Kayaking at Aliso Beach doesn’t come without some level of danger. With an extreme sloping beach and waves that typically break right on shore, conditions aren’t necessarily ideal for kayaking. If there are waves above flat to 2 foot, I would highly recommend against kayaking at this Laguna area beach. It is one thing to brave the rough shore break as a body surfer, body boarder, surfer or skim boarder and whole another ordeal trying to get the kayak safely through the shore pound out to sea or into the beach without flipping the thing over with you in it. I would say that kayaking Aliso Beach is not for beginners or for the inexperienced. Safety has a lot to do with knowledge of these waters and choosing the right days to do it.
Aliso Beach does have flat days that are relatively safe so kayaking is not out of the question launching from Aliso Beach. The water color is a beautiful greenish blue with clarity and good visibility. There are reefs on the north end of the beach as well as down at Treasure Island below the Montage Hotel and Resort and there is a reef at the south end of the beach bending around Camel Point with another section at Table Rock which forms the south end of the cove at West Street. Kayaking in the Aliso Beach area and extending south and north to neighboring coves, reefs and beaches is scenic with rolling coastal hills, headlands, reefs and marine life from Pelicans cruising by to curious seals and migrating whales. Right now is a great time to catch Grey Whales migrating north to their Arctic feeding grounds from the lagoon birthing and nursery grounds in Baja California, Mexico.
Knowing these waters intimately goes along way for safety. You should always go with another kayaker and you should wear a life vest at all times. Checking the surf report at SolSpot is one of the best things you can do so that you don’t get caught by surprise by increasing surf unexpectedly. When kayaking at Aliso Beach is planned using all the surf report and weather related tools available combined with always going with a buddy and wearing the safety vest, Aliso Beach is as good a place as any to launch a kayak. Planning is everything.