paddle boarding in Mission Bay

A Champion’s Guide To Paddle Boarding At Mission Bay

Are you planning a paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay, San Diego but you’re not sure of where to go and what to do when you get there? 

Welcome, you’ve come to the right place! 

We’re here to help you with everything you need to know about paddle boarding in Mission Bay and where to go to catch the best waters for a good time on your board. 

Paddle boarding is a sport that recently picked up popularity among watersports enthusiasts around the world. It is usually carried out in open waters such as the seas, rivers as well as lakes. 

This fun sport requires standing on a wider surf-like board and moving yourself forward using a paddle. It’s almost like a combination of surfing and kayaking but preferably without the waves as paddle boarding is usually done on calm, flat waters.

It is also a great exercise.

Paddle boarding helps improve flexibility, enhance fitness and improve stress relief, perfect for anyone who enjoys good fun and a good workout combined. 

Mission Bay is the biggest man-made saltwater bay in San Diego and a popular destination for paddle boarding. This aquatic beauty is lined with 19 miles of sandy beaches, inlets, islets, and waterways, making it perfect for some paddling time in the sun. 

Best Locations For Paddle Boarding In Mission Bay

  1. Bonita Cove, Mission Bay
  2. Fiesta Island, Mission Bay
  3. Mariner’s Point
  4. Quivira Basin 
  5. Bahia Hotel, Santa Barbara Cove 
  6. Coronado Island – The Shore
  7. Coronado Tidelands Park 
  8. La Jolla Cove
  9. Liberty Station
  10. Shelter Island, Shoreline Park

DISCLOSURE

Some of the links on here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

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You’re going on a holiday but don’t really know where to get a paddle board in Mission Bay? 

We’ve got that covered too. As you read on, you will find all the information you need, where to go, paddle boards for hire and some useful basic tips, to get you started on your paddle boarding adventure in Mission Bay!

10 Best Locations For Paddle Boarding In Mission Bay

1. Bonita Cove, Mission Bay

Paddle boarding mission bay
Photo by Flickr

One of the most popular spots for paddle boarding in Mission Bay is at Bonita Cove that can be found adjacent to Belmont Park. 

This beautiful cove is geographically protected on three sides, shielding it from windy weather – perfect for a day on the board!

Location: Google Maps

Address: 1100 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 2.6 miles (6 mins) , 4 mins walk from Belmont Park 

2. Fiesta Island, Mission Bay

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay
Photo by kusi news

If you’re looking to paddle boarding with your dog, Fiesta Island is the place for you. Most of the land on this island is designated leash-free for dogs, so they too can enjoy the sandy sands and the beach. 

There is also a 5 m.p.h. zone that is popular for watersports on the east side of the island, and a permitted water skiing area in the Hidden Cove (permits from the Lifeguards required), in case you’re looking to try something different!

Location: Google Maps

Address: 1590 E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 5.6 miles (14 mins by car) 

3. Mariner’s Point

Paddle boarding mission bay
Photo by flickr

In Mission Bay, there’s a spot for everyone. If you like bird watching and paddle boarding, and want to do both, there’s a spot for you too. 

Mariner’s Point is home to the smallest tern species, the California least tern, an endangered bird species found only in Southern California and Northern regions of Mexico. If you love birds, we think this is an experience you shouldn’t miss out on!

Location: Google Maps

Address: 2726 Bayside Ln, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 3.5 miles (10 mins by car)

4. Quivira Basin

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay
Photo by Marinas

Located nearby Mariner’s Cove, this area consists mostly of docks and marinas so you will need permission to launch your board or get rentals – they have trouble free access to the area. 

Here, you will be thrilled to find sea lions and sometimes a harbor seal just chilling on the sides or buoys as you paddle past these friendly sea creatures. They’re all always happy to say hi as you paddle by! 

Also, don’t forget to paddle along the rocks to find the famous Garibaldi fish, Opal eyes, starfishes and many more!

Location: Google Maps

Address: San Diego, CA 92109, USA

Distance from Mission Bay: 2.0 miles (5 mins by car)

5. Bahia Hotel, Santa Barbara Cove 

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay
Photo by booking.com

This spot is a fan favorite among stand up paddlers and watersports enthusiasts alike. It is easy to access through the huge, free car park and is mostly empty throughout the week. This location has also been reported for possible whale sightings!

The cove has calm waters on most days as it is protected on three sides that keeps it protected even on the windiest days. This is perfect for those who enjoy SUP fishing or SUP yoga – the perfect serene environment for some time off on the board. 

Location: Google Maps

Address: San Diego, CA 92109, USA

Distance from Mission Bay: 2.0 miles (5 mins by car)

6. Coronado Island – The Shore

paddle boarding in Mission Bay
Photo by California Beaches 

Coronado is a quaint little island located just off San Diego’s coast. Known to be one of the best places to go paddle boarding in San Diego,this little island is the go to place if you’re looking to get some waves on your board. 

Located next to San Diego’s naval base, this island offers picturesques views and perfect long reeling waves ready to be surfed. It also does not have any reefs or rocks so it’s perfect if you’re starting to learn surfing with your paddle board.

Location: Google Maps

Address: Coronado, CA 92118, USA

Distance from Mission Bay: 13.1 miles (20 mins by car)

7. Coronado Tidelands Park 

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay
Photo by port of San Diego

Tidelands Park in Coronado Island is one of San Diego’s best kept secrets – best for it’s dreamy city views and impeccable view of the city skyline. 

Here, you will have a chance to paddle through under the Coronado Bridge and a chance to take in the views of the baseball stadium, San Diego’s skyline, and the Hotel Del, the largest wooden hotel in the world that was constructed in 1888.

Location: Google Maps

Address: 2000 Mullinex Dr, Coronado, CA 92118, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 11.9 miles (16 mins by car)

8. La Jolla Cove

Paddle boarding mission bay

This stunning cove is the perfect postcard picture for San Diego. Known to be one of the most beautiful stand up paddle board locations near Mission Bay, this spot is unmatched for its picturesque views and rich marine life. 

Paddle boarding in La Jolla would be quite the adventure, and a memorable one too.

Surrounded by cliffs, as you paddle, look out for leopard sharks, bat rays, sea turtles, jellyfish and seals sunbathing on the cliffs while you cruise on the water- all while basking under the clear blue skies.  

Sounds amazing doesn’t it? 

Location: Google Maps

Address: San Diego, CA 92037, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 7.9 miles (17 mins by car)

9. Liberty Station

paddle boarding Mission Bay
Photo by yarbrough group

Liberty Station is a fan favorite among Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) and SUP Yoga enthusiasts. Also great for beginners, this location is perfect if you’re looking to take a break from big beaches or big crowds. 

This location has great facilities like public water access, public restrooms and lots of parking, which can be a great deal of convenience. It also offers breathtaking views of the skyline downtown and a great sunset to enjoy on your paddle board. 

Location: Google Maps

Address:  2455 Cushing Rd, San Diego, CA 92106, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 5.1 miles (12 mins by car)

10. Shelter Island, Shoreline Park

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay
Photo by port of san diego

This stand up paddle boarding spot is perfect for beginners who are looking for calmer, sturdy waters for practicing.

Located much further out of the city, here, you can get a shimmering view of the city’s skyscapes while also enjoying the undisturbed views of the sea and stunning skies – perfect for taking in beautiful sunrises and stunning sunsets on the board. 

Location: Google Maps

Address:  2200 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, United States

Distance from Mission Bay: 5.2 miles (12 mins by car)

Where Can I Get Paddle Boarding Rentals In Mission Bay? 

Paddle boarding mission bay

There are several locations where you can find paddle board for hire in Mission Bay, but most can be found where paddle board activities are common so it won’t be too hard to find one nearer to the locations you plan to go. 

However, to make things much easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of places where you can find paddle boards for rent in Mission Bay. 

1. Mission Bay Sportcenter

Location: Google Maps

Address: 1010 Santa Clara Pl, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Contact: +18584881004

Rental Fees: 

  • $ 18 1 hour 
  • $ 36 2 hours
  • $ 544 hours
  • $ 75 – All day

2. Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Location: Google Maps

Address: 1001 Santa Clara Pl, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Contact: +18584881000

Rental Fees: 

  • $ 28 2.5 hours 
  • Membership fee of $ 29/month for a 2.5 hour rental per day 
  • Free rental on your birthday

3. Hui Hui Stand Up Paddleboard Rentals 

Location: Google Maps

Address: 4000 Fanuel St, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Contact: +15622834005

Rental Fees: 

  • $ 45 – 4 hours 
  • $ 70 – 8 hours

4. Action Sport Rental

Location: Google Maps

Address: 998 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Contact: +16192414794

Rental Fees: 

  • $ 25 – 1 hour
  • $ 45 – 2 hours
  • $ 75 – 4 hours
  • $ 100 – 8 hours

5. Paddle Board San Diego

Location: Google Maps

Address: 1242 Parker Pl, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Contact: sandiegopaddleboard@gmail.com 

Rental Fees: 

  • $ 25 – 1 hour
  • $ 40 2 hours
  • $ 50 3 hours

6. Cheap Rentals 

Location: Google Maps

Address: 3689 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109, United States

Contact: +18584889070

Rental Fees: 

  • $ 15 – 1 hour
  • $ 40 – All day
  • $ 5024 hours
  • $ 100 4 days
  • $ 1507 days

Where Can I Go For Paddle Board Yoga In Mission Bay?

Paddle board yoga is a unique practice that combines yoga and you guessed it, paddle boarding. 

This variation to the sport  has become a trend among yogis who also enjoy paddle boarding and who are looking to improve their yoga skills. 

SUP yoga is best practiced on steady, calm bodies of water like lakes, harbors or bays and can help improve your balance, strength and focus. Imagine taking in all the zen while looking out into nature on your board.

Pretty interesting right?

If you’re keen to try SUP yoga or already have experience but are looking to find the spots perfect for some zen time and stretch on the board, here are some places you can look at for more information in Mission Bay. 

Where Can I Launch My Paddle Board in Mission Bay? 

There are a few locations that you can head to to launch your paddle board near Mission Bay, and we’ve compiled a list to make it easier for you to find your way. 

These locations have been selected based on how easy they are to access and facilities like parking so that you have a fun, worry-free experience paddle boarding there. 

1. Leisure Lagoon, San Diego 

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible – from the west side of the point

2. South Shores Boat Launching Area

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

3. Fiesta Island

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible – access from from the island 

4. Playa Pacifica

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

5. Old Mission Bay Visitors Center

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

6. Sunset Point

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible – access from near the Dana Hotel

7. Paradise Point Resort & Spa Vacation Road

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

8. Bahia Point

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

9. Mariner’s Point Park

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

10. Mission Point Park

  • Kayak & SUP Accessible

What Do You Need For Paddle Boarding?

Now that you’re all set about where to go, it’s time to check out the things you need. 

Some of the basic things you will need when paddle boarding are a stand up board, a paddle, a leash, a personal flotation device, comfortable clothing, a whistle and a torchlight. These are all important items that can be helpful when you’re on the board and keep you safe. 

1. Paddle Board 

A paddle board should be wide and sturdy enough to provide stability and balance when you’re paddling in the water. 

The DAMA Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Yoga Board does just that. 

Paddle boarding mission bay

This paddle board has some incredible features like a sports camera mount and special D rings that not only makes it easier to carry but can also be used to connect to your friend’s kayak or board and to install a kayak seat if needed. 

Some other cool options include: 

2. Stand Up Paddles 

When paddle boarding, you need to ensure that you have a paddle that floats so that you don’t lose them when they fall into the water. Supply Company’s 3-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle comes highly recommended for it lightweight and durable paddles. 

paddle boarding in Mission Bay

It is also detachable and can be adjusted to your height accordingly. Built with aircraft grade aluminium shaft and strong polypropylene blade, this lightweight paddles are definitely built to last.

Some other amazing stand up paddles we found include: 

3. Leash 

If you’re looking for a sleek, reliable leash, look no further than the BPS “Storm’ Premium Surf SUP Leash. Using high quality materials, this leash is designed for anyone looking for a comfortable, padded Neoprene cuff that includes a hidden key pocket!

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay

In addition to all this, it’s coils also function to absorb wave impact and can be stretched out to up to 5 times its length, perfect to keep you anchored to your board in case you fall off or get swept by currents. 

Some of the best leashes for SUPs include:

4. Personal Floatation Device 

The Airhead Trend Life Vest comes highly recommended by many for its efficiency in the water. Constructed with a soft woven polyester shell and light Poly-E foam inside, this durable life vest is both affordable and durable, perfect for long term use. 

paddle boarding trip to Mission Bay

It also has 4 quick-release, adjustable belts which helps keep you snug and safe when exploring the open waters. 

Other floatation devices we liked include: 

5. Whistle And Light

Getting lost in the open waters can be scary, especially after sunset. This is why you should always carry a whistle and light to help you call out for assistance and indicate your location. 

Some of the best ones include the HEIMDALL Emergency Whistle and the Gear Light LED Tactical Water-Resistant Flashlight ; both easy to carry, and durable – perfect to keep you safe. 

You can also check these out:

Whistles

Flashlights

How To Pick The Best Paddle Board For You?

The most important thing to take note of when looking for the perfect paddle board for you is to ensure it has enough buoyancy that is sufficient for your weight. 

There are two types,

  •  an inflatable type and
  •  a hard type

both of which differ in terms of weight to begin with.

An inflatable board is relatively lighter than hard boards and is easy to carry around.

 This makes it very easy to handle and manage, especially if you plan to check out more than one place for paddle boarding in Mission Bay. 

A hard board on the other hand, is much heavier and can contribute to the weight that the board will have to hold when you’re in the water. 

When it’s too heavy, it will sink and create drag against the water, making it harder to pick up speed. 

Where Can I Get Paddle Board Lessons In Mission Bay?

paddle boarding in Mission Bay

Places that provide paddle board lessons can usually be found nearby popular paddle boarding spots in Mission Bay, which should be quite easy to spot.

 Regardless, we’ve found a few locations with paddle board lessons to get you started. 

1. Mission Beach Surfing School 

  • Private Lesson – $ 85
  • Semi-private Lesson – $ 65

2. Mission Bay Aquatic Center

  • Private Lesson – $ 60

3. Mission Bay Watersports

  • Private Lesson – $ 85
  • Group Lesson – $ 50

4. Aqua Adventures

  • Lessons – Starting from $ 55 

5. San Diego Surf Lessons 

  • Private Lesson – $ 89
  • Semi-private Lesson – $ 69
  • Group Lesson (3-5 pax) – $ 59 per person

Can You Paddle Board At La Jolla Cove?

Most definitely! 

It is definitely on our must-visit spot for paddle boarding in Mission Bay and one of the most beautiful ones too. If you love nature, the sea and marine life, this is the place for you!

The stunning cliffs have been around for over 75 million years and it houses various sea life as well as birds and beautiful reefs below the water. 

Look out for sharks, sea lions, sharks and dolphins as you paddle through the cove. 

Can You Kayak In Mission Bay? 

Yes, you can! 

The protected waters of Mission Bay creates a lake-like environment which makes launching and landing from the sand much easier. 

Once on board your kayak, you’ll get to experience calm waters and enjoy the magnificent view Mission Bay has to offer! 

Expect to get wet when you’re kayaking so make sure to not carry anything dangerous like electronics to avoid any possible hazards and danger when on the water. 

Conclusion

There’s no doubt paddle boarding in Mission Bay will be an interesting experience for you, especially if you’re a beginner. 

We hope this champion’s guide to paddling boarding in Mission Bay helps you do your research and plan your trip to Mission Bay effectively – make sure to hit the hot spots like La Jolla Cove and Coronado Islands on your way too! 

Have fun!

A Champion’s Guide To Paddle Boarding At Mission Bay

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