Surfing is a way of life for many San Diegans. On any given day, rain or shine, spring, summer, fall or winter, you will find devoted and passionate surfers spotted along the shores on every beach from Mexico through Oceanside, waiting patiently for the perfect swell and the epic ride. For many, an early morning dawn patrol surf session is as much a part of their daily routine as a morning run is to other athletes.
Although surfers are mostly in it for the fun, surfing is also a demanding sport that provides a strenuous physical workout. Whether alone with your thoughts or battling for waves in a crowd, it is always an essentially individual and introspective experience that comes down to you and the wave. As a result, surfers are a healthy, happy and stoked bunch, ever optimistic with a positive approach to life.
As anyone who has ever wrestled a surf board in whitewater knows, this is a difficult sport. It takes a lot of trial and error to learn how to read the waves, find the sweet spot on your board, and make that first clean turn off the bottom that will set you up for a nice ride down the line. Fortunately, one thing about surfing that is not hard at all is the water you fall on when you wipe out , so though you may walk away with a bruised ego, it’s generally a safe sport if you take the necessary precautions. Learning to surf, if at times frustrating, is still plenty of fun. San Diego offers plenty of good, gentle surf breaks that are perfect to learn, on as well as surfboard rentals and lessons for all ages and skill level.
There are many kinds of waves and as many approaches to riding them. Sandy bottoms usually make for the fast and shifty waves called a beach break, while rock bottom reef breaks are more fickle but, when the conditions come together, can produce long and shapely waves. There are shortboards for quick, high performance turns, longboards for smooth, carving glides. Reserve the big narrow guns for big swells, as you venture out to ride some monster hollow tubes.
And if surfing is not your thing, you can always enjoy the waves by bodyboarding or boogie boarding. Either way, you can enjoy the exhilaration of riding the waves and feel the surge of the pacific, all without having to get up on your feet.
From novices to pro surfers, San Diego is never short of waves or breaks, no matter what time of year. Just make sure you don’t snake anyone’s wave, and you’ll be hanging ten in no time.
Browse the articles and listings below to discover many fun and challenging surf spots and create your next San Diego surf adventure!