All the Ways to Get Out on the Water This Summer

Those who have never been to Malibu often imagine it as it’s seen on TV – miles of mountain-flanked beaches and endless blue ocean dotted with Southern Californians taking advantage of their proximity to the Pacific by partaking in everything from surfing, to swimming, to sailing. And, well, that’s exactly what you’ll find when you visit one of the Golden State’s most famous coastal towns. If you’re looking to get in on the world of summer watersports during your stay at Malibu Beach Inn, here are plenty of splashy ideas to get you started.

Surf (of course!)

Malibu summer watersports surfing

Never tried SoCal’s most ubiquitous sport before? Start with a lesson! One of the longest-running local surf shops, Malibu Surf Shack, offers 90-minute instructional sessions that fittingly take place at the fabled Surfrider Beach near the Malibu Pier where a pro instructor will guide you (no matter your skill level) through surfing techniques and movements and hopefully have you hanging 10 in no time. The lesson also includes a wetsuit and board. Afterwards, you can peruse surf-style clothing and gear in the shop so you can still look the part long after you head home. And if you already have surfing experience and want to ride some waves on your own, you can rent a wetsuit and surfboard by the hour or day as well.

See Sea Life from Sea

Malibu summer watersports catamaran

Yes, a day spent on a luxe private catamaran while taking in the sights and spotting wildlife on the water is just as spectacular as it sounds. Book a customizable day trip with certified Captain Dave Ogle of Malibu Coastal Adventures who will chat with you by phone ahead of time to get an idea of what your group is looking to see and do. Whether it be spotting sea lions, whale-watching, fishing or just taking a coastal cruise up the coast to ogle the beachfront multi-million-dollar mansions of Malibu, Captain Dave will make sure you have a perfect, personalized experience. Choose from the 35′ power Catamaran that can accommodate up to five guests and includes a fully enclosed 360-degree view cockpit area and an overwater “trampoline” deck for sunning and lounging, or, go bigger with the 42-foot lagoon catamaran with three cabins, three bathrooms, showers, and a full kitchen – perfect for larger groups up to 12. All excursions leave from Marina del Rey, North America’s largest manmade marina.

Take a Paddle-Powered Tour

Malibu summer watersports paddle board

You pick your mode of transportation – either standup paddle board or kayak – and one of Malibu Surf Shack’s professional guides will lead you on a two-hour tour along the coast where you’ll row by sights including the famous Malibu Pier, the historic 1920s Adamson House (also known as the “Taj Mahal of Tile”), the pristine Malibu lagoon and some of the best kelp beds in all of Southern California, – all with the striking Santa Monica Mountains serving as your backdrop. Bonus: You’ll likely see some ocean-based animals during your outing including sea otters and dolphins, and you’ll definitely get a good upper-body workout in, too. Want to SUP or kayak at your own pace? As with the surfboards, you can rent the equipment for a few hours or even the whole day.

Go Fish

Malibu summer watersports fishing

You don’t have to set sail to find your inner fisherman. The Malibu Pier – located just next door to the Malibu Beach Inn — has been a prime fishing spot since it opened to the public more than 80 years ago. A few hours of fishing can be a fun and easy family activity but you can also plan super spontaneously (i.e., when you want a break from lounging on the beach).  No permit is required, and you can rent rods and buy bait (like squid, anchovies, and mussels) at Ranch at the Pier and then get casting. The waters are filled with corbina and mackerel all year round, and you might find additions like halibut and thresher shark during the warmer summer months. But even if you don’t reel anything, a sunny day fishing off this perfect pier will still be unforgettable.

Fly High

Malibu summer watersports paragliding

This activity takes place above the water instead of on it, but the ocean views are especially stunning from the sky. Sign up for a paragliding flight and you’ll get to experience the wild feeling of free-flying high above the Pacific from the safety of a tandem flight. Paragliding Malibu owner Claude is a Paragliding world championship participant (and stuntman!) with more than 25,000 tandem flights under his belt. All you need is a decent breeze, then take a few brisk steps before lift-off. Sit back (you’ll be fully harnessed in with the pilot in control behind you), enjoy the 30-minute ride, and check one more unique activity off your bucket list.

Walk on Water

Malibu efoil lessons

Well … kind of. If you’ve never heard of an E-Foil, it’s the world’s smallest watercraft — a battery-powered, all-electric state-of-the-art piece of equipment consisting of carbon-fiber boards, foils, and wings that allows riders to glide above the water, no wind or waves necessary. Think of the experience as a mix of surfing, flying, and snowboarding that you get to control from a wireless Bluetooth hand remote. If it sounds too futuristic to be true, get schooled in the art of E-Foiling with Killer Ocean Adventures, which offers private and group E-Foil lessons right on the waters of Malibu. You’ll learn basic riding and safety skills from the pros before it’s time to fly. For an extra wow-worthy time on the water, book a sunset session during Malibu’s gorgeous golden hour.