Kayaking in Morro Bay's harbor is a truly memorable experience. The abundance of wildlife, serene landscapes, interesting history makes Morro Bay one of a kind place for paddling. While paddling on a stand up paddleboard (SUP) allows one to more easily see life beneath the water's surface, kayak paddling can be more comfortable than SUP to some people. You'll still see plenty of wildlife in a kayak. Kayaks are a better choice for a group with a wide age range. Kayaks are also better if it's breezy or if there is stronger tidal current. We can put paddlers in single or tandem kayaks, so it's easy to bring children along. Depending on the makeup of your group, you can choose between the choices of tours listed below:

ADVENTURE TOUR (Chance of getting wet: 100%)

This is for the most adventuresome paddlers, as we guide you to Morro Bay's entrance and back. Safety of our guests is always first and foremost, so this tour is booked when conditions allow. Paddlers will be covering about 5 miles round trip, so good physical fitness is necessary. You will also land and relaunch through shorebreak off the west side of the sand spit, so plan to get wet! For most of the year, we will require guests on this tour to wear wetsuits. You can rent a wetsuit from us if you don't have your own. Due to the conditions we may encounter on this tour, we use single rather than tandem kayaks. MUST BE CONFIDENT SWIMMER.

HARBOR TOUR (Chance of getting wet: 20%)

If you want a slow paced and relaxed outing without covering too much distance, this is for you. We keep the distance to about 2 miles round trip. In addition to seeing the California Sea Lions on the floating dock, you'll see otters and shorebirds, as well as get the interesting history of Morro Bay's harbor. Your group can choose single or tandem kayaks.

BACK BAY TOUR (Chance of getting wet: 10%)

The shallow water of the "back bay" is by far the most relaxing place to be in the harbor. Away from boat traffic, the back bay is quiet and peaceful, with plenty of bird life and resting harbor seals. This tour covers roughly 4 miles round trip. We look for rays and other fish, visit the oyster farm, and enjoy the solitude of the shoreline along the sand dunes. This tour is packed with information on local flora and fauna. Your group can choose single or tandem kayaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many student guests can come in a group visit?

Morro Bay Paddlesports can accommodate groups of up to 50 guests. We are concerned first and foremost with safety. For this reason, we ask that groups have a ratio of 1 adult for every 8 students. Each adult must be competent and confident on and in the water and must be physically capable of assisting a student in distress on the water. This means that if there will be 32 students on an outing, there will need to be at least four adult chaperones/leaders. We can provide guides in the event you are short leaders.

What type of kayaks do you use for rentals?

We use single and double kayaks made by Crescent Kayaks. These are recreational kayaks but are designed for better performance than the typical rental kayak. The single kayak is good for a smaller/lighter paddler, and the double can be used by larger paddlers or tandem paddlers. We use sit-on-top style kayaks to make self rescue easier.

What time of day is best for planning a large group outing?

Generally, we prefer to schedule large groups during the morning hours due to wind conditions that are often present in the afternoons. We also prefer to have large groups launch at higher rather than low tide conditions for several reasons. We can take our first large group as early as 9 AM. Another factor that can often be very important to consider is the speed of the tidal current. Very strong currents can cause problems for younger, weaker paddlers. Please check in advance of planning your outing so that everyone has the most enjoyable experience possible.

What do students need to bring when they come kayaking?

There is very little that guests need to bring. In case someone tips and falls in the water, it is not a bad idea to have a towel and a change of clothes. That's about all. Clothing is best left in your vehicle if possible. We do have storage bins on site for belongings if needed. We do not have lockers at this time. We do ask guests to leave valuables, cameras, phones etc. behind.

Can large groups choose to go out on paddleboards?

Yes, but there are a few more constraints on paddleboards for groups. Please call for information.

How long do large groups get to stay on the water during an outing?

Large groups are booked for two hours. Check in and orientation takes about 30 minutes from arrival to launch time. Your group will have 1 1/2 hours on the water. In our experience with hundreds of large groups, this is sufficient.

Do guests wear life vests on kayaks and paddleboards?

Absolutely everyone will have a life vest on prior to getting on the water. We use high quality NRS low profile vests for kayakers and zip up universal low profile vests for stand up paddlers. We have childrens' and youth vests as well. We require that all paddlers keep their vest on as long as they are on the water.

What is the youngest age allowed for children paddling their own kayak?

In our experience of working with thousands of guests on the water on both paddleboards and kayaks, we feel the youngest age to be 10 years old. We make exceptions sometimes based on individual skill, strength and coordination, as well as on wind and tidal conditions. Younger children can paddle in a tandem kayak with an older child or adult.