The Pier 360 Beach Festival is kicking off the summer on the Santa Monica Pier with a weekend filled with sun-soaked festivities from June 25th – to June 26th.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding has been engrained in Santa Monica’s beach town culture since the initial design was conceptualized in the ’20s from a surfboard here on the Santa Monica Pier. The paddleboard’s design had adapted from the surfboard’s solid wood to having the center hollowed out to make the sport more accessible. This design has been modified over the years just as the ocean sport has repopularized in recent years. The Santa Monica Paddle Board Race has been around the Pier for over 10 years but it has gone by many names (Santa Monica Pier Paddle, Clif Santa Monica Pier 360, Tommy Bahama Paddleboard Race at the Santa Monica Pier) and continues to be a summertime mainstay of the Pier’s annual programming to celebrate the vibrant beach culture of Southern California. Spectators can cheer for the athletes from the main festival area on the Pier deck, or from any point on the Pier including the far western viewing platform out over the Pacific.
Around the Paddle Board Race is a weekend-long ocean sports festival featuring music, live entertainment, and other ocean sports and athletic opportunities including swimming, volleyball, skateboarding, and even yoga. The event is family-friendly and offers opportunities for anyone to sign up and participate in the competitions and activities. Pier 360, as it is called today, celebrates all aspects of beach culture including Polynesian dancers, Life Guard competitions, a skate park, 4-on-4 volleyball, and cars on display including Woody’s, the quintessential surfers’ car. The event takes place every June and programming runs all day Saturday and Sunday with races beginning at 8 AM. Visit www.smpier360.com for the most updated race information.
If you’re interested in learning how to Stand Up Paddle Board, Annenberg Community Beach House is starting to offer classes starting July 6th. Get started now to compete for the next Pier 360 Beach Festival!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding, often just called “SUP”, is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii. Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. The sport has been identified as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants in the United States. SUP can be enjoyed in the ocean or on flat water like lakes, rivers and canals. Paddle boards have been used for fitness, sightseeing, fishing, and even yoga.
A related, traditional sport, paddleboarding, is done kneeling on a board and paddling with the hands, similar to a butterfly swimming stroke. The term “kooks” is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to stand up paddle surfing.
Pier 360 and the Ocean Sports festival is produced by the Santa Monica Pier Corporation, a nonprofit organization charter by the Santa Monica City Council to enhance visitors experience at the Santa Monica Pier. In addition to Pier 360, The Santa Monica Pier Corporation produces much-loved events on the Santa Monica Pier including Ocean Front Cinema, ROGA and Twilight on the Pier.