Site Seen — Action Sport Rentals: I’m on a Boat

    If your eyes have started to burn from studying under the harsh fluorescent Geisel lights, Action Sport Rentals in Mission Bay is a welcome escape.

    After a short 13-minute drive down the I-5 from UCSD to the Mission Bay Hilton, you’ll find yourself far enough from Dr. Seuss’ namesake to forget the economics midterm you haven’t started studying for.

    After a quick walk through the outdoor patio of the Hilton’s concierge desk — don’t forget to stop at the hotel’s bayside bar and grab an $9 strawberry daiquiri on your way back —hit the Action Sport sands of Mission Bay. Because the rental office is secluded behind the Hilton, patrons are predominantly hotel guests.

    Most rentals range from $20-$40 per hour for everything from kayaks to jet skis, with all the necessary equipment included (wetsuits, life jackets, kayaks, paddles, etc) — just don’t forget your sunscreen.

    Pick a day with clear weather and dress appropriately for open-water kayaks (and cute dock boys): a T-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and sunglasses are your best bet.

    Once you’re on the beach, the Action Sport cabana is perched on a dock surrounded by motorboats and small sailboats, a 15-yard walk from the Hilton. Aside from a few hotel guests basking in pod-shaped wicker chairs, it’s practically a private beach for action sport enthusiasts.

    The crew has open cubbies to put your bags in, but because they’re located right behind an open-faced desk, be careful. Security is questionable.

    For $20, you can kayak around the bay and Fiesta Island (which, curiously, is not an island, but a peninsula).

    The locale’s also ideal for shell collectors and those looking to escape the crowds at La Jolla Shores. Across the water from the Action Rental hut is the foliage-covered Fiesta Island. If your inner child strikes while you’re at sea, feel free to dock your kayak on the island’s shores and climb in their play structure.

    The friendly Action Sport staff are eager to give beginners a tutorial. The hardest part is getting in the kayak without falling in the water — though the staff are more than willing to hold your boat steady as you climb in on the shore.

    Once you’re situated, a crewmember will hand you a paddle and show you how to stop the kayak, as well as different rowing techniques. It’s just you and the Pacific from there.

    Don’t be afraid to be adventurous. You have the entire Mission Bay to explore, so feel free to move outside the Action Sport buoys. Even an hour-long rental should be more than enough to circle the bay and visit Fiesta Island.

    Action Sport Rentals are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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