Looking for distance paddling partners around Central California

Mid 30’s grad student here, looking for experienced paddlers to learn from and go on longer paddles with. I have a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 and can paddle comfortably for 15 miles without too much of a headwind - can go all day if conditions are nice. Have attended a wet exit/assisted rescue/self rescue session but would love to practice safety maneuvers more and learn how to roll.
I’m looking to paddle in the Sac River, Mokolumne, lower American, Russian, the Delta, Tomales bay… just some examples. Very interested in overnight trips and ocean journeys. This is my first season with my own yak but i’m pretty fit and very adventurous. Lots of experience backpacking and mountain biking, comfortable in the wilderness. Might be interested in expanding into whitewater but for now I just have the sea kayak.

Hope to hear from you.

Based on your desired paddling locations, we generally call that Northern California. Central California is generally considered to be like Santa Barbara and Morro Bay and maybe Monterey Bay). Confusing, as on a map SF Bay Area would be Central California, but that isn’t what we call it. And leaves the folks in real northern California (Shasta, Eureka, etc.) to be called who knows what.

Check out the following clubs or groups:

Headwaters Kayaks in Lodi and Headwaters Adventures in Redding have some group paddles.

All of these groups have a variety of different types of paddlers and stuff they like to do. All should have some who could match what you want.


Hi @Peter-CA your comment is so helpful! I’m new to the the state from Maine (I’m in Santa Cruz so borderline Northern CA + Central CA, it sounds like). Do you know of any similar local clubs/groups that are more for canoeing? I am digging around trying to find places to canoe camp nearby and feeling overwhelmed. Thank you and happy paddles!

The more popular style of canoeing here (yet not very popular) is outrigger canoeing. Not many canoes found here like you’d find in the midwest/southern Canada. Hasn’t been a thing in California.

That’s the sense I was getting! I’m seeing a lot of sea kayaking + outrigger canoeing but not the Adirondacks + Maine styles I’m used to. I will adapt!

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