Rincon Point: The Best Surf Spot in Southern California

Zack Garhart
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Rincon Point: The Best Surf Spot in Southern California

Ask anyone who has been out to the West Coast on a surf trip where their favorite spot is, and you’re bound to hear the word Rincon. Amongst surfers, Rincon Point is considered to be the best surf spot in Southern California.

What Makes Rincon Special

The forces of nature are what make some of the world’s most magical places. From majestic rainforests to tranquil beaches, time and geographical conditions have shaped places that travelers flock from all over the world to see. Those who surf are as particular about their surfing spots as they are passionate. Surfers love that you can catch waves on three different sections of Rincon Point. The three sections are The Cove, Rivermouth, and Indicator.

The word “Rincon” is Spanish for “corner”, which is what makes it an ideal spot to catch some waves. Swells come in from the north, and the particular placement of this “corner” creates ideal tides. Add in the fact that you can cruise from Rincon Point on your board all the way down to Ventura and it makes for an unparalleled surfing experience. The picturesque waves and optimal wind conditions at this surf spot are what make Rincon special.

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A History of Rincon Surfing

For nearly 100 years, surfers have prized Rincon Point for its nearly perfect waves.  The fact that surfers can catch long waves, sometimes more than 250 yards in length, is what attracted them to this crescent-shaped surf point in the first place. Once word got around, famous surfers flocked to this spot to see for themselves. Names like Tom Curren, Kim Mearig, and Bob McTavish have famously hit up Rincon Point in the 1960s and 70s.

Since then, movies have featured Rincon Point, and books have been written about its remarkable reputation as one of the top surfing destinations in the world. It became so legendary that they began hosting the Rincon Classic surf competition back in 1979. Surfers from all across the globe come to battle in this epic competition. Check out their website for more information and live streams from the competition.

Pro tip: due to its rising popularity, plan to arrive early and be patient. Rincon Point can get crowded quickly with surfers, some of whom have traveled across the globe to get there!

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How to Access Rincon Point

The best way to get to Rincon Point is by car. That way, you can pack up your board and prepare to stay until the sun starts to set. By car, you can access Rincon Point from Highway 101. It’s located between Carpinteria and La Conchita. There are two parking lots located near the beach.

If you’re traveling the West Coast without a car, consider starting in Santa Barbara and taking the train or bus down to Carpinteria. From Carpinteria, you can rent a board at the local surf shop on Linden Avenue called Rincon Designs, and then make your way to Rincon Point. Whether you’re there to surf, or just see what the buzz is all about, we consider hitting up Rincon Point as you make your way down the West Coast.

Our Santa Barbara Hostel is a perfect place to set up shop so you can make a day trip down to Carpinteria and then hit up Rincon Point to catch some waves!

Ever wondered what it was like to catch some serious waves at Rincon Point? Check out this video!

Whether you’re staying in Santa Barbara, or down in Los Angeles at our Hermosa Beach location, check out our Traveler’s Club and save on your next booking. It’s free to sign up!

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