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San Diego's

Surf Scene

More than a sport, it's a way of life in California's beach city

From Beginner Breaks to Surfing Competitions

There are no shortage of surf breaks in San Diego and the perfect wave to match 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 a friendly reef-exposed wave 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. For more on where to surf in San Diego, visit beaches.

Ready to Learn

If you’re looking to add genuine Southern California surf to your San Diego vacation, there are a number of surf outfits to help get you riding the waves.

  • Located on La Jolla Shores, the world famous Surf Diva Surf School offers special "Kids Party Wave" group lessons allowing children to learn to surf through supervised lessons by professional surf instructors. Surf Diva is also the world's premier women's surf school that skews heavily female with a "girl power" attitude and bevy of expert female surf instructors. Teenage girls can also delight in the school's Surf Diva boutique, full of the latest in surfer girl fashions, including the shop's own line of swim and active wear.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the world's largest instructional waterfront facility and its water sport classes accommodate adults and children of any skill level. Water sport activities include boating, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and kayaking at the San Diego Sportcenter, which offers private and group lessons year-round.
  • Beat the summer heat at SeaWorld’s Aquatica San Diego Waterpark featuring 25 thrilling water rides, a wave pool and extensive children's area. With exciting slides such as "Taumata Racer" or the more relaxing "Loggerhead Land" raft ride, there's a ride for every member of the family.

Find more information on where to surf in San Diego!

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