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Watersports in Marina del Rey, California

If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I tend to go for the more off-the-beaten-path, lesser-known destinations when I travel. Even when I go to a relatively popular place, like, for example, Romania, I seek out sights that the tourists don’t visit, like the painted churches of Moldavia. Or, visiting South Korea, I went to the Toilet House in Suwon. I also sometimes get to travel to untouristed places like Lagos, Nigeria and Kuwait City when I lead workshops there.

Note: I originally wrote this article for Hipmunk, a hotel booking engine which no longer exists. They wanted me to write about the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, and this is a revised and updated version of what I wrote then. 

Two women on a jetski. Both are wearing life vests and smiling.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. This will not affect your price.

Check out my other article about Marina de Rey too: Cities less traveled: Exploring Marina del Rey.

The fact is I want to go everywhere, so I tend to avoid revisiting places that I’ve already seen well, like the east and west coasts of the US. A place like Marina del Rey would not normally even be on my radar.

I have never stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey, but I realized as I researched it that I would love to go to Marina del Rey too. It hardly rates as unusual or “foreign” to me, but it’s a pretty harbor town near Los Angeles, and the hotel looks wonderful. Reading about the area, with its emphasis on sea and sand, made me want to try some new watersports in in particular.

So here are the watersports in Marina del Rey that I’d like to try if I ever go there:

Jet Skiing

I hate that whiny sound Jet Skis make. Nevertheless, riding one looks exciting and exhilarating, and I imagine it would make me feel free. Could I manage it, or would I be too clumsy? I don’t know.


I’d need serious lessons for this sport, which involves riding a small surfboard while being pulled along by a big kite on a rope. I’d end up in the water more than on the board, but in hot weather, that would be fine with me!

A man is leaning (perhaps falling) in the shallow water near a beach. His kite nearly above him is bright red.
Kiteboarding in Cape Verde. Photo courtesy of Augusta Medici Suriani of Mini Me Explorer.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

This more sedate activity involves standing up on a board and paddling yourself around. Here too, I’d spend a lot of time in the water, I’m sure, but I’d enjoy trying.

sunset vew framed by palm trees. Two paddleboarders are silhouetted agains the sunset, as are a number of moored sailboats.
In this picture I took in Guadeloupe, you can see some stand-up paddleboarders sillouetted against the setting sun.

This tour involves SUP or kayaking to see sea lions and other wildlife!


I’ve fished before, but it’s a vague memory of fishing off a dock as a small child with my father. I didn’t catch anything, but my younger sister did. In Marina del Rey, you can take a half or full-day fishing trip on the open ocean. If I didn’t catch anything this time, I would at least get to enjoy a day on the water. And my chances of ending up in the water would be relatively small, I think.


Given my fear of heights and fear of falling, I’m not sure about this one. Parasailing has a certain appeal — the idea of floating like that. I’d want to go slowly at first, staying low above the water, and be able to let the driver know when I was ready to go faster and therefore higher.

In this phot are two boats. The one in the center has two parasails in the air above it, or perhaps the boat to the left is pulling one of them. It's hard to tell. Both boats appear to be moving, but not very fast, and the parasails are multi-colored.
Tourists parasailing in Goa, India

Actually, now that I think about it, parasailing would be the safest of any of these choices. Given my general clumsiness, it might be best to leave my safety in the hands of other people!

It’s a short way up the coast from Marina del Rey in Malibu, but this company offers tandem paragliding.


Probably the most popular of the watersports in Marina del Rey is surfing. This is one that I definitely don’t want to do. I’m far too clumsy and not a strong enough swimmer to think this is a good idea for me.

Nevertheless, if it’s something you’re game to try, you can take lessons there. I’ll happily watch!

This 2-hour group surfing lesson and this 2-hour private surfing lesson both take place right on the line between Marina del Rey and Venice Beach.

My plea

Does any Marina del Rey hotel need a travel blogger to try your hotel and write about it?

[Waving my hands frantically] Pick me! Pick me!

Is any business offering watersports in Marina del Rey willing to be extremely patient with a clumsy middle-aged woman in exchange for a blog post?

[Waving my hands frantically] Pick me! Pick me!

Pinnable image
Images: top is the photo of two women on a jetski. The bottom is a close-up from the photo of the sunset above, showing primarily the silhouettes of the stand-up paddleboarders and sailboats and a person sitting on the beach.
Text: Rachel's Ruminations: Watersports in Marina del Rey, California


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about Rachel

Hi, I’m Rachel!

Rachel’s Ruminations is a travel blog focused on independent travel with an emphasis on cultural and historical sites/sights. I also occasionally write about life as an expatriate. I hope you enjoy what I post here; feel free to leave comments!  Read more…
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