Southern California groups - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-18-2009   #1
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 14
Southern California groups

Alas, I've been banished to the 7th circle... the LA area.

Does anybody know any paddlers, clubs, or ways to find paddling partners in the area? Other than the River Styx, I hear the only thing around here is the Kern, and the season is already ending!


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Old 05-19-2009   #2
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 134
I was out there for two years living in Hermosa Beach. While the Kern is the only thing close. It is incredible. I can't believe the season is already ending. Got a report from a reliable source that it was at 2700 last week. So it should be good for a few more weeks. Once the upper stops running the Lower is usually going. Don't know what level you are at but lots of fun class 3 and 4. Chamix Gorge and Thunder run I've done as low as 800 cfs but you should definitely get someone to show you down the first time as there are portages. To meet boaters go to the park in Kernville. Everyone meets there around 9am on weekends. People rarely plan things out more than one day in advance. The Forks of the Kern is probably the one thing that needs to get planned and that should still be running at this level.
There are not a lot of boaters but they are all very friendly. I can give you some names if you want to PM me.
Also you can surf kayak. San Onofre is one spot but there are other spots where people do a lot of Rock Gardening and catching some waves. I certainly would stay away from popular surf spots as they don't like kayakers all that much.
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Old 05-19-2009   #3
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,195
Canoe and Kayak had a story last month about some scientists and environmentalists floating the LA river right through the concrete canyon walls. It said the river was shallow, flat and boring and the permit is almost impossible to get.
If I was stuck there I think I'd learn to love sea kayaking or learn to surf.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 05-19-2009   #4
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 834
Learn to surf. I always thought SoCal was hell on earth until I started going there for surf trips.
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Old 05-19-2009   #5
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 380
You're getting bad info:

Go here:

Kern isn't nearly "done." Plus drive north towards Fresno: Thule, Kawea, Kings, etc.

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Old 05-19-2009   #6
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
Smokey is right. Kern (the Upper) is likely to be runnable through June, and the lower Kern season will be good (usually) through Sept. is the place, though no where as active as the Buzz. Meet boaters in the park in Kernville, and of course, the Brew pub (Kern River Brewing Company).
Surf in the winter. Summer is for driving. (aka Kern season)
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Old 05-19-2009   #7
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 134
Of the 2 years I was out there which was really 3 boating seasons, the first was a big water year and I was still running the upper kern in July and ran the lower kern thru September. The next year was low water and I still boated the upper into June, last year was in between and I left the 3rd week in June but people were still boating the upper section. Season usually starts earlier than Colorado sometime around the end of March-till late July or later depending.

Like someone else said learn to surf in the winter time. SDyak is a group of boaters primarily based in San Diego but they go up the coast to LA with members. They provide info for meeting up with others to kayak surf or trips up to the Kern. is a good web site. Rebecca and Eric are great kayaking people that own the brew pub and is another great place to meet boaters.

While there is no local run within 30 minutes there is the ocean. While it is difficult dealing with the LA traffic and I can give you tips depending on where you live, once you get up to the river you barely see groups boating on it. Tons of free camping up there.
I know I will be going back there next year for a trip because it is that great of a place. And if you have time to take off you can head north of there and the boating options increase greatly.
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