Fun Water Activities in Santa Monica

Posted September 7, 2017

The ocean isn’t just for sunbathing and splashing around. Here’s how to garner the gear, guides, and know-how for a day of sporty, fun water activities.

Aqua Surf School

Catch your first wave with help from the pros at Aqua Surf School. Santa Monica’s sand bottom, beach break and steady wave provide ideal conditions for beginning boarders. The constant sunshine and water temp in Santa Monica aren’t too bad either! Aqua Surf offers soft foam boards and wet suits along with an encouraging brand of instruction. Whether you’re a total novice or looking to step up your skills to the next level, Santa Monica surf is a fun water activity the whole family can enjoy.


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Go Surf LA

What better hobby to take up in Santa Monica than surfing? At Go Surf LA, you can transform from amateur to pro over the course of just a few lessons. Every class is 90 minutes and you can take classes with a group or privately. Go Surf LA also has stand up paddle lessons so you can become a true master of the ocean.


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In2Deep Diving

This diving school offers a full slate of courses for all skill levels, including open water diving, snorkel classes, and SCUBA certification. In2Deep Diving also coordinates field trips around Southern California to practice diving, which can be included as part of a course or booked separately. Stop by their shop on Pico Boulevard for SCUBA and snorkeling gear or arrange for equipment rentals.


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Marina del Rey Parasailing

Aerial outings with Marina del Rey Parasailing offer adventurers unrivaled views of Santa Monica Bay. Soak in the Southern California sunshine as you soar serenely above the water at your choice of 500 or 800 feet. Flights can accommodate two or three people, so grab a friend or family member for extra fun—no experience necessary. Breathtaking sights include Malibu, Venice Beach, and the Santa Monica Pier, as well as dolphins, whales and seafaring vessels.


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Poseidon Paddle and Surf

Another fun water activity in Santa Monica is paddling at one of California’s most beautiful beaches with Poseidon Paddle and Surf, which offers stand-up paddleboard lessons with world-class instructors. First-timers learn the basics in tranquil flat water, then graduate to navigating the warm ocean waves. The shop also offers a broad selection of boards and accessories, with experts on hand to help guide students to their ideal gear.


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This independently owned surf school has tons of options for learning how to hang ten. There are private lessons as well as a community class that meets every other Sunday (great for beginners!). Wavehuggers also brought their lessons into the 21st century by teaming up with surfer Holly Beck for video coaching. A Wavehugger coach will film you surfing and then Holly will edit your video and narrate with analysis including pointers.


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Seashore Smarts:

Check beach conditions

Average ocean temperatures in Santa Monica range from 54°F – 61°F in early February to 63°F – 70°F in early September. Check water safety conditions and the water temp in Santa Monica at

Take the bike path

Not ready to try the Santa Monica surf? Skate, bike, and board rentals are available just north and south of the Pier, and at six Perry’s Café and Beach Rentals locations along the bike path.

Hydrate and Recharge

Fuel up for your water adventures at Back on the Beach Café or Perry’s Café, where you can nosh with your toes in the sand.

Sun Safety

Even on overcast mornings, be sure to liberally apply waterproof sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30 and reapply often.


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