If you’re planning on visiting Southern California, you’ve got to catch a wave at one of SoCal’s popular surf spots! Within 185 miles, from San Diego all the way up to Santa Barbara, you can find some of the best surfing in the country, if not, the world.
There are spots that’s perfect for beginners and there are spots that only the advanced surfer should attempt. If you’re an intermediate surfer, well then, you’ll find plenty of waves to catch in SoCal!
With recent heavy surf pounding the Southland this week, I thought I’d share some of the popular surf spots around. Please be careful and only attempt the big waves, if you’re experienced. If you’re not experience, enjoy the waves from afar, on the beautiful sand..with me, haha!
Wet suits are highly recommended. The Pacific Ocean in Southern California is usually pretty cold. Always bring good surf etiquette, especially when you’re just learning. Share the waves, there’s enough surf for everyone!
BEGINNER SURF SPOTS
Bolsa Chica State Beach – This beach is a great surf spot for beginners. Waves normally get to a calm 2-3 feet. It’s a great place to casually learn, with no pressure. Great beach for swimming, sunbathing ,body boarding and hanging out. Seapoint Ave to Warner Ave, along PCH in Huntington Beach, 92648
Doheny State Beach – I came here many times as a kid, with my family. I can say, firsthand, that this is a good spot for a new surfer. Nice, small, easy waves are perfect for the beginner. Also, if you go another 100 yards out, you’ll find stronger swells for the intermediate surfer. 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point 92629
Bay Street, Santa Monica – Easily accessible with metered parking. The sandy beach break is nicely spread out. So, there’s enough room for everybody. You’ll find a lot of surf lessons offered here. Bay and Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica 90407
Mondos, Ventura County – This surf spot, north of Los Angeles, is visible from the 101 highway. Because the big swells are blocked from Santa Cruz Island, this area is perfect surfing for the novice surfer. Stay on the inside, with all the other beginners and you’ll be learning in no time! Pacific Coast Highway, Ventura 93001
La Jolla Shores, San Diego – Great spot for long boarding, due to the mellow sand and reef breaks all along this area. You can find many surf camps and lessons here, which makes La Jolla Shores a popular destination for families of beginner surfers. 8392 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla 92037
**Beginners should always start with slow waves and a sandy bottom. Learning to paddle and standing on your board will be the first thing you’ll learn to do. Having a sandy bottom will make learning that much easier.
INTERMEDIATE SURF SPOTS
Rincon Beach Park
This surf spot is located at the Ventura and Santa Barbara county line. One of the most famous surf spots in California, known as the “Queen of the Coast”. Best surf in the winter months, during low tide. Swells mostly come from the west and northwest. Ideal for intermediate to advance surfers. 5502 Rincon Beach Park Dr. Ventura 93013
Located just north of Downtown Del Mar and south of Solana Beach, in the San Diego area. Its a surf spot that has so much room to surf, it can feel empty on a hot summer day. Has both sand bottom beach breaks and patchy reefs, which helps create good exposure to a variety of swell directions. It’s a relaxed surf atmosphere for intermediate to advanced surfers. However, there are surf lesssons here for new surfers too. 1700 Coast Blvd. Del Mar 92014
Located in Manhattan Beach, El Porto is great for beginners and intermediate surfers. Good variety of waves, with the best swells during the winter months. An uderwater cave helps with the sizeable waves, especially in the winter. Parking fills up fast, so get to this surf spot early! 45 Street & The Strand, Manhattan Beach 90266
ADVANCED SURF SPOTS
Located at the Orange County and San Diego county border. This world famous river-mouth break is for the experienced and well advanced surfer. It requires a big hike to the beach and very competitive, once you get there. The swells are like no other.
Experts and professional surfers flock here for the three different sections of break, with Lower Trestles being the best of them all. Great place for spectators to watch the best in the world. Old Highway, San Clemente 92673
Black Beach, San Diego
Considered the best waves in the San Diego area. Superb surfing can be found here all year round. Located at a cliff-side beach in La Jolla. The waves here break in long, organized lines. You’ll need to paddle out for awhile, but you’ll get paid off with awesome swells. It’s also, a bit of a hike getting to this surf spot, but is well worth the walk. Only recommended for the very experienced surfer. 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr. La Jolla 92037