Surfer’s guide to Southern California surf breaks

By Rebecca Hext
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Surfer’s guide to Southern California surf breaks

Rebecca Hext
 
 
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Southern California is known for its warm waters and sunny days. Along with ideal weather, Southern California is famous for it’s surplus of perfect surf breaks. With so many beaches to choose from, it may be hard to decide what break is right for you. Check out our guide to the best surfing spots in Southern California to make your next surf trip an awesome one.

Rincon, Santa Barbara

When visiting popular surf spots, be sure to respect surfing etiquette
When visiting popular surf spots, be sure to respect surfing etiquette

Although some may consider this to be creeping into the Central Coast, Rincon is still widely recognized as a Southern surf spot among locals. Located just off of the 101 freeway, Rincon is a perfect option for a quick pit stop while road tripping. The spot is best during low tide in the winter months when the sweeps are coming from the west and northwest.

Because of Rincon’s consistency, easy access, and laid back atmosphere, it is often very crowded on good days. However, it is very rare to see a physical altercation between surfers. As long as you respect surfing etiquette, you should be fine. In case you forget, they kindly have them posted on a sign as you walk down to the beach. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, Rincon has something to offer everyone!

Blacks Beach, San Diego

Black’s Beach is known for its fast breaking waves, making it a great spot for advanced short-boarders
Black’s Beach is known for its fast breaking waves, making it a great spot for advanced short-boarders

This one is for the advanced surfers. Although Black’s is more remote because of the half-mile steep downhill walk, it is still one of the most popular spots in the area. The surf is consistent, fast-breaking, and big. If you are not a confident and experienced surfer, stay away from this spot.

The area is also home to various different colleges, which contributes to its popularity. The majority of the lineup is made up of young college students. If you are trying to find a group of surfers to head out with, Black’s is a great option.

San Onofre, San Diego

San Onofre State Beach is perfect for spending the day long-boarding with a group of family and friends
San Onofre State Beach is perfect for spending the day long-boarding with a group of family and friends

Located three miles South of San Clemente, San Onofre is a great beach for family day trips. This State Beach has 3.5 miles of white sandy beaches, with parking all along the rim. The surf break is historically smaller, however big swells do some though on occasion. This break is popular for long boarders due to the long waves it produces.

In the last ten years, San Onofre has drastically increased in popularity. If you are planning to go on a weekend, you will need to arrive very early and will probably end up waiting in line for a half an hour or longer. Although it may be hard to get a spot, the surf, the beaches, and positive atmosphere make it a perfect option for family gatherings.

South Bay Beaches, Los Angeles

The South Bay Beaches feature clean beaches with many different breaks all along the coast
The South Bay Beaches feature clean beaches with many different breaks all along the coast

If you are learning how to surf still and want to avoid altercations with more advanced surfers, the South Bay beaches are a great option. From Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach the shoreline is covered in breaks for you to choose from. Beginners should stay away from the piers to avoid any issues with locals. Instead, head for a random break along the beach and claim it as your own.

 

Along with great surf comes large crowds. On good days, everyone and their mother will be out in the surf. However, the area usually maintains waves around 3-5 feet. The beaches and water are also very clean which is a huge plus for surfers.

 

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