Interview With a Local Business: Adventure Water Sports

Ask any local: there’s no better way to enjoy San Diego’s status as a seaside getaway than to get out on the water. Thankfully, we have a fantastic resource right on-site that can help our visitors do exactly that! The Dana has partnered with Adventure Water Sports to offer our guests a simple and affordable way to avail themselves of a wide variety of equipment intended to help them discover the joys of waterborne fun. We recently had a chat with Amy McCoy the co-owner (along with her husband Jim) of AWS about the history of their enterprise, as well as information on how guests can best hit the bay, and enjoy their day. Here’s what Amy had to say. 

Q: How did Adventure Water Sports come to be?

A: Jim worked at a local water sports company throughout college, then approached Campland on the Bay in 1996 about operating their personal watercraft rentals. Adventure Water Sports was born! A few years later, we acquired the Dana Hotel location.


Q: What’s the most interesting or unique thing you’ve seen out on the water on Mission Bay?


(Video: @adventurewatersportssd)

A: Stunt motorcycle rider Robbie Maddison has ridden his specially equipped motorcycle across Mission Bay, which set a world record! We were lucky to be front row filming from one of our boats. It was quite the exciting event. 


Q: What’s your most popular rental item? What’s your own personal favorite?

(Photo: @adventurewatersportssd)

A: Everyone loves riding the personal watercraft, which are commonly referred to as “Jet Skis” or “WaveRunners”. We enjoy boating — either a slow cruise on a pontoon boat, or taking kids tubing behind a ski boat.


Q: Do you offer any suggestions for groups?

A: We work with groups and companies quite often. Adventure Water Sports is happy to create packages with non-motorized equipment like paddle boards and kayaks, so group members can take out equipment like paddleboards and pontoon boats. Some even go “full boat” on motorized gear like the personal watercraft!


Q: What items do you recommend guests bring when renting a pontoon boat for the day?

(Photo: @adventurewatersportssd)

A: It all starts with having a responsible driver. But passengers are also welcome to enjoy snacks and any type of beverages on board. You can never go wrong with a great charcuterie board and champagne! 


Q: Many people travel and plan their itineraries on their own. Is it safe for travelers to rent a kayak and plan an outing on their own? Where can they take the kayaks when renting?

A: Absolutely! What’s nice about Mission Bay is that you don’t need a tour guide. So you can explore it at your own pace! Our awesome team can also provide some insight on special spots — like good places to see the seals, or where to kayak to find secluded sandy beach areas on the bay.


Q: Which of your rental(s) would you recommend to a family looking to spend a fun day on Mission Bay?

A: We are the only boat rental on Mission Bay that permits tubing behind our boats, so that’s a favorite for families. If someone is looking for something a little more leisurely paced, taking our tandem kayaks to visit the seals is also fun.


Q: What day of the week do you recommend for boat rentals or watersports most?

A: Monday through Thursday are the most relaxed days on the bay. Saturdays are the most active. So if you want to avoid the crowds, the midweek days are always a good option. Mornings are always great, as well.


Q: Is fall a good time to get out on the water in Mission Bay?

A: It’s THE BEST! Autumn is what we call a “shoulder season” — so the summer crowds have tapered off, and the “snowbird” winter travelers have yet to arrive. Plus, the weather is still amazing, since summer always lasts just a little longer here. To have the bay nearly to yourself is always an awesome time!


Q: Do you offer any back-to-school specials or anything special for The Dana guests?

A: Right now, we have a Back to School Special, offering 30 minutes free with a one-hour personal watercraft rental during the weekday! Dana guests can also make use of a voucher that’s good for a one-hour complimentary bicycle rental per room.

Q: Do you have any other tips you’d like The Dana’s guests to be aware of?

A: We’re always happy to help Dana guests play on Mission Bay just steps from your hotel room! Whether you’re interested in a paddleboard session, a kayaking tour, a relaxed pontoon cruise or full speed fun on a personal watercraft or ski boat; we have what it takes to make your visit the most memorable it can be!


Thanks to Amy from Adventure Water Sports for offering us such valuable insight on the best ways to get the most out of a stay at The Dana on Mission Bay. When you’re ready to reserve your wet and wild escape, take a look at our Special Offers page and book your stay today!