Paddlers ride the waves aboard a Chumash tomol. (Robert Schwemmer)

The second annual Paddle Out for SBMM fundraiser will be 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 11 at Leadbetter Beach. The event focuses on the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum’s mission to “celebrate the Santa Barbara Channel and illuminate our rich connections with the sea.”

The community is invited to participate by sponsoring the event or a paddler, paddling out (on a self-powered craft), watching from the shore, and attending the opening ceremony. Attendees can enjoy food catered by Romanti-Ezer, hear surf music by the Wrinkled Teenagers, and have a chance to join in beach games and crafts.

The multi-generational event will be launched by honorary chair, surf legend Shaun Tomson, leading all the paddlers into the water.

For the past two years, SBMM has been unable to hold its annual Gala & Fundraiser because of various pandemic health and safety protocols. So, with the creativity unleashed by Covid last year, SBMM’s staff acted on a novel suggestion from Tomson for a way to raise money for its educational programs: Paddle Out for SBMM.

“I am a huge fan of the Maritime Museum and its mission,” Tomson said with regards to his suggestion. “I thought an outdoor event would allow all members of the community to connect directly with the museum, the ocean and the Santa Barbara Channel.”

Supporting Paddle Out for SBMM helps provide vital general operating funds for SBMM’s exhibits and experiential education programs, such as Marine Science, Ocean Connections, Maritime on the Move, and Love Letters to the Sea, all of which encourage the protection and preservation of fragile, limited natural resources.

Public support underwrites Paddle Out for SBMM and fosters SBMM’s work to educate and connect the community with the past, present and future of the Channel.

Event schedule as follows: (Changes may occur based on current Santa Barbara County safety restrictions)
noon-1 p.m. – Paddler check-in/registration, Leadbetter Beach
1-1:30 p.m. -–Welcome, Leadbetter Beach
1:30-2:30 p.m. – Paddle out from Leadbetter Beach toward Hendry’s Beach (course may change depending on the weather)
1-4 p.m. – Picnic, Leadbetter Beach (registration required)

For more information and sponsor benefits, visit

Registration fee covers a donation to SBMM, a hat and food, beginning at 1 p.m.
Youth under age 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Paddlers are required to sign a Release of Liability Agreement to participate.
Paddlers must wear or have a flotation device on board their craft.
Paddlers may join with a self-powered craft (SUP) surfboard, kayak, canoe, dory, rowboat, sailboat, or outrigger. Need to rent? Contact Paddle Sports Center , 805-617-3425, for 10% SBMM membership rate.
A limited number of complimentary Paddle Out registrations, donated by sponsors, are available. Email for information.

To help raise funds for SBMM programs, exhibits, and lectures while you’re paddling, participants can invite friends and family to sponsor their paddle, collect their contributions, and present the funds to SBMM. E-mail for more.

Thanks to Paddle-Out-for-SBMM sponsors: Channel Champions: John and Tracie Doordan, Mimi Michaelis, Chuck & Mary Wilson, and George & Judy Writer; Coastline Crew: Susan Sheller and Bob Roe.