paddle boarding

Step Up to SUP

By Valerie Arias

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has been around in one form or another for decades, but the modern style we know today soared in popularity just a few years ago – especially once paparazzi photos of celebs such as Jennifer Aniston and Matthew McConaughey partaking in the fun started showing up in magazines. And there’s no sign of interest in the sport slowing down. You can do it in a lake, an ocean harbor, or out on the rollicking sea waves with some practice.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a full-body workout and especially helps to increase your body’s core strength. According to ISLE Surf & SUP, even casual paddleboarding can burn over 400 calories per hour!

Graphic courtesy SUP World magazine

Graphic courtesy ISLE Surf & SUP

Find Your Balance

Because of its calm harbor waters, Marina del Rey is the perfect SUP destination, even if it’s your first time. Vendors who rent boards by the hour are set up at several spots around the harbor, including Fisherman’s Village and Marina “Mother’s” Beach.

The latter is the best place for a newbie to try the sport. Marina Beach is a calm cove protected from currents and waves, which makes it easier to learn how to balance on your board and to correctly use the paddle. Even in the main channel, though, you only have the occasional light wake from a passing boat to navigate.


Pro SUP Shop staffs a rental truck at Marina Beach – find them at the far side of the Jamaica Bay Inn parking lot. (They have kayaks, too.) Ask about guided tours and special events such as full-moon group paddles.

Marina del Rey Boat Rentals in Fisherman’s Village offers hourly SUP and kayak rentals.

The UCLA Marina Aquatic Center (a bit hidden at the end of Fiji Way) has rentals too, as well as classes and guided excursions.