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An Overview of Marina del Rey, California

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Known by the Spanish name meaning “King of Marinas”, Marina del Rey is a popular hub of activity for stand up paddlers in Los Angeles. The large man-made marina is home to a significant fleet of private vessels, charter fishing boats, pleasure cruisers and more throughout the eight lettered basins (A-H). The average depth of the marina is between 15-21 feet and the majority of stand up paddlers enter the water from the sandy confines of Mother’s Beach, located at 4101 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA.

Mother’s Beach

Formally named Marina Beach, this calm, 12 acre horseshoe-shaped lagoon is ringed by a sandy beach and known more widely by locals as Mother’s Beach. There is ample public parking surrounding Mother’s Beach and the most common place to park and launch SUPs is from the lot on Palawan Way. Mother’s Beach is also the home of the Marina del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club – known for assembling the first women’s team to race in the Catalina Channel Crossing in 1972. The sandy shoreline is a popular location for beach fitness clubs to train students and also has a playground for children.

Rental Options

There are three main SUP rental options in Marina del Rey, all of which are located at Mother’s Beach. Each offers a selection of well maintained SUPs and varying levels of instruction and clinics.

  1. ProSUPShop: Located in the parking lot of the Jamaica Bay Inn, ProSUPShop has a large selection of SUPs ranging from all-around cruisers to displacement hull touring boards available for rental customers. In addition to offering rentals, ProSUPShop has a small retail selection of boards, apparel and popular accessories on offer.

  2. Paddle Method: Located beneath the white pop up tent on the sand, Paddle Method has a small fleet of inflatable SUPs and composite all around boards. They offer full service instruction, tours and also rent out their inflatable SUPs for use off-site.

  3. Phins: Located on the dock at in front of the Mermaid Cafe and Marina Fitness, Phins offers a fleet of Hobie soft-top all around SUPs in addition to kayaks and row boats.

What You’ll See

A California Sea Lion basking in the sunshine.

Marina del Rey offers paddlers the opportunity to view a number of spectacular private vessels from the water. Many of the slips are home to luxury watercraft and über yachts and sailing vessels frequent the marina throughout the year. During the summer months, a selection of rays and leopard sharks are regularly seen in the shallow waters of Mother’s Beach and marine mammals such as seals and sea lions are seen year round throughout the marina. A range of permanent and seasonal birds can be spotted in Marina del Rey, to include different species of pelicans, a variety of ducks, cormorants and other waterfowl. On clear days you can see the Hollywood sign on the hills in the distance beneath the mountains ringing Los Angeles to the north and east.  

Food and Accommodation

There is a large selection of hotels, bars and restaurants in Marina del Rey, predominantly along Admiralty Way. The type of fare and price point of each ranges from economy to luxury options and includes a mix of recognized chains and local businesses. Killer Shrimp and its sibling Killer Cafe are collocated across the street from Mother’s Beach at the intersection of Admiralty Blvd and Palawan Way and are SUP Examiner’s favorite spots for post paddle food and libations.  

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