STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING
Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP as they call it, has become very popular in the Laguna Beach area because of the diverse reefs just off shore full of incredible marine life and the changing scenery paddling from cove to cover. There is simply a lot to see while you are getting one of the best workouts you could possibly get. One of the reasons Stand Up Paddle Boarding has become so popular at Aliso Beach in addition to the scenery just off the beach, is that getting to the beach with your equipment and launching is easier than most places in Laguna. Laguna Beach is a riviera of pristine beaches that typically require a hike to get down to the sand. Unlike most of the beaches in Laguna which are on a hill requiring parking and a long walk to and from the beach, Aliso Beach has a metered coastal parking lot on both sides of South Coast Pacific Highway. For those of you that have visited Laguna area beaches and have had to park on the inland side of South Pacific Coast Highway up the hill on the way to the beach, you absolutely understand what a pain in the neck it would be to load stand up paddle boards and carry them to and from the beach. Nestled between two sections of coastal hills, Aliso Beach is flat and literally a minute from the sand to the water. If you are a Stand Up Paddle Boarder and you get to the beach side lot before it fills up, you are one happy SUP’er. The ease of getting out and on to the water is awesome if you get to Aliso Beach early.
If you have read some of the blogs and pages on the website, I have spent a great deal of time talking about the dangers of Aliso Beach and how knowing the conditions before you go is hugely important to choosing the days to use the water for recreation. This is definitely true for Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Aliso Beach. If you read reviews on Yelp for Aliso Beach, there are visitors that complain about how rough the beach was and how they couldn’t swim because the waves were to dangerous. The reason I find that so funny is that any living, breathing, thinking human being has access to free marine and surf reports that tell you what the current conditions are and what they might be moving through a day. This is valuable information for someone that wants to come down and Stand Up Paddle Board. Some days down at Aliso Beach are brutal with waves that test even the elite, local water men. It is up to people that want to Stand Up Paddle to be checking the marine reports prior to launching. For most people, anything other than waves 3 foot or less, launching a Stand Up Paddle Board from Aliso Beach can be one of the most dangerous situations because you have to get through the shore break before it cleans you up. One thing for sure is that if you get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, Aliso Beach shore break will clean you up. Of course there are dedicated water sport athletes in the area that could make getting out in higher surf look easy, it doesn’t make it safe for most people. Besides, choosing a day with small surf, plenty of sun and light winds is the best way to enjoy Stand Up Paddle Boarding from Aliso Beach because of the enhanced visibility and less fight against the currents.
Aliso Beach is probably best as a launching zone for expert stand up paddle boarders. Like every beach in Laguna, Aliso Beach has its calm surf days making it completely safe. Groups providing stand up paddle boarding lessons seem to prefer the North Laguna area because of a safer launch zone. While I agree that there may be safer launch zones than Aliso Beach for the beginner, Aliso Beach does get flat conditions that make it safe enough to use. There are two players I know of in Laguna Beach that provides Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons. You will find them below.
La Vida Laguna is a great place to check out for daily stand up paddle board tours in Laguna Beach. Laguna is only 7 or 8 miles so wherever your starting point is in the city, they will be minutes from you. They do some really interesting things with corporate event and team building with outdoor events. I think that is a great idea! If you are lucky enough to be near or staying at a hotel in the Aliso Beach area and there during a full moon event, you might really enjoy the Drum Circle they put on.
X Stand Up Paddle Company is also a great option for Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons in the Laguna area. They customize lessons to fit the individual skill levels of the people coming to them to stand up paddle board and will even pick them up for lessons. For beach visitors staying in local hotels the shuttle service to the lesson is a great thing! For those adventurists that live in or around Aliso Beach and the surrounding Laguna Beach areas or visitors who see Stand Up Paddle Boarding as a regular outdoor activity and excursion, XSUPCO is a great source of boards, paddles, life vests and any sort of gear you might need.
Remember to check the AlisoBeach.com surf report brought to you by our friends at Solspot to see if conditions are good to launch a Stand Up Paddle Board. Aliso Beach is only as dangerous as the day you choose to come to SUP. If you show up and the waves are pumping at Aliso Beach and you have to turn away, it is absolutely your fault. Best policy is to know about the surf conditions before you go! Ye;p reviews of Aliso Beach that complain about the dangerous surf are right that on some days the waves at Aliso Beach are not safe. In defense of the beach I love, it is not factual that Aliso Beach is not safe due to wave conditions every day. For those that complain like that they just chose the wrong day. Mother Nature decides what days there are waves and there is a way to look up the current conditions and choose to come to the beach to use the water on safe days. If ignorance is bliss and you choose not to use Aliso Beach on the right day, be sure to blame the person you see in the mirror! Happy SUPing!