Educate me about ocean paddling around LA (Cali)

Hi guys,
I’m moving north of LA (Cali that is) in a couple weeks. I am an expert flatwater canoer and intermediate small water surfskier (as in waves less than 2’). I also paddled OC1 and OC2 in waves up to 3-4’ on occasion when the sound really got rockin, but it’s hard to get in trouble in an OC so I don’t really count that as bigger water experience.

I have no real ocean experience, though I did live on Long Island sound for a year and have a basic understanding of currents and such.

To those of you familiar with the waters north of LA, what should I know? I’ll probably use my canoes in the harbor and take my Stellar SR out for out-and-back ocean paddling. I will start paddling with a couple people in the area I met on, so will have some experienced teachers to show me the ropes too, but am curious about what you have to say.

I figure I’ll need a wetsuit? How thick? Farmer John style ok? Any dangers I should be aware of? Does the wind change suddenly? Currents? Etc.

Thanks for any insight!

Here is info about a local kayak club: There is also a local ski/OC/sup race series.

Here are expected water temps for the next few months: . The guideline I follow for kayaks (not skis) is that for paddling in temps under 60, I am wearing some sort of thermal protection. Above 70, not. Between 60 and 70 I am looking at other data, like air temp, my chance of flipping, whether I am with others who can rescue me or not, etc. For wet suits, 2 or 3 mm farmer john or farmer john shorty likely would be appropriate. Many prefer dry suits for comfort. This may not be appropriate for hard core surf skiing, as you would be throwing off so much body heat with the workout. Just make sure you can remount the ski quickly.

Shore currents are nominal. Less than a half knot. Might be some slightly stronger currents at harbor mouths, but I’d be surprised if you see more than a knot.

You’ll have to check locally on winds (I am in Nor Cal). I suspect they are like ours and build in afternoon, but not 100% sure. Generally pushing on shore (when they switch to off shore, the temps skyrocket).