Frequently asked questions:
Q. Where are you located?
A. I don’t want to post my address for my psycho ex-girlfriends. We are behind the DoubleTree hotel in San Pedro. Our dock is hard to find. I will give you the exact address, parking instructions and how to locate us when you arrive after you book your appointment.
Q. Where do I park?
A. See above.
Q. What should I wear?
A. It depends on the weather, but typically men do well with board shorts and a dry-fit top, and women can wear any kind of athletic shorts, a bikini top, and possibly a dry-fit top if it’s cold. If it’s really cold out, consider wearing a long-sleeved top or fleece. You do NOT want a wetsuit. Neoprene is meant to be submerged in the water. It is very uncomfortable when you spend 99% of your time outside of the water. Imagine taking a jog in neoprene.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. Please give us 24 hours’ notice if you need to re-schedule. We require groups of six or more to have the reservation finalized at least three days in advance, and no changes can be made inside the three-day window. We are NOT on the dock all day every day, so we make a special trip when you have an appointment. We also block that time out for you and don’t make it available to other potential students. Please click THE FINE PRINT for more information on our cancellation and refund policies.
Q: What times do you offer lessons?
A: We typically offer lessons at 8:00 a.m. and 1 1/2 hours before sunset every day. We are a small company, so occasionally we are booked or otherwise unavailable. Please call us or e-mail us to book an appointment.
Q. 8am is too early! Why don’t you offer afternoon lessons?
A. The wind starts blowing around 10:30 a.m. and picks up throughout the day. We can go out whenever…but by mid-afternoon, it’s typically howling. When standing on a paddleboard during windy conditions, your body becomes a sail and you will blow across the channel to Playa del Rey. I then have to race back to Mother’s Beach, get in my sweet van and pick you up. This can result in a bad Yelp.com review and I have to do the lesson all over again…at…wait for it…8am. We want you to have a good experience on the water. Wind hinders learning ability and makes the lesson less fun for everyone. If you REALLY want an afternoon lesson, we will try to accommodate you, but it’s “buyer beware” on weather conditions.
The wind calms down again as the sun sets, so we have started offering a class 1 1/2 hours before sunset. This is a very popular option as the marina is beautiful in the evening, we often have lovely sunsets, and you don’t have to be up so early. The exact time of the sunset changes every week, so check in with us to find out what time class starts on the day you want to go.
Q: Do you offer discounts?
A: Here’s the deal: if you get a group together, our rates go down, which is essentially a “discount.” To see prices, visit the Lessons page and select the lesson you are interested in.
You will find that our rates are highly competitive. Some companies run groupons or similar deals from time to time. Here’s how those deals work. Groupon requires the merchant to cut its price by 50%. Groupon then takes 50% of the reduced price. Do the math: the vendor gets 25% of his usual price. We’ve seen what’s started to happen with these deals. In order to make up the difference, vendors are taking groups as large as THIRTY people on the water with only one instructor. The carnage is not pretty. If you want a deal, be prepared to “get what you paid for.” We limit our groups to absolutely no more than six people per instructor, and with our larger groups, Wade and Krista or Gerry are BOTH on the water with you to ensure you get individualized instruction.
Q: I’m 5ft. tall and 280 pounds…will I have success with SUP?
A: Our boards are designed to comfortably float up to 250 pounds. If you are over 250 but very muscular and athletic, you should not have a problem. If you are over 250 and struggle with health and fitness issues, standing on the board and paddling could present some unique challenges for you. If you really want to try the sport, we recommend a private lesson so we can get you on the right board and give you the individual attention you need to have the best experience possible.
Q. Can I wear my sunglasses?
A. Yes, if you don’t mind losing them. Get one of those Croakie deals that goes around your neck.
Q. Why do I need a lesson?
A: Let me start off by saying that anyone can jump on a board and start paddling. There is no right or wrong way to paddle… only efficient and more efficient ways of moving a board through the water.
Can I tell you something? Fatigue kills. People get tired, they get sloppy, they get beat up by the wind and they fall off their board. People get hit by boaters because they are not fast enough to move out of harms way. The number one reason paddlers get fatigued is that they are paddling with their arms. Good, efficient paddling comes from the obliques and back – not the arms!
There is a technique that has been perfected over thousands of years by the Polynesians. This technique allows the paddler to glide though the water with little effort. With minimal instruction, this technique can be easily mastered. With no proper instruction, one can be worn out in minutes.
Where we train in the marina and depending on the time of day, the wind out of the west can be strong enough to blow you down the basin, across the main channel and out to Playa del Rey. If you are worn out and the wind is blowing, you will find it challenging to get back.
Although Stand Up Paddling is the new craze in watersports, there are a few people who are not fans. Here are just a few and not necessarily in this order:
- The Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department
- The U.S. Coast Guard
- The L.A. Lifeguard
- Commercial fishermen (they really don’t like us)
- Sailboats and sailing schools
- Rowing clubs
- Outrigger clubs
- Recreational boaters
The reason for their dislike of Stand Up Paddleboards is because they are slow and most beginners don’t know the rules of the waterway. The biggest reason is that they don’t know how to move the board effectively. They get in the way and are dangerous to themselves, as well as everyone in the marina.
If you don’t want a lesson, that’s cool. We do rentals, so you can figure it out on your own. But see the discussion on the rentals page of what we expect from you if you don’t want a lesson.
Do you have a question? Please e-mail us or give us a call and we’ll try to answer it for you. See you on the water!