San Onofre State Beach (or Sano as it is known) is one of California’s most popular beaches and hosts surfers, swimmers, sunbathers, campers, kayakers, birders, fishermen and bicyclists. Sandwiched between Sand Diego to the south and Los Angeles to the north, with lots going on its a very dynamic. Infinity SUP rider Genna Flinkman introduces us to this destination, known for multiple surf spots, wildlife and countless hours of sunshine.
Genna Flinkman’s Link to SanO
When I first started paddling in Sept 2014 my husband and I drove down to California to learn from the best. I set up a training session with Anthony Vela to learn proper paddle technique and race skills. On my second lesson with him we went to San Onofre to work on some of my sup surf skills. After that, the spot just stuck. Plus, there is such an amazing group of friend that surf there often, so it’s not uncommon to bump into friends. Dana Point is one of my favourite places in the world. After travelling there for almost three years, I feel like it’s a second home. I have met friends who I consider family now and become 10x the paddler I would have been thanks to the people and their guidance and support.
Local riders and community
The community around SanO is pretty awesome. There is a great group of people, many from the performance paddle sup crew, that are there often. Besides the fun SanO Sundays, where friends meet up to surf and eat, there are lots of high profile people from the sup world surfing there.
A lot of the Infinity Crew, Dave Boehne, Candice Appleby, Anthony Vela, Giorgio Gomez, Izzy Gomez, Steve Boehne, Shae Foudy, Mel Wygal, Tyler Bashor etc. go there to surf and train. It’s a great spot even if the waves are small because you paddle south a little and surf your race board. I have also seen other team athletes like Sonni, Seychelle, and Kai hit up SanO when they are in town. Of course, there are also a lot of serious longboards that often surf there. However, I can’t say I have the privilege of meeting many of them. As a Canadian, I am waiting for the day that I meet Paul Kariya, retired NHL Allstar, as he is been spotted there often.
Renting SUP boards and SUP gear in SanO
Dana Point and San Clemente are “small” haven surf towns that allow you to get away from the craziness of the big cities. While they are not small in comparison to the Tofino’s (a top Canadian Surf Spot) of the world, being a hour south of LA and San Diego makes it seems small and quiet. With tonnes of surf shops to visit and drool over boards and accessories, you can keep yourself busy even when you are not surfing. Shapers like Hobie, Terry Senate, and Infinity , to name a few, call Dana Point and San Clemente home. So, you have a great selection of boards to meet anyone’s needs.
Photo Credit: Kristin Thomas
If your looking to demo a board or rent a longboard then check out Infinity in Dana Point. They always have a few demo race boards and surfboards that you can try out. They are also always happy to chat surf or sup, being one of the most welcoming groups I have ever met. If you are looking to rent a board and want the convenience of it being right at the water, then West Winds Sailing in Dana Point harbour is perfect. Owned by my friend Diane Wenzel, they have boards ready to go that can be rented for several hours.
SUP schools in SanO
If you are looking for a training group or a coach for SUP paddling or SUP Surf then check out Performance Paddling ran by Anthony Vela. The group trains out of the Dana Point Harbour and runs multiple classes weekly. I have been training with his PPSUP crew for the past three years every single time I go down, even if its just for a week. It’s a great atmosphere that is very supportive. It pushes you to improve your skills while training with friends and having fun. Anthony will also meet you at local surf spots for a SUP Surf lesson with the added bonus of some video to go with it, he’s a go pro master.
There is also a great group of people training out of NewPort Aquatic Centre. They get together on Saturdays for their weekly “Sucky Saturday” group paddle. You get a great workout but in a supportive environment, so you don’t have to be the world’s top paddler to join in.
Major local stand up paddle events
There are alot of events starting in April there is the Dana Point Ocean Challenge and Mongoose Cup, in May the Dana Point Harbour, and in October the Pacific Paddle Games and Doheny State Beach. There are also great races that take place within an hour of Dana Point/ San Clemente, The Hano Hano Huki, Mission beach, Lanakila in Redondo, Hal Rosoff inNew Port Beach all in February and the Adler Paddler in Long Beach, Mar. Basically, if you head down to Dana Point there is great events all year around.
Best SUP Spots
Besides San Onofre, there are plenty of great surf spots up and down the coast. Here are a few that are within 30 mins of Dana Point/ San Clemente.Oceanside,Trails,T Street,San Clemente Pier and Doheny State Beach.As you go an hour north or an hour south, there are great spots along the way. So don’t be afraid to jump in your vehicle and explore this amazing coast line. Great places to train or go for a scenic paddle are Dana Point Harbour, Laguna Beach and the famous Newport Aquatic Centre.
And as a tourist……
San Onofre is a great beach to hang out for the day, you can pack up your cooler, drive in the park and stay to the evening whilst enjoying a BBQ. To the south is San Diego with some great beaches and tourist attractions. To the north is Los Angeles with plenty of tourist attractions, including disneyland and plenty of watrerparks to explore!
Riccardo Rossi has been in the Infinity Speedfreak squad since he was racing as a junior SUP racer in Italy. As he prepares for the ICF World Championships in Thailand he took some time out of his schedule to talk to Chris at TotalSUP Hi Riccardo, welcome back to TotalSUP, it’s been a while. For […]
Podcasts are a great way to get more information on a topic you are interested in and here at TotalSUP we are, of course very interested in paddling. Through the summer we have all been listening to the Paddle Logger podcast, Rise and Glide and here is the TotalSUP look back at the first season […]
Dana Point Harbor, in Southern California will once again be at the heart of the action as the highly anticipated 5th Annual Infinity SUP Dana Point Harbor Hoot returns on October 14th, 2023. This landmark event created by SUP Race pioneer and now international race director Anthony Vela is set to be bigger and better […]
Sa première rencontre avec le Stand Up Paddle en mode Race s’est faite lors de l’édition 2020 du Corsica Paddle Trophy. Depuis, la corse d’adoption Fabienne Levallois a été de toutes les éditions et c’est sans surprise qu’elle y participera une 4ème fois à la fin du mois ! Mélange de compétition, de vacances et […]
“We felt like rock stars” said about the event Andrey Kraytor who shredded the Sprint final to pieces and walked away with Gold. Agios Nikolaos On SUP 2023, ICF SUP World Cup and National Panhellenic SUP Championship, brought together elite national athletes and some of the world’s top riders and delivered on the promise: “This July […]
Juliette DuHaime is one of the Infinity SpeedFreaks, the Elite SUP race team from Infinity and she is frequently found at the business end of competitions around the world. TotalSUP last caught up with Juliette at the end of 2022 and we were super happy to get some more time with this speedy water woman. […]
We’re only a couple of days away from the Agios Nikolaos On SUP 2023 kick off on the 7-9 July! With elite athletes from across the world confirming their attendance each day and an amazing roster of Junior paddlers, this ICF SUP World Cup and National Panhellenic SUP Championship event, is set to serve as a stage […]
Do you remember how you were using your SUP ten years ago? This was a little before SUP hit the mainstream, SUP surfers were still riding big boards and this relatively new sport was finding its way. And then Dave Boehne and the crew at what was the Infinity Paddlesurf Co released SUP Pirates, issued on […]
This season the Infinity SUP SpeedFreak squad was boosted with the signing of Brazilian SUP racer Lena Ribeiro. Lena may not be a familiar name for some but she has been competing at the top level for a long time with a very impressive set of results including a top 10 finish in the 2015 […]
Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.
3rd Party Cookies
We use a set of third party tools to provide information on how our users engage with our website so that we can improve the experience of the website for our users. For example, we collect information about which of our pages are most frequently visited, and by which types of users. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!