Recreation and Tourism Management

  • teams of two rowing boats with onlookers cheering

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • New Proposed Hotel on CSUN campus

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • W Hotel FieldTrip

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • Recreate Yourself

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • Hospitality Experience

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • RTM Commencement

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

Aquatic Center at Castaic Lake

Founded in 1976, the CSUN, California State University Northridge, Aquatic Center has become well known throughout the community - and, in fact, the nation - for its excellence in boating and water safety education. The center, which is located at Castaic Lake Recreation Area in the scenic foothills of the Santa Clarita Valley, is of the largest boating education centers in the nation, serving in upward of 10,500 individuals through its credit, non-credit and community service programs each year. Approximately one-quarter of those individuals are CSUN students, while three-quarters are members of the community. From students to community groups to at-risk youth, we truly offer something for everyone!

The Center offers the following activities:

  • Water Skiing
  • Wake boarding
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Boating Safety Education
  • Outdoor Education Classes

Learn more by choosing the boxes below or start you event reservation now with this link
Program Reservation Form

*Program Reservations are for Groups and Organizations only.
Please check back for open registration for individuals not associated with a visiting organization

Group Programs and Pricing

Our Boating programs were developed to teach students of all ages how to recreate safely in and around California Waterways. Our programs are engaging, hybrid learning experiences that consist of instructional videos, hands on education by our highly trained Lifeguards and Aquatic Instructors, and hours of on water boating. With Lake Castaic as our class room, these programs represent an incredible space for students to learn about boating and water safety, water as a natural resource, as well as develop new, empowering skills that they will have for the rest of their lives. 
Our programs are always tailored to best fit the needs and goals of your group, whether they are school organizations, Girl Scouts, first time boaters, Boy scouts, church groups, or anyone else that wants to learn with us.

Group Paddle Sports Programs

Total Number of AttendeesHalf Day Program(3 hr)Full Day Program (6 hr)
0-10$180Not Available
60+Not Available$880

Provided: Life jackets, Sit on top tandem kayaks, canoes, stand Up paddle boards, safety patrol boat, entrance into the park, shaded picnic area, fun, safe and knowledgeable instructors/lifeguards


Group Sailing Programs

Total Number of AttendeesHalf Day Program (3 hr)Full Day Program (6 hr)

Provided: Life jackets,all necessary sailing equipment, safety patrol boat, entrance into the park, shaded picnic area, fun, safe and knowledgeable instructors/lifeguards

Group Wake Skiing, Wake Boarding, and Tubing Group Sessions

Power Boat, Boat Captain/Instructor/Lifeguard, all necessary Equipment$225/Hour2 Hour minimum

For more information and to schedule your program follow this link Program Reservation Form, call us at 661-257-0571, or email us at
Make sure you ask about our generous Scholarship opportunities, made possible by the California Division of Boating and Waterways.

Aquatic Center Waivers.pdf
Visual Audio Image Release Form.pdf

Department of Recreation Tourism Management Academic Courses

CSUN Department of Recreation Tourism Management provides academic credit courses at the Aquatic Center. CSUN educators provides the highest caliber instruction on Flat water boating, Wake boarding and Water Skiing, Sailing, and many other offerings. Courses are offered during the Spring, and Fall Semesters, and fill up quickly due to popular demand. 


RTM 151D. Flat-Water Boating
Introduction to safe travel by kayak or canoe on lakes, rivers and oceans. Includes equipment, navigation and techniques for flat-water boating and emergency self-rescue. Emphasis will be on safety, environmental awareness and skill development. Arranged field trips are required.

RTM 265. Water Skiing and Wake boarding
Prerequisite: Basic swimming skills. Develops proficiency in water skiing skills, including wake boarding, with an emphasis on safety and the proper use of equipment.

RTM 267/L. Sailing and Lab
Prerequisite: Elementary swimming skills. Corequisite: RTM 267L. Development of the skills and art of sailing, including the development of basic seamanship, small boat handling competency, safety procedures and regulations and introductions to competitive sailing and ocean cruising. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours lab per week

You can learn more by visiting or

CSUN Sailing ManualPDF icon

Aquatic Team Building

For groups that are looking targeting community development and leadership training our Aquatic Team Building puts a new spin on the experience. With activities on and around the water, these three hour sessions are perfect for school field trips, youth groups, organizational retreats and competitive teams. This is a fun and exciting way for groups to learn to work as a team, discover leadership skills, develop communication strategies, and take on personal challenges with the support of a growing group. Life jackets and all equipment are included. 

Aquatic Team Building Fee Structure
 Non CSUN Groups
3 Hour
# of PeopleCost per personProgram Fee (PF) Total Cost
0-10$15.00Land- $25 $150+ PF
10--20$300+ PF
20--30Water- $100 $450+ PF
30--40$600+ PF
40--60CC- $250 $900+ PF
4 hour
# of PeopleCost per personProgram Fee (PF) Total Cost
0-10$17.50Land- $25 $175+ PF
10--20 $350+ PF
20--30Water- $100 $525+ PF
30--40  $700 + PF
40--60CC- $250 1,050+ PF
Add on- Free Paddle Session
# of PeopleCost per HourProgram Fee (PF) Minimum 
0--20$35.00$0 1 hr
20--30$511 hr 
30--40$70 1 hr
40--60$85 1 hr


Leadership, Employment and Internship Opportunities


Youth Paddling Leadership Program

Learn how to be a Paddle Sports Leader in your community! Now accepting sign ups for Fall 2017
For more information check out our program partners at, email us at , or call us at 661-257-0571

Aquatic Leadership Program

What- The Aquatic Leadership Program (ALP) was developed to train knowledgeable and highly skilled Aquatic Professional and Outdoor Educators who have all the tools and abilities necessary to facilitate the best Boating experiences for the CSUN Community.

Who- We are looking for current CSUN undergraduate and graduate students who are want to share their love of boating and water recreation with others, develop their leadership skills and become Outdoor Adventure Employees. Whether you want to call them Staff, Instructors, Outdoor educators, Facilitators, the ALP provides the opportunities to become true Aquatic Professionals in all sense of the word. During your time in the program you’ll receive your lifeguard certification, learn to teach Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddling, Sailing, and Waterski Wakeboarding at the highest levels. We provide all the tools needed to find success with us. Such trainings include (but are definitely not limited to)

  • Red Cross Lifeguard, First Aid, and CPR for professional rescuers.
  • Leadership skills
  • Group management skills
  • Paddle Sports Knowledge at an American Canoe Association level
  • Sailing at American Sailing Association/US Sailing Levels
  • Teambuilding facilitation skills
  • Class, Trip and course planning
  • Risk management practices
  • Teaching philosophy and techniques

Where- At the Aquatic Center, we believe in “Real” Class rooms, experiential learning, and peer teaching. The vast majority of our program takes place at the beach and on the water at Castaic Lake, 30 minutes north of the CSUN Campus. This is where you will teach paddle skills, sailing and first aid, but your role as an instructor may take you to high school campuses to teach water safety, the classrooms at CSUN to teach First aide, or a farmer’s market to give out free life jackets.

Why- Get paid to wake board, sail, teach, learn, and help folks paddle and play safely.  Meet an incredible community of outdoors men and women. Learn technical boating skills. Learn group management, leadership, and facilitation skills. Become a trained Aquatic Instructor with a skill set that can apply to a variety of other jobs in the fields of Recreation, and Outdoor Education. Experienced unrivaled personal growth and development.

If you have any other questions about the ALP don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or in person.


For the ALP, and other Employment opportunities please follow the links below.

CSUN Student Employment-

Non Student Employment-

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

For internship or volunteer opportunities please email us at 
provide your name, contact information and a short message regarding the goals and purpose of your inquiry for an internship. 

Program Evaluations

Let us know how we did. We appreciate any and all feedback as we strive to offer the best experiences possible. Please use the link below to fill out a brief Evaluation form. It is 10 questions and should take less than 5 minutes.

Program Evaluation Form

Honoring Excellence- Awards and Recognition

The CSUN Aquatic Center is proud to have received several local, state and national awards including:

  • The National Recreation and Park Association Award of Excellence
  • The National Safe Boating Council Youth Program of Excellence Award
  • The United States Sailing Association Extraordinary Outreach and Inclusion Award

In addition, these organizations have recognized the Center for its outstanding programs:

  • Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles
  • California International Sailing Association
  • California Police Activity League Supporters (PALS)
  • City of Santa Clarita Community Center
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Los Angeles Times

Giving Back

Volunteering- With the majority of our programs teaching water safety to under served youth groups, volunteers are always pivotal to our success. Whether you have some boating experience or non at all, we need helpful, positive individuals to continue to make our programs some of the best around. Please contact us to find out how you can be a part of what we do. 

Donations-For information on any of our programs or to find out how you can make a difference by donating funds or usable items, such as boats or vehicles, to the Center (all donations are tax deductible), you can contact the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management office, or Executive Director Dr. Nathan Martin directly or reach us at

Contact Us

Nathan Martin
Executive Director

Chris Whitesides
Aquatic Center Manager

32132 Castaic Lake Drive
Castaic, CA, 91384