|Santa Barbara > Activities > Santa Barbara Kayaking > Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara|
Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara is a full-service Kayak, Canoe, Outrigger & Water Sports Center Located in the Santa Barbara Harbor and on Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria. They also rent Stand Up Paddle Boards from both locations. In addition to a broad spectrum of rentals, they provide Channel Island Tours and a variety of special tours and corporate events. Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara is committed to preserving our nation’s natural areas through partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, an organization that promotes responsible outdoor skills and ethics.
Since 1990 Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara has been world renown for our exceptional commitment to the sport of sea kayaking. Instruction is provided in new, state of the art boats where you will learn more in less time. Paddle Sports offers some of the best sea kayak instruction in California.
***Reserve your kayak online and get 10% off your rental
Stand up paddling is a great time on the water. If you enjoy spending time getting wet along the coast, then you have to try this. Board shapers are creating plenty of options for you to choose from. We carry boards that are great for surfing and boards that you will enjoy day after day on short to long coastal cruises. This truly is a great form of core-strength training and an excellent alternative to traditional exercise regiments. If you haven't tried this yet, come on down and rent one from our friendly staff in the SB Harbor. How hard is it to stand up? You may have more trouble if this is your first time on a surfboard. If you are a comfortable surfer then this will be a breeze and you will really get a kick out of it!
Kayaking in Santa Barbara is so quick and easy, you can almost do it during your lunch break!
Today's adventure began at Paddle Sports at the Santa Barbara Harbor.
We rented two double-seat kayaks. John & Victoria were in one kayak as the day's photographers, and Wendy & Katy lead the way.
Each double-seat kayak was rented for two hours. It was only 20 minutes between the time we arrived at and the moment we hit the water. We were even offered a quick kayaking lesson, demonstrating the correct way to use a paddle.
Today we decided to follow the popular route from the Santa Barbara Harbor to the Sea Lion buoy anchored just off of Stearns Wharf (see the map of our route below).
When kayaking you usually don't get completely soaked so a bathing suit isn't necessary, though wearing shorts is a good idea. You can also wear sandals or go barefoot. Bring your sunglasses, sun block and a small bottle of drinking water. A hat might be a good idea for those sensitive to the sun. Remember, when kayaking, you are getting double exposure from the sun - once from the sky and once from the water reflection. The rental service has a complete store with everything you need, so don't worry if you don't arrive completely prepared. Remember to put sun block on your FEET!
Our Kayaking Route
We started at the loading dock, paddled along the breakwater then headed straight out to the sea lion buoy. As you round the end of the sandy breakwater, and first catch sight of the buoy, the buoy looks *really* far out to sea. Don't worry, it is not as far as it appears. It only takes a few minutes to paddle to the sea lion buoy.
Just before we arrived to greet the sea lions, two tour boats swarmed our destination. One tour boat operator used his megaphone to warn us to keep our distance as he makes three passes around the sun tanning seals.
It is fun to watch the sea lions play "king of the hill". There is so little room available to rest on the overcrowded buoy, they are continually pushing each other into the water. The older sea lions in the middle are sound asleep while the pups on the perimeter are battling for just a moments rest.
Our next stop was to go along side, then underneath, Stearns Wharf. There is lots of room between the pilings below the wharf so passing through is safe and easy. We recommend not crossing near the end of the wharf so you avoid running into fishing lines from the fisherman above. Be sure to waive to the tourists watching your every move!
Soon we entered the harbor once again and kayaked along side Captain Don's Whale Watch boat near the entrance of the harbor. When kayaking at the Santa Barbara Channel Islands you have an opportunity to paddle into exciting ocean caves. In the harbor, however, the most popular, and only "cave" is the Channel Cat catamaran. We bravely paddled into the dark tunnel, letting out a requisite roar to fill the chamber with echoes.
Moments later we tied up to the dock where we started and returned our life vests to the kayaking service crew. Today's adventure was completed in just over an hour and a half. Paddling to the sea lions is a thoroughly enjoyable and uniquely-Santa Barbara experience.