Wai Kekoa - Water Warrior Beach Festival

Want to be a true Warrior? Come compete with the few, the proud, the MARINES!

The Hard Corps Race Series@ water competition, entering its second year, features a surf expression session, stand up and prone paddleboard races, outrigger canoe and surfski race, open water swim and a 3K beach run. The Water Warrior Beach Festival boasts a vendor expo with stand-up paddleboards (SUP) available for demo,  and other items. Come join the fun if you think you have what it takes!

Surf Expression Session

Breaking tradition of the customary surf “contest” competition, our Wai Kekoa Surf Expression Session participants will enjoy time on the water impressing the judges with their style, artistic moves, and attitude, not just power moves. All length surfboards compete against each other for the title of Wai Kekoa (Water Warrior) – come show your respect for the ocean and mad surf skills on your board. One male and one female winner will be crowned in both the grommet (9-13) and open (14+) divisions!

Amphibious Assault Race (Elite and Open Races) 

Elite Amphibious Assault Race Sponsored by Surftech

Elite Amphibious Assault Race Sponsored by Surftech

The Amphibious Assault is like no other paddle race. Camp Pendleton is home to the world's largest Amphibious Assault base. Come battle your way through the exclusive Camp Pendleton waters where the Amphibious Assault Vehicles complete their training. Elite racers will tackle a loop course that includes both surf and flat water while the open age-group loop is exclusively on flat water. All racers have the traditional run on the beach at the completion of each loop but that's where the similarity to other paddle races end. The Amphibious Assault courses will reward the best athletes by including obstacles on and off the water. Prepare for a course that features a cargo net climb and other obstacles on the beach that you will complete during each loop. The distance of each loop is approximately ½ mile and you will be required to complete 4-6 loops

Open Distance 5K & 10K/Outrigger/Surfski/Stand Up & Prone Paddleboard Divisions

Outrigger/Surfski/Stand Up Paddleboard/Prone Paddleboard - The Open Distance races start on the flat waters of Pendleton Del Mar Boat Basin looping around the base's harbor before heading outside the jetty and into the open ocean, heading north, then back with a beach run finish (with obstacles) for Stand Up Paddleboards/Prone Paddleboards and an in-water finish for Outriggers and Surfskis. PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS (except prone).

1 Mile Ocean Swim

Get ready for our open ocean swim course featuring water obstacles (yes, you heard that correctly, obstacles in the water) follow by a run through the gauntlet of beach obstacles at the finish line. Not your traditional ocean swim – this race features challenges usually reserved for runs and a guaranteed fun time in the water (wetsuits are allowed).

3K Beach Run

3K Beach Run Sponsored by Graced By Grit

3K Beach Run Sponsored by
Graced By Grit

The 3K beach run has much more than soft and hard packed sand. The course is loaded with unique obstacles that will make this beach run famous in the coming years.  


Day of registration and athlete check-in is from 7am – 2:30pm ONLY (no registration will be taken after 2:30pm).
The final event to conclude at 5pm approximately. Please arrive and check in early for your event – don’t wait until the last minute as we expect an abundance of day-of registrations.
All participants must be registered and checked-in at least 30 minutes prior to their event. Credit card only.
Notice - All competitors must provide their own watercraft  (SUP, outriggers, surfskis, paddleboards and surfboards)

Event Times (subject to change):

8am–Noon: Surf Expression Session
9am–11am: Amphibious Assault Elite 12'6" SUP
11:15am: Distance Race 5K
11:15am: Distance Race 10K
1pm: 1-Mile Obstacle Swim
2pm: Amphibious Assault Open 12'6" SUP
3pm: 3K Obstacle Beach Run
3:45pm: Elite Amphibious Assault SUP Final

Awards Ceremony commences immediately after the Amphibious Assault Final

Registration/Entry Fees

Think you're a true Warrior?  Sign up today!

Amphibious Assault ELITE SUP
$50 Pre-registration
$70 Day-of (if space available)
12ft 6in SUP only for Amphibious Assault Race

Amphibious Assault OPEN SUP
$30 Pre-registration
$50 Day-of (if space available)
12ft 6in SUP only for Amphibious Assault Race

3K Beach Obstacle Run, Surf Expression Session, or 1 Mile obstacle Swim
$30 Pre-Registration
$50 Day of

Open Distance Watercraft Short and Long Courses
Outrigger canoe 1-man, Outrigger canoe 2-man, Surfski, SUP or Prone Paddle
$30 Pre-Registration
$50 Day of

Sign up for more than one event and save $10 each additional event.
There is a $5 discount for all active duty military not stationed aboard Camp Pendleton. Active Duty stationed aboard a military base will need to pick up race numbers the morning of the race and show ID when they pick up their bib the morning of the race.

Categories for Water Warrior events:

1-Mile Obstacle Swim Open – Male and Female Divisions
13-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+

Short Course and Long Course Open Distance
Under 12’6” Surfboard SUP, 12’6” SUP, Over 14' SUP, Open Prone, OC1, Surfski Open
Male and Female Divisions 13-29, 30-49, 50+

Short Course and Long Course Open Distance OC2
Male, Female, Co-Ed

Amphibious Assault Elite SUP 
Male and Female Divisions only - no age divisions

Amphibious Assault Open SUP
Male and Female Divisions only – no age divisions

3K Beach Run Open – Male and Female Divisions
9-12, 13-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55+

Surfboard Water Warrior Expression Session
Use whatever board you have, short or long, to show off your surf skills – scoring will be based on artistic moves along with embracing the Wai Kekoa spirit – one male and one female winner will be crowned in both the grommet (9-13) and open (14+) divisions!

Results, Awards, CG’s Cup points and Photo Information

Results posted and updated throughout the event.  Division awards must be picked up the day of the race.
If you are unable to pick up your award, please contact the race office the week after the race to make arrangements for your medal to be mailed ($10 fee).  The last day to have your medal mailed to you is TBD. You may also stop by the Race Office to pick up your award.

Final results will be posted by Friday following the race day.

Race counts towards the USAA Commanding General’s (CG) Cup Points for active duty Camp Pendleton participants.  CG’s Cup points are updated two weeks after the race. If you have any changes or questions regarding the points, please submit them within four weeks after the event.

Race photos will be available one week after the race.  Refer to link on the side bar.


Minimum participation age is 9 or 13 (depending on event)
Working or service dogs only
Event held rain or shine (unless deemed unsafe)
Pendleton Races has the right to modify the course if necessary for safety or base training exercises
If event is cancelled, you will have the option of transferring your entry to the 2015 Water Warrior Beach Festival event (excluding the World Famous Mud Run®)
Entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable
Liability waiver must be signed by all participants on race morning (waiver download available next to registration link)

Beach Camping for Water Warrior Participants – NEW THIS YEAR!

We have 16 campsites reserved for your RV or Tent at Del Mar Beach Resort within walking distance of the race venue!

  • Available nights are Fri, Sep 12 and Sat, Sep 13.
  • Special introductory pricing for 2014: $40/night for all RV's, trailers, or tents
  • Two four man tents, one RV, or one camping trailer is allowed per site
  • Up to eight guests are allowed per campsite
  • Two cars are allowed to park at the campsite – all other cars must park in the adjacent parking lot
  • Check in after 1pm; check out before 11am

To book a campsite, please contact Del Mar Beach Resort Guest Services at (760) 725-2134. Please tell the desk clerk that you are with the Water Warrior Festival and be prepared to provide your Active.com race confirmation number and the total number of patrons staying at the campsite.

For more information about Del Mar Beach Resort and for a complete list of campsite amenities, visit mccsCP.com/delmarbeach.

Race Day Directions

From I-5 Northbound, take the Camp Pendleton exit in Oceanside and proceed to the main gate.  From I-5 Southbound, take the Camp Pendleton/Harbor Drive exit, then left at the end of the freeway ramp towards Camp Pendleton and proceed to the main gate. 
Stay in the right visitor lane when going through the front gate of Camp Pendleton. Immediately after entering base, veer RIGHT toward Del Mar Beach (follow signage).  Then turn RIGHT at stop light (Wire Mountain Road) to proceed across the bridge. 
Stay on Wire Mountain Road  for about a mile then turn left on 12th St and proceed until you see Del Mar Beach Guest Services on your right (we will have “RACE EVENT” signs to direct you).  Follow race event signs to the south jetty parking lot. Allow 15 minutes from the base gate to the race site. When aboard the base, please follow all posted speed limits. You MUST bring a valid driver's license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration for yourself and a valid ID for all passengers to gain access to the base. Carpooling is highly encouraged! 

View location on Google Maps.