* This post is sponsored by REI but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Water activities can be daunting to try in the Bay Area. For one, the water is seriously cold. And it’s not easy to find places that will show you the ropes if you’re a beginner. That’s why I was stoked when REI invited me to try one of their new outdoor adventure programs—an evening kayak tour of the Redwood City marina.
I love water activities. I’ve spent my entire life swimming, and I spend a lot of my vacations scuba diving, SUP’ing, etc., but weirdly enough, I actually had never kayaked before. This made the REI outing class perfect for me, since I’d probably never end up learning otherwise. The experience is made for novices and recreational kayakers looking to explore the Bay Area a bit more.
After a run-down of the evening, REI fitted us with waterproof kayak gear—check out our sweet outfits in the photos. The REI team had pretty much everything we needed (like headlamps for the darkness), making it super easy for us to learn the basics and set off.
As we kayaked around the marina, our instructor told us some cool facts about the history of the area. I’m from the Bay, so I love hearing about what it was like in the past. I won’t give away any facts, BUT we did kayak around what I swear was a haunted pier, so I’ll leave it at that.
The evening lasted around 3 hours, which was just enough time to get a good sense of the area and practice synchronous paddling, which I definitely did not master by any means, but I’ll blame my partner for that 😉 Even with my mediocre skills, I had a great time since it was at an easy pace and we had a small group to hang out with. Plus, kayaking in the nighttime made me feel pretty cool.
REI has a ton of these adventures around the SF Bay Area and around the country. I highly recommend checking them out for an offbeat activity to do with your friends, as a date, or with out-of-towners. I’m already signing myself up for their sea otter kayak tour next!