Ocean kayaking has long been a popular activity for Southern Californians, but jumping into a kayak and heading out on the ocean can be quite daunting for those of us who live inland and aren’t familiar with coastal areas. Knowing how to navigate coves and channels, out past the breaking waves, is vital.
We headed down to Laguna Beach for a kayak adventure, and had an incredible time with the guides from Laguna Ethos. Since we’re not familiar with that area at all, it was just common sense to book a guided tour. For $75 per person, we got out past the breaks at Fisherman’s Cove easily with our guide’s directions and navigated between large rocks to reach to open ocean along the northern side of Laguna Beach.
For 90 minutes, owner/operator Justin Behrendsen directs kayakers on an easy paddle along the coast. We heard fascinating history about Crescent Bay, Emerald Bay and Cameo Cove on this trip. We were greeted by sea lions and harbor seals. We basked in the quiet peace of the ocean. Behrendsen’s extensive knowledge of the Laguna Beach area and marine life is impressive.
While our particular August adventure began with a light rain, the drizzle stopped by the time we got underway. Although the marine layer was in effect and reminiscent of June Gloom, the 9:00 a.m. tour was perfect. Not too hot or sunny, no real wind to speak of. For novice ocean kayakers, mornings are easier before the wind picks up, which often happens later in the day.
All that’s required is that kayakers know how to swim. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Laguna Ethos provides the tandem kayaks, paddles and life vests. Be prepared to get wet, at least from the waist down, getting in and out of the kayak a few feet from shore in breaking waves.
It goes without saying, don’t pack anything you don’t mind losing in the ocean and be prepared that your kayak may flip. The guides will lock key fobs and other valuables in their truck for the duration of the paddle.
Laguna Ethos kayaks are easily navigable and require minimal effort, especially with two people paddling. Ninety minutes went quickly for us. We also enjoyed the positive and laid back California vibes that Justin and his co-guide Scott provided.
While we have thought of kayaking as a summertime activity, in Southern California, it’s year round. Sure, it’s a little chillier during winter months. Laguna Ethos operates throughout the year, but will cancel trips depending on weather and surf conditions.
After our amazing paddle, we grabbed some lunch along the main drag of Laguna Beach and wandered about the cluster of shops and art galleries for which the beach town is known.
For those looking for an incredible way to enjoy our beautiful Southern California coast and ocean, we encourage Burbankers to Get Out Of Town with Laguna Ethos kayak tours. Justin also gives surfing lessons, providing a board and wetsuit, and guided hikes in the Laguna Beach area.
Get more information and book tours online at lagunaethos.com.
Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.