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Old     (DCross)      Join Date: Jul 2016       11-16-2017, 7:14 AM Reply   
Need some assistance! I've been offered a position with a company in Irvine, CA and I'm contemplating taking it. How far is the closest lake to Irvine that would allow me to drop the boat in so we can ride? Any good riding spots around the area, or any at all?
Old     (tranner)      Join Date: Aug 2003       11-16-2017, 9:42 AM Reply   
We don't have great options in Southern California if you are a weekend warrior like me.

Most of the fresh water options are 1-2 hours away. Closest to Irvine would be Lake Elsinore which is an hour from Irvine and a decent riding spot if you don't mind green water and can afford the time to launch midweek. On weekends, the seadoos are on the water by 8AM and it becomes a mess.

We also have Canyon Lake which has the best water around, but that is a private community that only allows homeowners to launch boats. Best thing to do is make a friend that lives inside of the gates and ride with them.

You can two your boat to Castaic, Piru, or Pyramid in the Los Angeles but those are also a mess on weekends.

If you don't mind using your boat in salt water, then Long Beach Marine Stadium could be an option.
Old     (DCross)      Join Date: Jul 2016       11-16-2017, 11:52 AM Reply   
Thanks JT. Looks like it's about a 55 minute drive from Canyon Lake to Irvine. What if I bought a home on Canyon Lake and commuted to Irvine? Totally not against that idea as long as 55 minutes realistic. Or, am I going to be stuck in bottle-neck traffic going in and out every day?
Old     (dgarland0)      Join Date: Apr 2003       11-16-2017, 1:50 PM Reply   
The commute from Canyon-Irvine is doable by distance, but would be going with the masses both ways each day. The Toll-Roads Expressways would help for sure, but regular freeways like 91 to the 55 would be brutal.
Old     (DCross)      Join Date: Jul 2016       11-17-2017, 11:37 AM Reply   
Thanks Dave... the commute's not sounding too exciting! I guess we'll just wait and see how it goes.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       11-21-2017, 11:55 AM Reply   
I lived in the greater LA area for a few years for work. I was done wakeboarding by then (injury), but even if I wasn't, I wouldn't own or take my boat there. The public riding spots are small, open bodies of water, that are fought over for weekend access. Depending on where you're from, you've likely never seen traffic like you you're about to. A 55 mile one way commute could very easily take a couple of hours several times a week, I wouldn't even consider doing Canyon lake to Irvine commute. IMO, the key to happiness living in SoCal is living as close as humanly possible to work and being able to avoid prime time highway driving. That said, I knew and met plenty of people that rode wake, but most, if not all, had a weekend place on the Colorado River where there is ample good riding.
Old     (asterisk1)      Join Date: Nov 2017       11-21-2017, 8:56 PM Reply   
I lived in the LA/OC area for almost my entire life and found out several ways to ride. There are many options and not all are great, but here's what I know:

If it's just you riding and you can't (or don't want to) depend on other people, there is Carlsbad Lagoon (a wakeboard in San Diego county (probably your most convenient option). You would pay a premium to ride but it's only about a 50 minute drive from Irvine. It is a well run service (that I think is open year round). It saves you the hassle of pulling a boat and taking it to one of the very crowded local lakes (and even the lagoon gets crowded in the summer i think). To be honest, it is probably your best overall (though not as cost effective) way to ride if you have a good job. I think if you get a permit you can drop your own boat in the lagoon but it's salt water, and from what I have experienced, salt eats boats no matter how much you flush the engine or take care of it.

Big Bear Lake has a two tower cable (Designated Wakesports) but I don't know if it's still running. Only runs in the summer and is about an hour 45 minute drive. However, it is a lot of fun (I ride mostly cable in norcal now).

Socal Wakeboard Instruction is a school at Canyon Lake but I have messaged them and not gotten responses back so they may not be operational at this time. Worth a call and email though as canyon lake has great conditions and is only about an hour drive from Irvine.

Long Beach Marine stadium is only good on the week days during the summer and during the winter (one of my best days riding was there in January and it was sunny and 70 degrees) but still-it's salt water. Otherwise, during the summer it is completely overrun with people. However, it is probably the closest place for you to ride at about 25 minutes away from Irvine (be sure to bring money for the launch ramp fee).

I honestly wouldn't bother with the local LA area lakes (Piru, Pyramid, Silverwood). Again crowded during the summer and farther away. If you really want to drop your own boat and ride during the summer, your best bet is renting a place or camping site in Blythe, CA on the Colorado River (prob best to do in spring or fall as it is hotter than blazes in summer). A great place is McIntyre campground and RV park (Blythe has great conditions but watch for boat traffic and shallow sand bars).

Also san diego has a club that rides year round I think: A bit farther, but it is another option.

All in all, if you are a weekend warrior, your best bet for good water on the weekend is to put on a wetsuit or drysuit and ride regularly in the spring, fall and winter. If you need to ride in the summer on the weekends, head toward the colorado river. Its about a 3 hour 20 minute drive to blythe with no traffic.

If all else fails, you can catch a cheap flight from orange county or LA to sacramento. both of the big cables here in norcal are super close to the airport and you could make a day of it. again come in spring or fall if you need to come on a weekend (as it gets crowded in the summer). you could make a weekend out of it (I tend to go to wake island as it has more beginner features). Be sure to rent a slider board as features will destroy any good boat board even if it's just one day.

Whew! That was a lot haha. Hope this helps!
Old     (seth)      Join Date: Sep 2002       11-22-2017, 10:31 AM Reply   
If you are serious about getting good water, the only way to do it in socal is driving a couple hours somewhere else to ride. Either a private lake membership or the Colorado River as stated above. I kept my boat at Ironwood Ranch ( in Arvin for a couple years and it was as good as it gets for perfect water all day long. Downside is boat is turning around after 4 maybe 5 tricks down the lake. Free boat storage basically pays for your membership if you split it.
Old     (aricsx15)      Join Date: Jan 2014       11-27-2017, 7:04 PM Reply   
My company is headquartered in Irvine. What’s the company?
Old     (SCMike)      Join Date: Mar 2017 Location: San Clemente, CA       12-21-2017, 6:56 AM Reply   
I’m in San Clemente, about 25 min south of Irvine. My weekend spot is San Vicente in San Diego County. It’s an hour and 10 min from my house. The lake is not very big, but the water is warm, extremely clean/clear, and not too crowded on the weekends. I typically get on the water at 9:00am and get good water til maybe 10:30. I found it to be the best option around, and really enjoy going there. The facilities are really nice too.
Old     (DCross)      Join Date: Jul 2016       12-21-2017, 10:25 AM Reply   
Thanks guys. After all was considered, we've opted not to relocate. Thanks for all the input though!


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