7 great waves to surf in San Diego on your next visit

Winter waves make for the best surfing season in San Diego, find out which beaches are a must for surfers...

Bobby Dyer
Nicole Honeywill Sincerely Media OC32cy4x ZA Unsplash

San Diego is a great place for surfing, especially come wintertime. Here are some of our favorite surf spots for surfers of all levels to explore in San Diego, California:

1. Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach is one of the most challenging San Diego surf spots and mainly for experienced surfers. La Jolla Submarine Canyon funnels into this beach, creating exciting swells due to favorable winds and water movement. This beach features three distinct surfing spots: South Peak, a heavy, perfect left; Middle Peak, a two-way affair with the lefts usually being better, and North Peak, a brief but exciting righthand barrel. This spot offers huge swells and potential rip currents, so stay alert!

2. Scripps Pier

Scripps Pier is known to be a good spot for intermediate surfers due to its waves that are 3-5 ft. Located right by the Institute of Oceanography, this is the place to enjoy all ocean wonders.

3. Wind and Sea

This spot has been popular since the 1930s and has a competitive edge in getting the best location in the water. Check out this spot when the winds are to the east, which is the best time to catch a ride. Although it is a great surfing location regardless of wind direction, the wind offers a different kind of thrill.

4. Tourmaline

Located on the North end of Pacific Beach, there are three main surf breaks: Old Man, a long but mushy wave favored by longboarders; Channels, located in the middle, where you can get a little more speed on the inside; and finally Pumphouse, a typical California beach break populated by a mix of longboards and shortboards.

5. Pacific Beach

Surf Local, San Diego, has some excellent footage from drone videos of the surf experience in Southern California beaches. It is a great way to enjoy the culture of the sport and learn from fellow surfers. Regardless of your skill level, Pacific Beach is the place to get out there.

6. South Mission Jetty

Bonfires, people chilling, and of course, surfing. The vibe is good on the shore as well as in the sea. Reviews consistently proclaim it to be one of the best surf spots to catch a great wave. This is a beach for those that want to do more than simply lay there. At South Mission Jetty, people are always moving in the sun.

7. Sunset Cliffs

Because of the eastern winds in the reef, this is the time to bring your board to Sunset Cliffs. Winter is the time to surf in San Diego and as long as you stay aware of your surroundings and the obvious things that all surfers know to look out for (sea urchins and pollution) you’re bound to have a terrific time with some great surfing this winter season.

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Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.