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!

805-705-5238,, based in Santa Barbara

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.

805-866-0224,, based in Santa Barbara

Daysi Perez

I have been ocean kayaking for about 15 years now. I have 5+ experienced years in escorting swimmers through the channel. I owe all my kayaking and open water knowledge to the best mentor, Dawn Brooks. I am extremely comfortable with the crossing from Anacapa to Ventura/Channel Islands harbor but I would gladly escort anyone from the other Channel Islands. I love the ocean. It is my number one home and I am comfortable kayaking day or night. I can guarantee a smile the whole time during your swim!, 805-263-9754, based in Santa Barbara

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!

805-723-4009,, based in San Luis Obispo County

Dan Simonelli

Swimming and supporting swimmers is my passion and purpose.

I’ve been supporting marathon swimmers over many different bodies of water for the past 10 years and over 200 swims as kayaker, support crew, Observer, crew chief, coach and swimmer.

With this I bring a unique and vast level of experience to support any swimmer.

Specifically for SBCSA, I’ve swum, Observed and kayaked/crewed for many swims such as Anacapa Channel (both ways), Anacapa circumnavigations, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas, and Santa Barbara Island.

I’m available anytime to discuss your swim and answer any questions to help you execute your swim successfully and joyously.


619-940-7640,, based in San Diego

Josh Ball

805-320-7975, based in Ventura

Greg Kwok

949-279-2995,, based in Orange County

Peter Phillips

949-233-1258,, based in Orange County

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