Paddling SUP on Richardson Bay for Beginners
Summer is around the corner and it’s time to break out the standup paddleboards for an after work or weekend paddle. There are many paddling spots in Marin County, which offer spectacular views, flat water and easy access. My favorite spot for beginners is on Richardson Bay in Sausalito (at Schoonmaker Point Marina).
Schoonmaker Point Marina has a sandy beach inside of a protected cove right on the bay. While I am not a fan of sandy beaches because the sand seems to get on everything, this beach is quite nice and pretty big for being on the bay. Calm water is king inside the cove, perfect for beginners or those just getting bearings on paddleboarding before they paddle out onto the bay. There are a lot of good paddling destinations from Schoonmaker as well. I usually take a left as I leave the cove and paddle toward the sea plane launch toward Mill Valley. Please be aware that once you leave the cove at Schoonmaker, you are in an active boat channel. Boats typically cannot see standup paddlers nor can they maneuver very quickly, so stay to the sides of the channel.
Parking can be limited at Schoonmaker with only six parking spaces available to the public. Do not park in any spaces that say “permit parking only,” you will get a ticket. Best to drop your board and find some parking outside the marina parking lot if no public spaces are available. As an added bonus to starting or finishing a paddle at Schoonmaker, check out the restaurant/café, Le Garage Bistro, which is a stones throw from the beach. After an early morning paddle, grabbing a cup of coffee and a freshly baked croissant is not a bad way to start the day.
For those that don’t have their own standup up paddleboard, SeaTrek rents boards right at the beach.
If you go:
Schoonmaker Point Marina
25 Libertyship Way
Sausalito, CA 94965