San Diego is one of the biggest surfing cities in the world. People come from miles around and even from around the world to experience some of the most excellent waves California has to offer.
1. La Jolla Windansea
La Jolla means “the jewel.” Be aware that this isn’t a surf spot for beginners. The La Jolla waves break reasonably far from the beach itself, and they pack quite a surprising punch.
Every year, beginner surfers are caught out by the strength of these waves. People are seriously injured here fairly often.
If you want to watch surfing, this is a fantastic spot. But if you’re an inexperienced surfer, you might want to check out some of the other places on this list.
This is an excellent place if you don’t have much surfing experience. The beach’s shifting sandbars means it offers a good range of wave types.
On top of being a good surf spot, Oceanside also has one of the best surfing communities in the city. You’ll find a variety of cafes and restaurants that are run by surfers.
3. Pacific Beach
If you’re looking to catch the San Diego surf for the first time, this is the place to do it. The wave breaks here are nice and soft, so there is minimal risk of injury.
The beach itself is also great, with plenty of parking and bathrooms available. Pacific Beach was once a quiet beach town, but over the years, it’s turned into a college party town.
4. La Jolla Black’s Beach
This is not a spot to attempt if you don’t have a lot of experience. Black’s Beach can be unpredictable for surfers. It’s recommended you only try these waves if you’re both a keen surfer and swimmer.
Take note, however, that Black’s Beach is also a famous nude beach. Don’t expect to see much of a younger crowd though, as it’s mostly naked old men playing volleyball.
5. Lower Trestles
Locals often refer to this spot as “Lowers.” This spot is one of the most high profile spots for surfing in San Diego. World champion surfer Kelly Slater calls this his favorite surf spot in the world.
Of course, that means this spot is almost always very crowded. Some days, these waves can draw in over 100 surfers. Make sure you still practice proper surfing etiquette.
If you don’t feel like competing for waves, maybe try some of the other spots on this list. While this is a great beach, it’s not suitable for beginners. If you’re looking to watch some surfing, this is an excellent place to consider.
Stay Safe At These San Diego Surf Spots
Every year, people are injured or need to be rescued at San Diego surf spots. Don’t let this happen to you.
Be honest with yourself about your skill level. Don’t try and surf an intermediate spot if you haven’t already mastered a gentler spot. Have fun and be safe!