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

1. Black’s Beach

La Jolla Submarine Canyon funnels into Black’s 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! Not a beginner surfing spot, this is for experienced surfers looking for some rocking waves.

2. Scripps Pier

Scripps Pier is known to be good for intermediate surfers due to waves that are 3-4 ft and can range upward to 5ft this time of year. Right by the Institute of Oceanography, this is the right 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 when the winds are to the east, it is the best time to catch a ride on the waves. Although according to surf reports, it is a great surfing location regardless of wind direction, it just offers different thrills.

4. Tourmaline

On the North end of Pacific Beach, there are three main surf breaks: Old Man, a long but mushy wave favored by longboarders. Channels,  in the middle, can get a little more speed on the inside. And Pumphouse, on the south end is a typical California beach break populated by a mix of longboards and shortboards. The biggest swells coming from the northwest winds have arrived for the season. So book a night at the Beach Bungalow, rent a suit and board, and hit those waves!

5. Pacific Beach

Surf Local, surf San Diego, has some excellent footage from drone videos of the experience awaiting you 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. The tide is waiting.

6. South Mission Jetty

Bonfires, people chillin, and surfing, of course. The vibe is good here, on the shore as well as in the sea with reviews on the waves proclaiming it to be consistently one of the best spots to get a good wave. This is a beach for those that want to do more than simply lay on the beach, here is where people are moving in the sun.

7. Sunset Cliffs

In the reef because of the eastern winds, this is the time to surf in 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.

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