Sacramento State Aquatic Center

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Sacramento State Aquatic Center is a regional boating instruction safety center as a part of a program funded by the California Department of Boating and Waterways in conjunction with Sacramento State University. A portion of the equipment at the Aquatic Center is provided by the department to enhance boating safety education in California.

The Docs at the Aquatic Center

Mission Statement[edit]

To provide high quality boating and safety programs through education, recreation, and competition.


1981, the Associated Students of California State University, Sacramento (ASI) in collaboration with the University Union, and State Parks reached a land use agreement with the Bureau of Land Management(BLM). This enabled the Sacramento State Aquatic Center a permanent home on Lake Natoma occupying an eight-acre peninsula of land right next to the Nimbus Dam.

While running their operation out of a shed and shipping containers, the growing Aquatic Center received a Capital Improvement Grant from the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBAW) to refurbish the existing peninsula with four new buildings, four brand new handicap-accessible docks, and new equipment for many program areas. These renovations took place while the facility remained open, and upon completion in 2003, the new facility has proven to be a family-friendly and easily accessible destination for water enthusiasts year-round.

Features of the facility include: a beach area, picnic tables and grills, rowing-accessible docks, classrooms for boat safety education, a weight room, a work out Mezzanine level, offices for facility staff, and parking located close to the building.


The Sacramento State Aquatic Center is a non-profit, cooperative operation of the Associated Students Inc. of California State University, Sacramento, the University Union of Sacramento State, California Department of Boating and Waterways, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The center has provided instruction to thousands of students in California. The center offers university credit for kinesiology classes in Sailing, Rowing, Water-ski/Wakeboarding, and Windsurfing as a means to supplement the academic curriculum at Sacramento State. The Aquatic Center provides leisure classes for the general public, competitive teams, a series of progressive summer camps, and youth programs. The center is open seven days a week to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Sacramento State as well as the general public.

Focus On Safety[edit]

There is not currently a license needed in order to operate a vessel on open water. One of the goals of the Aquatic Center is to educate the public on boating safely as well as the rules to try and reduce boating related accidents. The National Safe Boating Council and Western States Boating Administrators Association (WSBAA) awarded the Boating Education Advancement Award (BEAA) to Sacramento State Aquatic Center. This award recognizes organizations that have developed and successfully implemented programs that:

  1. Enhance the image and recognition of boating safety efforts.
  2. Share success stories for betterment of safe boating.
  3. Create a closer partnership between national, state and local boating education organizations.
  4. Promote the theme of the North American Safe Boating Campaign.


Composed of highly experienced manager/instructors with college degrees, the Aquatic Center staff help ensure that all activities are both safe and enjoyable for the students. All Staff members are certified in C.P.R., First Aid, Advanced Lifeguarding, and hold their California Boating Safety Certificates. These qualifications are required to help ensure the safety of all patrons of the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.


The center offers university kinesiology classes, leisure classes for the general public, competitive teams, a series of progressive summer camps and youth programs. The center was established to augment the academic curriculum at California State University, Sacramento. The Aquatic Center is open to Sacramento State students, faculty, staff, and alumni as well as the general public. All students, faculty, staff, and alumni receive a discount with their valid Sacramento State identification card. Classes are offered to students for a unit of University credit through the Aquatic Center in Sailing, Windsurfing, Water Skiing/Wakeboarding, and Olympic Rowing. Programs of the Aquatic Center include:

  • Kayaking

Rentals, memberships, Private lessons, and classes are offered. Intro to flat water kayaking is an excellent class to learn the basics as well as the characteristics of a variety of different style boats.

  • Stand Up Paddling

Stand Up Paddle Surfing is one of the most popular activities at the Aquatic Center and fastest growing paddle sport.

  • Wakeboarding

Offering general classes, private lessons, and home of the Sacramento State Wakeboard Team.

  • Sailing

Offering Beginning classes through advanced keel boating, private lessons, and memberships.

  • Water Skiing

Offering general classes, private lessons, and home of the Sacramento State Water Ski Team.

  • Jet Skiing

Offering Classes and private lessons.

  • Windsurfing

Classes geared toward the first time beginner who wants to learn and offers advanced private lessons.

  • Canoeing

Offering rentals and classes where you learn the basics while touring the lake.

  • Rowing

One of the top rowing facilities in the entire country, it hosts various regional and national meets including the annual Pacific Coast Rowing Championships. Home of Sacramento State Women's and Men's, Capital Crew, and Master's rowing programs. The Aquatic Center offers classes as well as private lessons by some of the finest rowing coaches in the country.

  • Youth Programs

Invites children to learn to be water safe through school and youth groups. Offering Aquatic Camps for children 7-17 during the summer as well as an outstanding after school program.

  • Equipment Rentals
  • Team Building

Competitive Teams[edit]

The Sacramento State Aquatic Center Houses several competitive organizations that compete at a regional and national level.