Santa Barbara Water sports

Our most recommended Santa Barbara Water sports

Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

1. Santa Barbara: Guided Kayak Tour

Meet your guides at the boat launch at Santa Barbara Harbor, where they outfit everyone in paddle jackets and PFDs. Guides will give a basic paddling demonstration and safety talk before setting out on the water. The launch is easy, right out of the boat launch. This is a great introductory lesson to kayaking or a nice relaxing kayak for more experienced paddlers. Once on the water, paddle approximately 1-2 miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful beaches and marine life. The group will continue through the harbor, paddling past boats, through the historic wharf, under the pier, out to buoys, and along the beach.  Keep a look out for wildlife along the way such as harbor seals, sea lions, brown pelicans, sea stars, cormorants, and seagulls.  Guides will offer insight into the history of the region as well as local marine ecology. Enjoy a relaxed pace and incredible marine life as well as taking in the views of Santa Barbara from the water.

Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

2. Santa Barbara: 1.5-Hour Harbor Kayak Tour

Launch from the sand of Santa Barbara’s West Beach and follow your guide along Santa Barbara’s famous surf spot, the Sandspit. Admire panoramic views of the Waterfront, Santa Ynez Mountains, the Channel Islands, the Riviera, Stearns Wharf, and more. Paddle through the calm waters of Santa Barbara's harbor and enjoy views of sailboats, yachts, and fishing vessels. Learn valuable insight from your guide into the local landscape, topography, wildlife, and history of the harbor, as well as the best places to enjoy a fresh-caught meal.

Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

3. Ventura: 1.5-Hour Private Beginner's Surf Lesson

Learn to surf at Mondos Beach with a private 1.5-hour beginner's surf lesson. Take advantage of the more gentle waves and generous space at Mondos Beach as you pick up the techniques and etiquette of surfing. Meet your instructor at the surf van located on Mondos Beach and get suited up in a wetsuit. Grab a longboard and walk to the sand for beach instructions. You'll be briefed on water and surf safety, etiquette, and proper technique before jumping into the ocean to catch some waves. Follow your instructor as they coach and push you into waves to give you an experience that will last a lifetime. Enjoy the gentle long breaking waves of Mondo Beach lending itself to longer rides for you. Your lesson is private so you or your group can have their own instructor and a more personalized experience.

Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

4. Santa Barbara Surfing Lesson

This is a simple introduction for a first-time surfer or someone who has tried surfing a few times and needs some pointers. The instruction starts with beach lesson reviewing: how to position yourself on the board, paddling techniques, and proper stance. Once in the water students will get pointers on maneuvering waves, balance techniques, and surf etiquette. Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s surf lessons offer students a great foundation for this exciting sport. Our knowledgeable instructors have over 25 years of combined experience and will use their skills to point out the finer points of catching waves. Instructors choose surf sites based on the current swell and tide conditions, finding the best breaks for successful learning. Lessons require a minimum of four students.

Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Tour

5. Santa Barbara: Haskell's Beach Kayaking Tour

Join us on an exploration of the Gaviota Coast, home to more than 1,500 species of plant and animal life. This is our most popular coastal trip and offers a perfect day of kayaking, swimming and fun in nature. We will meet at Haskell’s Beach, a secluded icon in the Santa Barbara beach scene. Your guide will outfit the members of your group and offer a thorough kayaking lesson onshore. Once on the water, we will tour a total of 3 miles, stopping in pristine kelp beds to learn about marine ecology and the Santa Barbara Channel (and hopefully kayak with dolphins and sea lions!). If you want to pack a sack lunch, we can stop mid-way through for a beach picnic for an hour or so or you’re welcome to picnic at the conclusion of your tour. As the trip progresses, your guide may offer a fun series of kayak challenges and games. This unforgettable trip will provide great opportunities to swim, play or just float. It’s perfect for all ages of adventure seekers!

Santa Barbara: Stand-up Paddle Board Rental

6. Santa Barbara: Stand-up Paddle Board Rental

Make your way to the beach rental stand located at West Beach located between Stearn's Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor. Upon arrival, get equipped with all the gear required, as well as a safety briefing before you set off. With plenty of advice from the team on where to go and what to see, start discovering the beautiful coastline at your leisure. See various points of interest within the harbor and the areas around Stearn's Wharf. Search for marine life, with sightings of sea lions, seals, and dolphins common in the area.

Frequently asked questions about Santa Barbara

What top attractions are a must-see in Santa Barbara?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Santa Barbara?

The best day trips and excursions from Santa Barbara are:

Solvang

Other Sightseeing Options in Santa Barbara

Want to discover all there is to do in Santa Barbara? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Santa Barbara

Took a day trip from LA to SB with a friend and we had the best time kayaking! We booked a private tour and the two of us took a great tour around the harbor with our awesome guide, Paige. She was really fun and energetic as well as knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and history of Santa Barbara. Spending a few hours on the water learning about the city and seeing the beautiful sights was a great way to spend the day. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a unique way to experience Santa Barbara.

This was a really great adventure- especially for those with out much experience. My group and I had kayaked a lot before but our guides we so helpful in making the excursion memorable and unique to us all. We talked a lot about the harbor in Santa Barbara and when we went out into the open ocean for a little bit we saw sea lions!! It was a really awesome trip and would recommend to people of any ability :)

We found the tour very good. Tray, our guide, was great!! :) Unfortunately, the time went very quickly. Were only on the road with three other boats, a total of 5 participants, great :) Sea lions, saw great boats, it's worth it!! :)

Sophia was very nice and explained everything to us well. We really managed to ride several waves. Beach a bit crowded in the afternoon.

Very friendly guide, she took her time and explained everything very well