Paddling Community News

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Re-branded and New Dates

The long running paddleboard and SUP event at the iconic Santa Monica Pier has been re-branded for 2018 as the Santa Monica Pier 360 Ocean Sports Beach Festival. The event has expanded to a two-day format and goes beyond SUP and paddleboard racing to a full-blown weekend long beach festival with live music, environmental exhibits, dancing, volleyball, skateboarding, art exhibits and of course, a beer garden! Previously held around the first weekend in June, the event has been pushed back to June 23-24th. Hopefully the seasonal marine layer known as “June Gloom” will not be blanketing the beach as in so many years past and the mercury will be a bit higher making this a true summer kickoff event!

Outrigger Experience

Have you wanted to try paddling in a 40 ft long outrigger canoe, but never had the chance? Well, if you are in Southern California this Memorial Day Weekend I recommend heading to the South Bay to check out Fiesta Hermosa. For those outside Southern California, the “South Bay” refers to the southern section of the Santa Monica Bay from Palos Verdes to El Segundo. Not to be confused with the “Bay Area”, which is of course, San Francisco and Oakland. Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club has partnered with SoCal Toyota to offer complimentary outrigger canoe rides to members of the public from Saturday – Monday. Sign up at the Hermosa Beach Pier and you’ll be whisked away to the Lanakila club site where eager paddlers will be waiting to take you on the water. My dentist went last summer and she’s still raving about it whenever I see her!

Access Denied Territory

Hollister Ranch, one of California’s last remaining unspoiled stretches of coastline has been the subject of litigation for a number of years. On one side are landowners at the Ranch would prefer to keep the area for themselves. On the other side are the public and the State of California who have been advocating for public access to the pristine stretch of beach. A recent compromise provides public access to an approximately 3/4 mile long section of beach, but there’s a catch. The beach is only accessible from the water! Yep, that’s right. Visitors must be able to paddle two miles from the closest legal access point. The publicly available section of sand is approximately two miles from nearby Gaviota State Beach. This saga is likely far from over. The LA Times ran a story on the issue earlier this week and will no doubt be following closely in the months and years to come.

Memorial Day Weekend

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and for many folks around the country it marks the beginning of the paddling season. Wherever you may be paddling, remember to be safe. Wear a PFD, aka life jacket, and a leash when appropriate. If you are heading to a harbor or marina, be sure to give our article on paddling in a harbor a read to learn the proper etiquette. This is especially important when encountering other water craft, particularly the motorized variety. Be safe and have fun!

Life Jacket / PFD Reviews

Speaking of safety, if you are in the market for a new life jacket / PFD this summer you’ll want to give our reviews section a look. We have tested and reviewed a number of popular makes and models. Be sure to adhere to local rules and regulations, which includes a USCG approved product for paddlers in the United States. If you are a stand up paddler, while the rules allow for simply carrying a PFD on your board I cringe every time I see this done. The best PFD is the one you are wearing. Many brands make unobtrusive belt pack PFDs which are great for stand up paddlers who know how to swim. My personal favorite is the MTI Fluid 2.0.

Recent articles you may have missed

Sustainable Swimwear: Josea Swimwear In 2016 Jocelyn Kotulla (Jocy) embarked on a mission to create the perfect surf bikini. She combined design, functionality, and sustainability into one to create a suit that allows women to follow their passions on the water. Each piece in their swimwear collection is tested by a team of athletes before they are available for purchase. Read!

NSP’s Sustainable Board Range, Keep’in it Green!  What comes to mind when you think of a sustainable surfboard or SUP? Is it a board made from recycled materials? Trash? Do you question how it will perform? How long it will last? If it will look nice? If it’s really worth the cost? These are all valid questions and ones I’ve asked myself. Read!

Balanced Nutrition For Best Performance  Do your food and drink choices leave you feeling energized throughout the day or are your energy levels up and down like a rollercoaster? Do you begin your paddling training or competition feeling energized? Do you finish your paddling training or competition energized and strong? The key is balanced fueling to nourish and energize your body to do its daily tasks and perform its best. Read!

Kokatat Lightweight Gloves: Better Off Wet  Wearing gloves on the water is a personal thing. Some people never wear them, but I hate paddling without them. It’s not just the blister protection. A good pair of gloves gives a consistent grip on the paddle. No matter whether my hands are wet or dry, the friction is the same. Recently my gloves have needed an upgrade. I’ve used ½ finger gloves for years. They worked great except the I was getting blisters on the unprotected part of my fingers. I felt a little sad giving up my old comfy pair.  Read!

Paddling events on the horizon

Is you’re event on our calendar? Listings are free and always will be. We’ll event post your logo to social media to help raise awareness!


Matt Chebatoris
Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.