There is no shortage of surf breaks in San Diego, creating lots of opportunities to match the perfect wave to any skill level.
For novice surfers, La Jolla Shores is a family friendly strip of beach with a sandy bottom and gentle waves. The beach also features full facilities including year-round lifeguards on duty and restrooms with showers.
On the border of La Jolla and Pacific Beach, you'll find Tourmaline Surf Park. This beautiful setting is a hub for beginning surfers with low wave swells, lifeguards and restrooms with showers. It is also a great spot for kite boarders and windsurfers.
Pacific Beach Point, best in the winter months, offers friendly reef-exposed waves for beginners. It is also bordered by a popular boardwalk with lots of amenities.
Coronado and the Silver Strand are also great spots for beginners to gain confidence and get pointers from more experienced surfers. The beaches feature sandy bottoms, the paddle out is generally easy and the local breaks are known for gentle, long-riding waves.
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), a trend that’s become a part of the San Diego lifestyle, is a fun way to play on the water while soaking in the SoCal vibe that's perfect for all skill levels.
Mission Bay, the largest-man man-made saltwater bay in the nation, is San Diego’s prime destination for paddle boarding. Calm waters, low wind and lots of water sport rental options make it ideal for beginners.
Carlsbad's series of lagoons just off the highway are perfect for recreational water activities. Take in nature's beauty while catching a sunset SUP yoga class.
For the more experienced riders, paddle boarders can venture inside the sea caves that line the shores of La Jolla or get past the break to see seals, birds and sea turtles.
If you're looking to add some genuine Southern California surfing to your San Diego vacation, there are a number of surf outfits to help get you riding the waves.
Located on La Jolla Shores, Surf Diva is the world's premier women's surf and SUP school that skews heavily female with a "girl power" attitude and bevy of expert female surf instructors.
Everyday California, an adventure and apparel company, makes fun happen with safe and exciting surf and stand-up paddle board lessons on La Jolla Shores.
Pacific Surf School in Mission Beach boasts experienced, knowledgeable instructors under the guidance of a 22-year veteran of the professional surfing circuit. Lessons take place in gentle surf breaks off Mission Beach.
Learn the basics of surfing and experience the thrill of riding a wave at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center. Sessions briefly discuss the fundamentals before you paddle out into the surf to start catching waves.
Located at South Carlsbad State Beach, San Diego Surfing Academy offers expert instruction on the fundamentals of surfing like paddling, board handling, wave selection and board riding.
If you already know how to hang ten, or just want to paddle out on your own, scroll down to find awesome rental companies near the shore.
San Diego is fortunate to have many awesome surf shops along the coast. Here are just a few that will help outfit you with everything you need.
Surf Diva boutique carries the latest in surfer girl fashions, including the shop's own line of swim and active wear.
South Coast Surf Shops with five locations in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach is a great shop for every type of surfer.
Hansen Surfboards and Encinitas Surfboards are both must-visit shops in North County.
Birds Surf Shed is half-shop, half-vintage surfboard library that is a San Diego institution.
Belmont Park's Sun Diego has everything you need to get out on the water and catch some waves.
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