Portside Paddle Co.

Shake off the long winter by learning to SUP this spring!


Intro to SUP Package.

Private SUP training.

Custom Tours for the Whole Family.


Book NowSee Classes

We are closed for the season.

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Portside Paddle Company specializes in small, full-service Stand Up Paddling ecology tours and instruction classes in the Santa Cruz Harbor and beyond.


Santa Cruz Harbor with Lighthouse and Sailboats

Intro to SUP

Interested in Stand Up Paddling but have no idea where or how to start?  Rent and take your chances or come paddle with us to have the perfect first experience!  Portside Paddle Co. offers limited professional Introduction to Stand Up Paddling Course in the calm, protected waters of the Santa Cruz Harbor and beyond with certified and experienced instructors.

Eco tours see a group of Sea lions gathered on harbor dock

Dr. Helen's Eco-Tour

Join marine scientist Helen Cooper, Ph.D. for a Stand Up Paddling ecology tour of the Santa Cruz Harbor and kelp forests of the Monterey Bay!  Learn about the Monterey Bay and its plant and animal inhabitants in the middle of a kelp forrest!  See otters, seals, sea lions and, in season, whales and dolphins. Offered on a limited basis and open to paddlers of all ability.  Tour route subject to paddler experience & prevailing conditions.

Two stand up paddle boarders on sup boards on water

Custom Ecology Tours & Instruction Classes

Do you want to book a private group Stand Up Paddling ecology tour or instruction lesson?  Whatever you have in mind, we’re happy to chat!

Stand up paddlers racing action shot

Private Instruction

Do you prefer one-on-one instruction over group format?  Are you an established paddler training for your first distance event, or just want to paddle more efficiently?  We’re here to help you achieve your goal, whatever that may be, using your own gear or our fleet of high-end race boards and carbon fiber paddles (and you’ll still learn about the marine ecosystem) – Carpe diem!




We use eco-friendly boards and paddles, teach you about local wildlife and ocean issues and lead local clean-ups.


Full Service

We provide a full-service experience which includes water, snacks and a post paddle rinse station.


Certified Instructors

We are ACA certified, trained in CPR and first aid, and have years of experience on the water. We also have a Ph.D. and a J.D. We have you covered!


Quality equipment

Unlike most shops we provide our classes with  lighter paddles and better performing boards which means a better experience for you.


Small and custom trips

We specialize in small group classes and can acomodate special requests for our customers.


Fun & Safety

We prioritize your safety and fun. We’ll never take you somewhere you aren’t comfortable and our trained guides will put you at ease.


SUP guide with daughter on inflatable paddle board in Santa Cruz harbor


ACA certified Stand Up Paddle Instructor, All-Around Technician & Diaper Wrangler

I’m proud of the work we do at Portside Paddle Co., and honored to share our passion for paddling and marine conservation with people from around the world.  I look forward to meeting you!

woman sup guide


Marine Ecologist & SUP Guide

I am a marine biologist and I love that my job combines research and ocean conservation with the outdoors, adventure, and travel. I am happiest when I’m exploring the ocean by boat, paddleboard or scuba tank.



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