Redondo Canyon at Veteran’s Park is unique in so many different ways, and always comes through when all other dive sites are undivable. Why do so many instructors choose the Redondo Submarine Canyon for checkout dives, for night dives, for navigational dives?
Surf is usually very calm here, partly due to the proximity of the Submarine Canyon offshore, as well as the harbor breakwater to the north and a jetty to the south.
There is ample parking and overall the facilities are excellent. In addition to the clean restrooms, there are showers and picnic facilities at adjacent Veteran’s park. If you don’t feel like bringing your own and using the picnic area, you can take a very short stroll to the north and partake in just about any food choice you may want at the many restaurants and fast food windows at the Redondo Pier.
Once you make your way through the relatively short shore break the bottom drops away at a 45° angle from approximately 35 feet less than 100 yards out to 80 or 90 feet. Once out to that depth, the slope is milder and takes a gradual pace to several hundred feet. Make sure you stay to the south. You do not want to wander into the harbor mouth or under the pier. It is illegal to dive either place, and extremely dangerous to venture near the harbor mouth. There is a large amount of boat traffic year-round and especially so during summer.
It is easiest to start your dive directly out from the showers at the bottom of the steps from the south corner of Veteran’s Park.
The easy surf entry, and calm sandy bottom is a great introduction to the underwater world for the new student diver. You will find multiple classes on any given weekend morning. Though don’t let this beginner site fool you. I am always amazed at what I find during a dive here. I have never gotten out of the water and said, “That was boring”. I always find a new or intriguing encounter. The sand holds sand dollar beds and sea pens that I love to play with (okay, maybe I am easily amused, but I like to watch them wave at me and then retreat quickly if touched.) Schools of fish, sometimes quite large, swim in from the canyon and will move into the shallows at times. The large wide open expanse of sand is readily used for navigational classes. You will sometimes find grid patterns in the sand left by a previous class to be used at a later time. Many instructors may leave a dive float in place to use later in the afternoon to use with a different class. Please do not disturb those items you may come across.
For the more experienced diver and definitely the non-student, venture into the canyon. You will know when the canyon starts by the sharp downward slope of the sand and the darker the water gets. On the slope you will find debris that washed up from the canyon from storms and also debris that slips off the slope from thoughtless beachgoers.
As a night dive this is one of the area’s best. The invertebrates really come out in the dark. Look for small octopus, even more crabs and odd small fish. During the winter and early spring, squid spawn here at night.
Crabs can be found crawling around on the sand up and down the slope. Look closely for sarcastic fringeheads, you will find them living in large shells, bottles and other open mouthed debris. They are aggressive and will confront you if you impose yourself on their home. Bring along a plastic or metal mirror (no glass) and try showing the fish its reflection. It will think it is another fish moving in and will react. You can see first hand how the underwater world works.
Dive Spots At A Glance
Location: North of the Redondo Beach Pier and the bottom of the steps just off from Veteran’s Park.
Access and Entry: Large parking lot, moderate to easy stairs to easy beach entry.
Skill Level: All with beach diving experience in small surf to the lip of the canyon. More experience needed into the depths of the canyon.
Depths: 15 to 40 sandy bottom, 40 to 80 on canyon wall. Deeper beyond.
Photography: Good for macro
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, metered parking on street and parking lot. Restaurants nearby.
Conditions: (310) 379-8471