What are the best water activities in San Diego?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Julia Weiler

Jetpacking is perhaps of the wackiest watersports to hit San Diego.  It’s also a whole lot of fun.  Worn on your back, much like a school kid’s backpack, the super-charged unit pumps 1000 gallons of water per minute and propels flyers to heights of up to 30 feet above the water. The unit's light weight and easy maneuverability allows flyers to deftly loop through the air and dive through the water.

Instructors control the flights of first time flyers, but once newbies get the hang of handling their own controls they're allowed to loop and dive on their own.  Flights typically range from 15 -25 minutes each and the price per ride starts at around $150 per.  Flyers must be at least 16 years old and weigh a minimum of 90 lbs. San Diegans can try the jetpack out for themselves at  Mission Bay Sports Center.  The experience is truly one of a kind.

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If engaging in adrenaline-fueled water sports is on your San Diego bucket list then be sure to visit Manta Wind and Watersports on Fiesta Island for group or private kiteboarding lessons.  The extreme sport is an exciting fusion of surfing and wakeboarding techniques combined with flying a controllable power kite attached by harness. 

The kite works with the wind to pull and lift the pilot as they glide across the water and launch off of waves.  While it sounds somewhat intimidating, the sport is relatively easy to learn.  Sign up for Manta’s "Discover Kiteboarding" package for a 4-hour introductory lesson with a certified instructor and learn the basics such as safety, set up, launch, hover and loop.  Once you’ve mastered these techniques on turf you will advance to the surf to practice your skills on the calm waters of Mission Bay.

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Getting in or on the water is an absolute must and there are plenty of fun ways to take the plunge.  Adventurous types can charge the sets on a their favorite wave weapon along San Diego’s sensational surf breaks.  For a similar but easier option try riding the inside whitewater on a boogie board or mellower yet, hit the lagoons and give stand-up paddle boarding a try. 

For quests above the waterline charter a sailboat, catch the breezes and cruise San Diego Bay.  Other boating options include whale-watching excursions where you can scout for the spout, commune with dolphins and giggle at barking pinnipeds.  For something more romantic book a ride on a Venetian-style gondola and glide through the serene waterways of the Coronado cays.

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