COVID-19 Statement:

Alameda County has officially updated the COVID-19 shelter in place order to include outdoor business, outdoor fitness and summer camps to operate. We have implemented appropriate safety protocols, camp curriculums, and activities so our paddlers, shoppers and campers can still have a ton of fun on and off the water. Our number one priority is to operate our business and summer kids programs with a heightened focus on safety, cleanliness, mask wearing and physical distancing to ensure the entire Mike’s Paddle family stays safe and healthy. Masks are optional for clients and mandatory for staff inside of the shop. We provide hand sanitizer in multiple locations, and staff cleans and sanitizes all paddles, PFDs and wetsuits after use. Summer camp mask policy will be determined before camp starts due to the rapidly changing Covid environment and policies. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about how we operate our shop and the programs we have instituted to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. 

Is the water cold?

The water temperature in Ballena Bay and around Crown Beach is near 70 degrees in the summer - about the same as Hawaii! 

Are there sharks?

There are harmless leopard sharks in the Bay, but you probably won’t ever see them. We also have bat rays, but they will not be interested in you and will not sting unless they are provoked.

Is there parking?

Yes! However please do NOT park in the Pier 29 Restaurant parking lot. Drive past Pier 29 and Abigail’s Cafe, and you will see the Mike’s Paddle sign at the entrance to the marina parking lot.


What will you provide when I take a lesson?

Mike’s Paddle will provide you with a level-appropriate board (including fin and leash), and a sanitized paddle, PFD and “Farmer John/Jane” (sleeveless) long wetsuit (optional).

What does it mean to be a "competent paddler"?

A competent paddler can:

  • Paddle 50 yards in a straight line and paddle on both sides
  • Stop with less than four strokes after paddling 50 yards
  • Turn the board 180 degrees with two sweep strokes or less

We'll want you to be able to do these things before you go out for a rental or take an intermediate or advanced class or private lesson.

What should I bring with me to a lesson?

  • Wear your swimsuit (for under the wetsuit we provide, or under your clothing if you opt out of wearing a wetsuit)
  • For clothing, we recommend a NON-COTTON exercise shirt/rash guard, exercise pants/board shorts/yoga pants, or dry-fit like clothing
  • Sunglasses (Chums/Croakies/leashes are highly recommended and available for purchase in the shop)
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Water

Will I get individual attention in a group lesson?

Our class ratio is one instructor per five students (or better!) so you will have plenty of access to your knowledgeable instructor for questions and feedback.

Are lessons cancelled in bad weather?

Classes will only be cancelled when the wind hits 15 knots, there is a storm, the air quality is at an unhealthy level or a case of COVID-19 has been reported among students or Mike’s Paddle staff.

Can I cancel my lesson reservation?

Yes! Cancel seven days prior to your class or lesson and receive a full refund. Cancel within seven days but up to 24 hours prior to your class or lesson and receive credit toward any future Mike's Paddle purchase. Cancel within 24 hours and unfortunately we can provide no refund or credit. 

What if I’m late?

Out of respect for all of our clients and staff, if you are fifteen minutes late you have forfeited the class. 


What do you provide for a rental?

Enter the shop and check in, and we will outfit you with a properly sized, sanitized paddle and PFD. If you’d like a wetsuit, let us know and we’ll charge just $5 for a rental. A level-appropriate board will be waiting for you down at our dock. 

Can I drop off my child for a rental paddle?

Unfortunately not, as we require all children under 18 to be accompanied by an adult.