Photo: Dana Point Harbor with a view of Baby Beach in the foreground.
Located along the scenic Southern California coast in South Orange County, Dana Point sits approximately halfway between the urban metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Diego. Accessible to visitors by land and sea, the iconic coastal community offers visitors the opportunity to indulge in pristine ocean beaches and inspiring romantic overlooks.
Steeped in history, the first Southern California retail surf shop, Hobie, was founded by legendary craftsman Hobie Alter along the Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point in 1954. Modern day water sports enthusiasts and ocean lovers can visit the Hobie shop at its location at: 34174 Pacific Coast Highway in downtown Dana Point. Following in the footsteps of Hobie Alter, the Boehne family’s Infinity Surfboard Co. has been family owned since 1970. Led by Hall of Fame shaper Steve Boehne and his enigmatic son Dave, Infinity has been the driving force behind the evolution of many of surfing and stand up paddling’s most innovative shapes.
Modern day Dana Point still retains its renowned relaxed beach culture vibe. The seaside town is widely known throughout the stand up paddling community as the home of Doheny State Beach, the site of numerous stand up paddling competitions, and tranquil Baby Beach inside Dana Point Harbor. A trip to either location will not disappoint and first time visitors will undoubtedly quickly recognize the surrounding area as the backdrop for countless photographs and videos promoting the sport of stand up paddling.
Dana Point Harbor serves as the home for more than 2,500 boats and yachts and hosts the southernmost station of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Marine Operations Bureau. Inside the harbor one can find three yacht clubs, stand-up paddle (SUP) and kayaking rental companies, whale watching excursions, deep-sea fishing and sunset cruises, as well as the Ocean Institute and its range of informative educational opportunities.
Dana Point is also the location of coastal resort hotels and a wide selection of accommodation options for every lifestyle. Similarly, the range of dining options runs the gamut from exquisite waterfront locations to family restaurants and local favorites.
Map of Dana Point
Dana Point: The Mecca of Stand Up Paddling
There is no substitute for group training and perhaps no better place to partake in a group SUP training session than Dana Point, California. The quintessential Southern California beach town gave birth to the modern-day stand up paddling industry and remains the proving ground for an endless number of up and coming paddle sports athletes. Numerous SUP events are held throughout town each year, from the local Thirsty Thursday events in Dana Point Harbor to the internationally acclaimed Pacific Paddle Games in the fall at Doheny State Beach.
If you are a local resident or an out-of-town visitor, you will not want to pass up on the opportunity to join in a fun and rewarding group training session during your time in the area.
The Paddle Academy – Located in the scenic Southern California beach community of Dana Point, a mecca for stand up paddling, The Paddle Academy was the first formal training program specifically tailored to serve the needs of young paddlers. Founded by Mike Eisert and Jaime Donnelly-Eisert with the goal of “passing on the traditions, lifestyle and culture of paddlesports through experienced instruction and passionate mentoring”, The Paddle Academy offers a variety of programs from their widely popular Junior SUP Development Program conducted in a group setting to one-on-one training. Learn more at: www.thepaddleacademy.net
Performance Paddling – Performance Paddling is a high-octane, grown up version of The Paddle Academy. Led by Anthony Vela, a former ocean lifeguard and highly sought after practitioner of all things related to ocean sports, Performance Paddling is widely known throughout Southern California for its hugely successful Adult SUP Training Club. In addition to the Adult SUP Training Club, Performance Paddling offers private coaching, special events such as Taco Tuesdays at the Quickblade Paddling Flume, clinics and training camps. Learn more at: performancepaddling.com