

O.C. Sail and Events Center, along with West Wind Sailing, offers paddleboard rentals and classes. In addition to standard SUP instruction, boarding enthusiasts may also indulge in tours of the area. If you’re looking for something a little more off-beat, consider taking board-based yoga classes. The harbor also offers the chance to watch whales migrate through the area year-round. From May through November, Blue whales commonly make an appearance, while Gray whales visit from November well into April. Orca whales have also often been seen in the harbor’s warm waters.

Laguna Beach

Many believe that Laguna Beach has the most beautiful coastline in the county, which is why it continues to attract beach-goers year in and year out. The coast’s unusual, scenic landscape features blowholes, rugged cascading cliffs and secluded coves. Oak Street Beach is particularly favored for stand up paddleboarding. The area has six different shops that offer SUP instruction and equipment.

Huntington Beach

With its Mediterranean climate, miles of beaches and laid-back atmosphere, Huntington Beach has consistently been declared the number one family and surf beach in the country. Nearby SUP Fari offers stand up paddle classes and rentals. Experienced boarders also have the chance to pump up the excitement by learning the sport of paddle surfing. Instruction includes lessons about ocean conditions, surfing etiquette and water safety.

Malibu Beach

Paddleboards became popular in Malibu in the 1980s after a Los Angeles lifeguard hosted the now famous “Waterman Race.” Now, Hana Paddleboards offers everything from equipment and basic lessons to tours. While on the water, boarders receive amazing views of the hills beyond Malibu Beach. It is not unusual to meet curious dolphins or the occasional sea lion popping up to play. The kelp beds beneath the water also serve as common meeting grounds for various schools of fish.