Buddy Deal: 10% off rentals and services
Perfect Paddles Recommendation: A Seal Lion Tour in that harbor at Marina Del Rey and in the Bay! Get close (but not too close) to the sea lions lining the rocks in the bay!
Closest City: Los Angeles
Signature Service: Detailed Lessons/Tours
Best Time to Visit: The best times to visit Los Angeles are from March to May and between September and November when the air is more breathable and the crowds are less oppressive. (travel.usnews.com)
Distance from Airport: 14-minute drive from Los Angeles International Airport
Paddle Method is an accredited SUP school that is all about making SUP instruction fun and accessible for all.
Paddle Method is a learning methodology that takes a complex paddle stroke technique (derived from a SUP race and SUP surf paddle stroke) and breaks it down into easy to understand elements so that paddlers of all levels will be able to paddle confidently and get a low impact, high powered calorie-burning water workout. This technique focuses on engaging and synchronizing body movement with the paddle stroke in order to create, maximize and control the paddler’s momentum so that anyone can have fun and explore all the waterways that southern California has to offer with confidence.
Paddle Method offers levels 1 and 2 classes along with a level 3 signature water workout for paddlers to work on advanced moves and become stronger paddlers at the same time. (Level 1 = beginner, level 2 = intermediate and level 3 water workout = advanced) flatwater SUP classes along with personal and small group coaching so that anyone can join in and move up the learning curve at their own pace.
Level one classes start with water safety, equipment, reading the conditions and rules of the road. The focus of the technique section is board control and engaging the muscle groups in the arms, shoulders, and midsection or “core” of the paddler.
Level two flatwater instruction reviews the upper body movement with the aim of moving the power source further down the body and into the hip. Hip rotation, synchronized with upper body movement is the name of the game. Basic turns are modified to include more advanced moves; including; step back and pivot turns, compound turning maneuvers, using wind, and waves as a source of energy.
Level three flatwater instruction is essentially a water workout and paddle technique clinic where the goal is for paddlers to synchronize and engage all the muscles from their heads to their toes into the stroke. The paddler shifts from pulling the paddle to them to pulling themselves to their paddle. Advanced paddlers work on new hand and foot placement positions for maximum performance while speed and body control drills are augmented with beach and board calisthenics.
Personal and Small Group Personal Coaching is for the SUP enthusiasts who want to build more knowledge, get truly unique water workouts along with the chance to explore Socal’s waterways. Personal coaching offers a chance to get individual attention on your stroke for maximum results, state-of-the-art GPS and Stroke rate monitors are used in conjunction with Video and goal-specific drills and, for some, SUP race and SUP surf opportunities.
Paddle Method offers the best guided SUP tours in LA! All tours have an instruction component embedded geared for beginners and intermediate paddlers so that all anyone can learn basic and intermediate stroke techniques while exploring the scenic waterways in and around Los Angeles — from Malibu to Palos Verdes!
Paddle Method uses only top quality boards and performance paddles for all lessons, tours, and workouts and offers equipment rentals for those who want to practice their stroke on the best SUP gear available.
Meet Tim Sanford of Paddle Method in Marina del Rey, California
Hi Tim, could you tell us a little more about yourself ?
Over the years and after a thousand hours (+) of water time with students ranging from first-timers to advanced levels, I have worked hard to develop a specific learning methodology that is designed to build core strength as well as confidence of paddlers at every skill level through good paddle technique.
My method of stand up paddleboard instruction focuses on three core areas of SUP – Lessons, Workouts and Excursions (tours). Build your knowledge of paddle boarding with intro through advanced flat water lessons or join me and a group of paddling enthusiasts for one of our signature stroke technique clinics and workout sessions designed to build your strength and confidence so you can paddle faster, burn more calories and paddle confidently in a variety of conditions.
All of my paddle board lessons and workouts focus on building muscle memory along with your strength and paddle skills so your confidence grows with every stroke while allowing you to progress at their natural pace.
My goal is to build a skilled and knowledgeable SUP community so all who have felt the pull of the Ocean, Bay, Lake or River can explore the world from a SUP point of view.
Prior to Paddle Method, I have worked in Professional development at LA Unified School District; Sales Manager and team development and Customer service and hospitality. When I discovered SUP I saw an opportunity to combine all my work experience with my background in sailing and water sports and can say that I love to teach SUP and do what I can to help grown the paddle board community.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with paddleboarding
Owner and operator of LA’s first accredited SUP school from the Academy of Surf and Stand Up Paddle Board Instructors (A.S.I).
Completed (winning team) The 100 mile Redondo to San Diego Paddle Adventure Race
Certified World Paddle Association (WPA) and Paddle Fit Instructor.
3 years on Board of Directors on both the Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival and Los Angeles’s Waterkeeper’s Alliances Stand Up for clean water SUP race.
Completed 2001 ARC Rally Europe – Transatlantic Ocean Rally (32 days on the open ocean and you’ll learn a thing or two!).
Numerous SUP race finishes 2010-to present including: Winner of the 2013 Men’s Surf Class, SM Pier Paddle Board and Ocean festival.
Steve West (author of the SUP Bible) and Will Anido – ASI Instructor Training (I learned more about paddling in 45 minutes on the water with Steve than I’ve learned from everyone else combined! And Will is simply inspiring; he placed first in his class during last year’s Molakai Challenge a.k.a.The hardest SU race on the planet.
Kalama Klinic – Dave Kalama is a premier performance paddle instructor and one of the founders of SUP – 2011.
Over 7 years and 1000+ hours of teaching experience: private lessons to large groups from back bay estuaries to the open ocean adventure tours.
Avid SUP racer and SUP surfer.
Location Overview - Tell us about your water environment
We feel really lucky to have a Stand Up Paddleboard school in Los Angeles. It's a great place to teach because we have a lot of people form divers backgrounds with a whole range of fitness levels and prior water experience. And, we have a great place for beginners in Mothers Beach Lagoon with Marina del Rey a step up in skill for Advanced beginners to learn and then the Whole Santa Monica Bay for the Intermediates and advanced. From first-timers to Racers to paddle surfers, Coastal Excursions and Downwinders we have locations to challenge every level
What services do you offer, do you have a signature paddle tour or activity?
We offer; Lessons, rentals, tours, sunrise/sunset tours, race training, workouts, paddle games and team-building events.
For first-timers or beginners our Sea Lion Lesson and Tour is very popular. It starts with a full, comprehensive lesson for board control and then the second half is a chance to practice what you've learned in the Marina and see some great sights like crazy cool boats and, of course, the Sea Lions!
At our Venice location, our Beach Launch and intro to Surf class is super fun (best enjoyed after some lessons in the marina first) and is a great way to focus your future paddle lessons - timing your entry, fast and straight through the waves to start and then intro to paddle surf (optional) on the way back. All on our 360 Go Anywhere Performance inflatable SUP's so you can charge and not get hurt.
Malibu coastal Tour for the more adventurous is AMAZING and the Paradise Cove paddle is a great one - especially in the Fall/ early Winter. We can stop at Paradise Cove for a bite to eat or Malibu Seafood on the PCH is a great place for fresh fish and a view of the ocean - Not expensive too.
Can you tell us some interesting notes about the area?
We have tons of Sea Lions in the Marina with occasional dolphins, grey whales and even the rare turtle sighting. More likely to see dolphins, whales and Sea Lions/Seals on our Santa Monica Bay tours or Malibu.
Also, we have over 300 species of migratory birds visiting Marina del Rey and depending on the time of year you can see birds from the North, like Grebes and Ospreys, in our winter or more southern looking birds like Parrots - very cool to see them come and go all year round.
Whale migrations are best in the Early Spring and Fall but we'll see Grey Whales cruising by or semi-resident Humpbacks (they can hang out for weeks at a time and are great to see them breach) and in the Fall in the South Bay we'll even get giant Blue whales which is just amazing to witness in person.
Side note: in the winter you can often see the snow capped San Gabriel Mountains in the distance and - who knew - you can go for a paddle and ski all in the same day in LA!
Tons of Museums and cool bands playing on any given day so our rain days - few and far between - are a good excuse to go check them out - actually after you paddle because we paddle in the rain too
Are you seasonal or do you operate year round?
We are lucky and can have great paddle weather all year but, generally, we have great paddle weather September through January - less wind, mellower waves and clear water.
Tell us about your favorite local food and why you love it
Tons of great places to choose form but if you're in Marina del Rey we like Killer Cafe (great breakfast deal before 8am) and Happy Hour fish tacos at the Beachside Cafe are bomb. Saturday morning farmers Market at Mothers beach has great stuff too.
Where would you recommend travelers stay nearby?
Tons of great Air b and b's to choose from close to the water but if you want to be close to the water Jamaica Bay Inn in Marina del Rey is right on Mothers Beach and walking distance to the Venice Canals and Venice beach - flat water and Ocean surf are all close by
Are there any additional activities nearby that you recommend?
LA has tons to choose from: Museums to great hikes. I would go for a bike ride on the Venice beach board walk (or download the App and get a Bird electric scooter); head up to Santa Monica and if you're felling like a workout go up Temescal road to Sunset blvd, and go for the waterfall loop hike at the top - fyi "Waterfall" is a seasonal thing but we do actually have water sometimes!
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