Malibu, the idyllic coastal town located just a few miles north of Los Angeles, has always been a favorite spot for surfers. But for those who prefer a more relaxed activity on the water or an alternative to surfing, standup paddle boarding (SUP) is a perfect choice! Whether you’re a seasoned SUP-er or a beginner looking to try a new adventure, Malibu offers some of the best paddle-boarding spots in Southern California. In this post, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about standup paddle boarding in Malibu, including the best spots, what to bring, and what to expect.

Best Paddle-Boarding Spots in Malibu

malibu standup paddle boarding

One of the many things that make Malibu a popular destination for standup paddle boarders is its variety of paddle-boarding spots. There’s a location for everyone, no matter your skill level! The most popular areas for SUP in Malibu are:

  • Surfrider Beach: Home to Malibu’s world-renowned surf break, Surfrider Beach is also one of the best spots for paddle boarding. It’s a perfect area for beginners as the waves tend to be small and gentle.
  • Malibu Lagoon: This spot is a calm estuary protected by a sandbar that separates it from the ocean. It’s popular for beginners and nature-lovers who want to see wildlife, such as sea birds, ducks, and herons.
  • Zuma Beach: With its long stretch of shoreline, Zuma Beach is a perfect spot for paddle boarders looking for a bit of distance. Usually, there are calm waters that make it an easy spot to paddle, even for beginners.
  • El Matador Beach: This secluded beach is perfect for more advanced paddle-boarders. With its beautiful rock formations and wide open ocean views, it’s also one of the most picturesque spots in Malibu.

What to Bring:

When packing for a stand-up paddle boarding trip in Malibu, it’s important to keep in mind a few essentials:

  • SUP board, paddle, and leash: You can usually rent equipment from local vendors such as Malibu Surf Shack, Silver Surf, or Zuma Jay’s. However, if you have your own equipment, it’s always better to bring your board, paddle, and leash.
  • Swimwear/Rash guard: Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing for the activity! You’ll want to wear clothing that allows for easy movement and dries quickly. A rash guard or wetsuit is also recommended to keep your skin protected from the sun and the water.
  • Sun Protection: Pack plenty of sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a long-sleeve shirt. The sun can be intense in Malibu, even on cloudy days, so it’s important to take steps to protect your skin. Use Reef Safe sunscreen only when surfing or SUPing.
  • Water and nutrition: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, and snacks to keep your energy up during your paddle.

What to Expect:

If you’re new to paddle boarding or are trying a new spot, it can be helpful to know what to expect before you go, such as:

  • How to paddle: Paddle-boarding involves standing on a board and using a paddle to move across the water. Lean forward and take long strokes to move forward; pull back to slow your board down or reverse.
  • How to fall correctly: Falling off of your board is a normal part of the experience, even for seasoned paddle boarders. If you’re going to fall, try to fall away from your board and use your arms to protect your head.
  • Ocean safety: Always keep in mind that you’re in the ocean and it can be unpredictable at times. Check the weather forecast and tides before you go out, and never go too far from the shore.

Tips and Tricks:

To make the most of your standup paddle boarding experience, here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Timing is key: Plan your paddle for early morning or late afternoon when there are less crowds and better weather conditions.
  • Go with a group: Paddle-boarding is always more fun with friends, and it’s also safer to have someone with you in case of any problems. Download The Klubb App for easy activity scheduling.
  • Enjoy the view, but stay aware: Take in the stunning views, but don’t forget to check around you for rocks, reefs, or other hazards.

Standup paddle boarding in Malibu is an experience like no other. With a range of paddle-boarding spots to choose from and plenty of vendors available, it’s an activity that anyone can enjoy. Remember to pack appropriately, be aware of ocean safety, and most importantly: have fun! We hope this guide has given you all the information you need to have an unforgettable SUP experience in Malibu. So, grab your board and paddle, let’s hit the beautiful waters of Malibu!