The SBCSA recommends using a support paddler (kayak or prone) for Santa Barbara Channel swims, but they are not required.

Kayak Rental Locations

Paddlers for Hire

Listed below are several experienced support paddlers who are available for hire.


Paddler Profiles

alphabetical order

John Bair

I am a paddler, and have been on the board. I’ve helped 6 swimmers cross Catalina and Santa Barbara Channels, and paddled for many 6 mile races. It’s a unique experience helping someone achieve a cross channel swim with the group effort involved., and I love being on the ocean day or night!

Dawn Brooks

I live and work on the Ocean and love supporting Channel Swimmers! I’ve paddled with swimmers from all over the world, escorting Island Circumnavigations, Channel Crossings, Island to Island Passages, feeding and encouraging them to achieve their Goal!!

Tony Chapman

I have accompanied solo swimmers in from 5 of the 8 Channel Islands. I am a kayak guide for Aquasports at Channel Islands National Park, with 28 years experience. I am available when not working.

Hannah Christman

I reside in Santa Barbara and have been a competitive swimmer for over 20 years. I have been an ocean lifeguard for 10 years and an EMT for 5 years. I have swum and support paddled the Semana Nautica 6-mile swim in Santa Barbara numerous times. I have been interested in getting involved with support paddling for marathon swims through my connection and conversations with Jane Cairns, as I have participated in her Reef and Run events for several years now. I am very comfortable in the water and am happy to support any swimmer that needs a paddler going out of Santa Barbara and Ventura/Channel Islands harbors.

Amy Davis

For nearly 20 years, I have been a kayak guide and instructor in the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean in both coastal and open water. Currently I live in Ventura and for the last 9 years, I have be working on and around the Channel Islands. Most of my time is spent as a naturalist, guide and educator with both adults and children. So far I have assisted with one channel swim relay and am looking forward to more.

Maya Morales

Growing up in Southern California, I was and still am, always in the water. I have spent a lot of time kayaking out on the Channel Islands, through sea caves and rough conditions. I enjoy being a part of the swimming community, and will always support the successes of the swimmers. I look forward to more channel crossings!

Tom Reilly

I have been paddling for over 25 years and a Kayaking instructor for 20 years. I have supported over 13 Catalina Channel crossings and 2 Anacapa crossings as kayak support. I love helping swimmers reach their goals even if I think they are crazy for doing it. Let’s go for a swim!

Ryan Rockenbach

I’m an ocean lifeguard, top of my class and experienced EMT. In crewing for a friend in 2016 I discovered a love for open water marathons and now am crewing, kayaking, buddy swimming, and taking on crossing the Catalina channel in 2017. I have never been seasick, stay alert and attentive overnight, and can lead a crew. Trips out of San Pedro and Orange County are most convenient for me but other locations may be accommodated. I have access to a kayak, SUP, and prone paddleboard as needed.

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