The Santa Monica SUP paddle starts just north of the Santa Monica Pier, goes out past the surf & reef, then goes around the edge of the pier. This paddle is perfect for paddlers who want to dip the their paddles in the water for a quick paddle & experience the energy of the pier. One of my favorite things about this paddle is that you can enjoy the music playing on the pier from the nice vantage point of your SUP. The Santa Monica SUP paddle is a coastal open ocean paddle with a reef & heavy surf for paddlers to navigate around.
|Best time:||Late Morning|
This paddle starts about a mile north of the pier & is right off of the PCH.
So, if you’re coming from the north, take PCH & turn right into any of the parking lots before the pier.
If you’re coming from inland, either take the 10 directly into the PCH (HWY 1) & make a legal U-turn as soon as you have the palisades to your right. Then, turn into the parking zone.
Coming from the South, get on Ocean Ave & follow the signs for ocean access or the Santa Monica Pier. As soon as you are able to make a U-turn on the PCH with the palisades on your right, take it & turn into the parking area.
Address for GPS: 1150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90403
All the parking is PAID around Santa Monica & it is not cheap. The costs range from $6-15 according to Santa Monica Beach Guide, but when I went in the off season it was $14.
I recommend parking at Central Parking, which is located at the address I provided above.
Also, unless you go in the middle of the week, parking fills up fast around the pier. The farther away from the pier that you can actually get the better & cheaper. Plus, there is a rocky reef surrounding the pier. So, even if you do park there, I highly recommend that you carry your board to where I started on the map.
It’s a long walk to the water no matter where you park. So, don’t stress about where you park too much.
There are not any facilities at the beach itself.
However, a quick walk up the palisades & there is an abundance of restaurants.
- PFD (Technically not required since we’re not going out past the surf, but recommended)
Cautions & Hazards
Being a coastal open ocean paddle, the paddle is very dependent upon the swell, tide, & wind. Check the conditions below & always bring along a partner.
The largest concern is the dangerous rocky reef that surrounds the pier. However, it is well marked with buoys so as long as you give it wide berth from the buoys you should be fine.
While there are surfers at the pier, they are generally right around the pier & not where this paddle begins & ends. For the most part, if you stick to the path in the map, there is the large rocky reef between you & the main surf area.
As usual though, be courteous & respectful & you shouldn’t have any issues.
Other Links & Resources
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