Paddle Articles

CP Explorations - Santa Fe Dam

CP Explorations - Santa Fe DamCali Paddlers are known for their passion of exploration. A desire to paddle our waters, and pay respects to the amazing wildlife and nature that lives in our waterways. Thank you to Bret Warner from Stand up to Alzheimer’s for exploring this great state and sharing new areas to paddle. -C.P.

If you live in Southern California then chances are you have been stuck in afternoon traffic on the 210 and passed by the massive Miller/Coors factory. It is, after all, hard to miss its mammoth containers lining the freeway that proudly bear the companies name and logo. Regardless of any possible beer snobbery, I could see how this factory typifies the urban sprawl that lies east of LA. What also typifies inland SoCal, however, is that there is a nature escape right behind the factory where you can easily forget that you are in the middle of the city.

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Sea Kayaking - The greatest paddle craft you haven't tried...but should!

Sea Kayaking - Your questions answeredWhen I got into SUP and SUP racing years ago and I saw how interwoven it was with outrigger, prone and surfski races I was a confused why kayaking seemed to be the eccentric loner uncle of the paddling world.  I learned to sea kayak with my dad when I was 12, and taught sea and surf kayaking all through college. I even played kayak polo a handful of times, so to not see any kayaks in the SoCal paddling scene was completely outside of my paddling paradigm.

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CP Explorations - Lake Perris

CP Explorations - Lake PerrisOften times when paddling the lakes of Inland Southern California you will be one of the only paddlers in the water. If you go early enough there is a good chance you could have some of the lakes to yourself.  Lake Perris is where I go when I need respite from this solitude. It is by no means like Mission Bay on a Sunday afternoon where one could jump their way to shore along all the 32” wide rental SUPS, but even when I have gone to Lake Perris at 6:00 am in 30/40 degree weather I have seen other craft on the water.  It is a meeting place for the long established Valley Wide Kayak Club, a super friendly group that usually does a 5ish mile paddle there on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. It is the only Inland Lake I have ever seen an OC-1 on, or someone on a racing SUP, at least besides myself. Additionally, it is decidedly less windy than any of the mountain lakes like Silverwood or Big Bear...

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CP Exlorations: Big Bear Lake

Paddle Big Bear

Join us as we explore one of Southern California's most scenic lakes to paddle. Nestled among beautiful alpine backdrops and with a wonderful town beside it to quelch your post-paddle hunger, this SoCal Inland lake is as special as any place we have found. Take a gander with us the multiple launch spots, and great inside tips to ensure you have a great paddle experience here!

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Cali Paddler Explorations - Elkhorn Slough - Moss Landing

Cali Paddler Explorations Elkhorn Slough “Who would want to paddle in a swamp?” was apparently a common jeer sent in his direction. Now it’s almost impossible to drive that section of Highway 1 and not see numerous paddlers heading in and out of the slough. Having paddled there many times both on my own and leading tours I don’t know how anyone could not be entranced by it.  It is miles of flat, and depending on the wind, calm water, abundant seals and sea otters, hundreds of species of birds, and that serenity you get when you venture out on glassy water far enough away from roads and people that the loudest sound is your paddle in the water.

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SoCal Winter Series Preview - Santa Barbara Return to the Pier Race

Santa Barbara Return to the Pier Race PreviewWhat set this race apart for me, however, is the location. The fact that it is a little way out of crowded SoCal and the beach is maybe a little cleaner is worth the drive. Everything seems to run on time, at least for a paddleboard race, and like may races, everyone is stoked to be there.

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Cali Paddler Explorations - Lake Gregory

Cali Paddler is stoked to continue its exploration and mapping of amazing places in our state to paddle. We welcome back Team Writer Bret Warner as he explores this alpine  lake in Southern California the mountains ... come paddle Lake Gregory!

Paddle Lake GregoryLocated in the town of Crestline, which is about halfway between Silverwood Lake and Lake Arrowhead, Lake Gregory is the quintessential peaceful mountain lake. The majority of the shore is lined with trees, which adds to the mountain aesthetic, and also severely cuts down on the wind. No Motor boats are allowed so the elusive glassy water you see on magazine covers and Facebook/Instagram is a consistent reality here. In addition everyone just seems stoked to be out playing in the mountains; just walking out to the water the good mood of everyone is infectious.

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Cali Paddler Explorations - Del Monte Beach Monterey

Cali Paddler is stoked to continue its exploration and mapping of amazing places in our state to paddle. We welcome back Team Writer Bret Warner as he explores this gem in Monterey Bay...Del Monte Beach

Cali Paddler Explorations - Del Monte BeachThe first place I ever paddled was Del Monte Beach right in front of Monterey Bay Kayaks. OK, that’s actually not true, it was on the Rogue river in an inflatable kayak, but my dad and I loved it so much we signed up for an Intro to Sea Kayaking class the day we got home. At ten years old, I had no idea what a special place I was getting to paddle.  It is protected from surf so knowing how to launch and land in the surf is not a requisite for paddling there. I know that some of us salivate with desire at launching/landing/playing/cavorting in the surf, but sometimes you need the calm start as well.  It is also solidly in a Marine Sanctuary so seeing seals, sea lions and sea otters is a regularity and not an anomaly. Also, if the wind picks up it will almost assuredly be at your back once you turn around, and you can hug the coast enough on the way out that paddling upwind won’t affect you too adversely.

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Tips for hosting your own paddle race

Hosting a Paddle Race TipsAre you curious about someday putting on a race? Interested in some tips from someone who is going through the process again after a successful but challenging first try? Please welcome Bret Warner from Stand Up to Alzheimer's as he shares with us some of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of putting on a race or event. Who knows, you might be inspired to create the next MUST-ATTEND RACE!

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Cali Paddler Explorations - Puddingstone Reservoir, Bonelli Park

CP Explorations - Puddingstone ReservoirNestled Northeast of the 10 and 57 junction Bonelli Park serves as an excellent escape from the inland urban sprawl, even though it is in the middle of all of it.  Join us on this Cali Paddler Exploration with Bret as he finds a little inland piece of magic and shares with us all the ins and outs, tips and tricks, and whatever else you might need to know before pushing off.

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