Are you planning to have a vacation in California? And do you love surfing? So it’s no surprise that you’re looking for the best places to surf in California. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered.
The Golden State’s coastline offers the appeal of ideal waves for every sort of surfer, from the warm coasts of San Diego to the freezing water of Northern California. Oxnard in California attracts thousands of visitors every year with its beauty. From the beautiful beaches to amazing food, you can enjoy it all. If you are in CA, you must visit Oxnard, as it is home to multiple beaches.
You’ll find eight of the best places to surf in California here. All of them are world-class surf spots, and all of them are worth a visit. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your surfing road trip today!
1. Newport Beach
If you’re looking for great waves and plenty of coastlines to explore, Newport Beach is a perfect spot. The waves here are typically consistent and provide an excellent challenge for experienced surfers. And if you’re just starting, there are plenty of beginner-friendly waves to get your feet wet.
In addition to the waves, Newport Beach is known for its picturesque coastline. So make sure you take some time to explore the area while you’re there. You’ll find plenty of good places to eat and drink, shops, and other amenities.
2. Asilomar State Beach
If you’re looking for a great place to surf in California, Asilomar State Beach is a great option. With its wide, sandy beaches and consistent waves, Asilomar is a favorite spot for local surfers.
The waves here are the biggest in the winter, but they can be enjoyed year-round. Asilomar also offers plenty of amenities, including restrooms, showers, and a picnic area. So if you’re looking for a great place to surf in California, check out Asilomar State Beach.
3. The Steamer Lane
The famed Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz allows you to surf the waves of the Pacific amid wildlife such as sea otters and seals. Surfers used to hunt for massive waves in the “lane” when steamships would arrive at the wharf. Though the rafts are no longer there, the region continues to draw surfers eager to shred the gnar.
For skilled surfers, Steamer Lane is split into four zones:
- Middle Peak
- The Slots
- The Point
Difficulty in surfing increases when you move from Indicators to The Point.
If you’re new to surfing, Cowell Beach is an excellent place to start. You’ll have a terrific experience whether you opt for the winter or summer south swells. Gear up at Cowell’s Beach Surf Shop or O’Neill Surf Shop.
4. Rincon Point
Now we are coming to Rincon Point in Santa Barbara. This is an excellent spot for beginners and experts alike, with mild waves that are great for learning the ropes. As a bonus, it’s surrounded by beautiful ocean and coastline panoramic views.
If you’re an experienced surfer, don’t worry—there are still challenging waves here, especially the larger swells when the tide is high. But no matter your skill level, you can catch some decent waves on a good day.
You should also be aware that the Rincon Point break can get crowded during peak season, so you might have to wait your turn to catch a wave. Even still, it’s worth visiting if you’re looking for some quality surfing!
5. Mavericks in Half Moon Bay
Mavericks in Half Moon Bay is perhaps the most iconic of all California surfing spots, and the waves here can get up to 50 feet high, making it one of the most excellent big-wave surfing spots in the world.
It’s an excellent spot for experienced surfers only when conditions are deemed safe by experienced lifeguards. It’s also challenging to get to the closest beach access is a three-mile drive from Pillar Point Harbor.
So it’s not the most accessible place to get to. But those who make it out here stand to experience some of the most exciting waves.
6. San Onofre State Beach
So you’ve heard of San Onofre State Beach, and you’re wondering if it should be on your list of places to surf in California? The answer is yes! This beach is ideal for both beginners and experienced surfers alike.
The waves here tend to be mellow, meaning they don’t get too large, and the sandbars help create optimal conditions for a fun ride. But don’t let the relatively calm conditions fool you. San Onofre State Beach is still considered one of California’s best places to surf.
It offers a variety of breaks from beginners’ lefts to powerful rights, meaning there’s something for every skill level. So whatever wave you choose, bring your sunscreen and plenty of water—it can get hot out there!
7. Pismo State Beach
If you’re looking for a more technical surf spot, check out Pismo State Beach. It’s located in central California, one of the most iconic surf spots in the state.
This place is unique because there are two very different breaks – a beach break and a point break – so there’s something for everyone. There are also consistent waves throughout the year, so if you’re a beginner, you can take your time practicing on the beach break and then challenge yourself with the point break once you’ve got the hang of it.
Pismo State Beach is gorgeous with its white sand beaches and gently rolling hills. So if you’re looking for an adventurous surf spot that’s easy to get to and offers plenty of variety, this is one to add to your list!
8. Huntington Beach Pier
Last but certainly not least is the Huntington Beach Pier. It’s located in Orange County and is an excellent spot for longboarders learning the ropes of surfing. The waves here are bigger, so it’s a good place for intermediate and advanced surfers as well.
What makes this pier unique is that it’s a great place to watch other people surf—it can get quite crowded, but that also means that there are plenty of experienced surfers riding some awesome waves. Besides surfing, you can also participate in beach volleyball, bodyboarding, and more.
So if you want to learn to surf and get inspired by others, the Huntington Beach Pier is worth checking out. Wear a wetsuit as the water gets cold during the winter months!
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a great place to surf, California is definitely the place to be. With so many unique spots, you’re sure to find a wave that’s just right for you. So get out there and enjoy the ride! So what are you waiting for? Grab your board and hit the waves! California is waiting for you.