San Diego has many surfing spots where you can learn how to surf and test your skills. Here are some of these places.
La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores has a wide stretch of sandy beach and a parking lot that allows for quick access to the boardwalk and beachfront. It’s a great spot for beginners as the little waves are strong enough to give them a good push into the wave. The waves are also quite predictable, and the open beach offers a lot of space to master your skills without the hassle and stress of large crowds. La Jolla Shores also has clean showers and bathrooms. Lifeguard services are available throughout the year as well. There are great amenities that are within walking distance to complete your day.
Black’s Beach is ideal for experienced surfers. You might see 10 to 12′ waves but breaking through the inside whitewater is almost impossible. Black’s Beach is good throughout the year. The best swell directions are W, NW, and SW.
Tourmaline Surf Park
Tourmaline Surf Park is a great place for beginners and immediate surfers. It offers slow rolling waves that curve around a seaside cliff. There is also a large parking lot that offers easy access to the beachfront.
Swami’s Beach has picturesque views and reliable waves. There’s an overhead street sign that says, “Swami’s Ped Xing,” so you will know that you’ve arrived at the beach. The waves peel in organized lines and are good at a medium or small swell. When the swell is large, it holds. The best swell directions are W and NW.
Garbage Beach (Sunset Cliffs)
Sunset Cliffs offers a few surfing spots, but the best surf spot in Point Loma is Garbage Beach. It got its name from the fact that there was once a landfill near the area. The best swell directions are W and NW. There are various peaks to pick from. The Southern end has slow lefts and quality rights, while the Northern end usually has average rights and sharp lefts.
Windansea Beach is a popular surfing spot with a smooth, protruding sandstone rock that generates a lot of raw power. In the summer and winter, the main peak can be up to 8′ tall. Since the reef-bottomed take-off area is only 20′ wide, you will be competing shoulder-to-shoulder with other surfers for a wave. There is a solid shore break that can vary from 1′ to 6′. The hollow and savage waves provide a lot of entertainment for locals and tourists. The best swell directions are NW, SSW, WNW and SW.
These are only some of the best places to surf in San Diego. Understanding your physical limitations and skill level can help you choose the perfect time for surfing. Don’t go to a beach with strong waves if you’re just starting to learn how to surf. Consider the surfing spots mentioned above and enjoy a day filled with fun surfing sessions!
About the Author: Jim Stroesser
Jim Stroesser has amassed 38 years of experience in global consumer branding across the sports, fashion, and entertainment industries. Starting his career as a tech rep, he ascended to CEO roles with some of the world's leading brands. As the Co-Founder and CEO of CALI Strong Inc., a direct-to-consumer sports brand based in San Diego, CA, Jim has led the company in producing premium apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories.
His tenure as Owner/Partner at Converse is particularly noteworthy. Jim was pivotal in reviving the brand from bankruptcy in 2001, elevating its value from $120 million to $285 million, and playing a crucial role in its $305 million sale to Nike in 2003, marking one of the century's significant mergers and acquisitions.
Beyond Converse, Jim has held senior management positions at renowned companies such as Nike, Quiksilver, Oakley, LA Gear, Pony, and Adio. He is also actively involved in several boards of directors positions, including SDSI, led by Chairman Bill Walton, which focuses on mentoring companies and assisting in capital raising efforts.