Ocean Kayaking in Half Moon Bay

How awesome would it be to earn bragging rights for kayaking in Half Moon Bay, that is home to the world famous Mavericks surfing ? Well, I probably won’t recommend kayaking in Half Moon Bay at the exact point of Mavericks waves. However, pretty close to it, you will find other fellow kayakers, launching off for some fishing, crabbing or perhaps just for an adventurous day out.

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Kayaking in Half Moon Bay

Kayaking in Half Moon Bay

If you are in Northern California and have already explored the Half Moon Bay hiking and looking for some more adventure to your books, kayaking in Half Moon bay will fit the bill perfectly. What more ? California is one place where you can still expect warm and sunny days even in the middle of December.

A non-windy day when the seas are calm will be that perfect day go for a paddle in the ocean, whether you bring your own kayak or want to rent it for an hour or more at Half Moon Bay Kayak.

Best time to go Kayaking in Half Moon Bay

Any month/day/time as long as the weather is good, waves and tides are in favorable condition for kayaking.

However, consider Sunset kayaking in Half Moon bay for some stunning sunset views.

Kayak Launch Half moon bay

If you are bringing your own kayak to paddle through the backwaters and get into the deep ocean, here are the things to know:

Where to Launch Kayak at Half Moon Bay ?

This depends on what you plan to do with your sea kayak in Half Moon Bay.

  • Are you planning to surf the wave at Half Moon Bay with your Kayak ?
  • Or Are you planning to go for a leisure paddle ?

Unless you are an advanced surfer who knows how to surf the waves with sea kayaks in Mavericks and Half Moon Bay beach, for most paddlers the kayaking launching is from Pillar point in half moon bay.

What kind of Kayak is needed for Kayaking in Half Moon Bay ?

Ocean and sea kayaking generally need a different kind of boat than river or lake kayaking, because sea kayaks are designed to handle the waves and other ocean conditions better.

Riot Kayaks Brittany 16.5 Flatwater Touring Kayak with Skeg and Rudder (Yellow/Orange, 16.5-Feet)

As you can see the sea Kayak is longer and thinner that helps with navigating through ocean, wind and waves better. They are also little harder to capsize.

Another advantage to owning sea kayaks is that they can also be used in other waters such as river and placid, calm waters. They are versatile.

However, if you plan to paddle inside the harbor area and not get into swells and waves, a regular river boat will do the trick for you.

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 | 9 Foot | Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak with Paddle and Seat (Caribbean Blue)

Kayak Rental

If you are a beginner kayaker or you are visiting Half Moon Bay from out of town, you can always rent or take the guided tour with Half Moon Bay Kayak folks who offer excellent service and best value for the money. They have solo, tandem sea kayaks as well as regular river kayaks that you rent to go out on your own.

Besides Kayak rental, here are the other services Half Moon Bay Kayak offers:

  • Guided Tours
  • Private Lessons
  • Kids Summer camps
  • Kids Friendly Kayak Tours in Half Moon Bay
  • Bike Rentals
  • Night Paddle
  • Sunset Paddle
  • Stand Up Paddle rental / Classes and Tours

If you are renting Kayaks or taking a tour or class with these guys, you don’t have to take anything besides your own personal items like Cellphone, sunscreen and hat. They will gear you up with everything including the wetsuit, life jacket and all the other gear needed.

They can fit your kayaks with fishing equipment as well if that’s what you are going for.

Kayaking in Half Moon Bay with Dog

Kayaking with Dog

Half Moon Bay is an excellent place to explore with your dog. There are several Dog friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay. 

Half Moon Bay Kayak guys also rent out the perfect kayaks where your fido can be onboard with you as you are exploring the bay or ocean.

Kayak Fishing Half Moon Bay

First and foremost know the rules and regulations of sports fishing in Half Moon Bay to make sure you comply with the law.

If you don’t own a kayak or don’t want to spend money to rent one or get fishing license to go out to the water to fish, you can always fish from the Johnson Pier in the harbor in Half Moon Bay. No fishing license is required for fishing off the pier.

You can buy all fishing supplies including baits at Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing and Tackle.

Kayak Crabbing Half moon bay

Crab season is November to June in Half Moon bay. You do need license to take crab home from ocean. However, without the license you can still drop the pot for crabbing with bait from the pier. Well, you might be waiting for hours to catch even one crab.

Kayaking in Half Moon Bay

What to Know before you go sea kayaking in Half Moon Bay ?

We are talking ocean which is always dynamic and should never be taken for granted.

Things you need to know before heading out into the water:

  • Local weather forecast
  • Tide chart
  • Navigation route
  • Emergency exit plan
  • Communication back to someone in the bay

Safety First

  • Never forget to wear a life jacket (PFD).

Onyx MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports Life Vest

  • If you are a beginner, never go out of the swimmable distance of shore and strictly stay out of high wind and waves of Half Moon bay until you’ve mastered the skills necessary to paddle through rougher water.
  • It’s extremely important to consider air and water temperatures before heading out. You might have to wear a wet or dry suit if hypothermia is a risk in the event of capsizing.

Gill Men’s Waterproof Breathable Pro Drysuit

Get Comfortable with Capsizing

My biggest fear as a beginner kayaker was the idea of capsizing. I have very bad core strength and feared not being able to get into the boat by myself. But with extensive practice in calm water, it is doable. Especially it’s important to learn from an expert on how to wet exit and how to re-enter the kayak in deep water without panicking.

If any case, if you are a beginner, I highly recommend that you don’t venture into Half Moon Bay ocean or sea kayaking on your own. Rather,

  • Go with the guided tour
  • Stick to the backwaters until you get comfortable
  • Bring a friend or 10 of them with you. Never go alone.

Things to take on Sea Kayaking in Half Moon Bay:

What to wear for kayaking in Half Moon Bay ?

If you are looking for more adventures, another great option is Horseback riding in Half Moon Bay. 

Half Moon Bay Hikes where you can take your fido to the Dog friendly beaches in Half Moon Bay is a great way to get a feel for the Pacific ocean. If you are in the area, also check out Mavericks Cliffs Trail for some of the most spectacular views of the ocean.

After a fun day of Kayaking or hiking such as Sweeney Ridge to Mori Point, I am sure you will be hungry for a great dine out at Half Moon Bay downtown.

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Kayaking in Half Moon Bay