Best Beginner Surf Spots in San Diego

Here in San Diego, surfing is one of the most popular past times. With the sun shining bright, the cold water actually feels refreshing. Now we know the hardest thing about surfing is learning how to do it. It takes a lot of time and patience to get out of that beginner level. To help you get started, we’ve made a list of the best surf spots in San Diego for beginners. 

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is #1 spot to learn surfing in San Diego. The waves are consistent and of good quality, which is the best situation for beginners. The Shores are protected from the southwest trade winds, which means that strong winds won’t blow off the waves in the same way it would along with other spots in San Diego. The amenities include a lot of surf schools, public restrooms and lifeguards. 

Tourmaline Beach

Tourmaline Beach is located right on the divide between La Jolla and Pacific beach. This surf spot is referred to as the surf “mecca” for all levels of surfers. The coastal cliff helps curve in incoming tide leading to ideal surfing conditions for all levels. You will find a great culture of beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers that are all happy to lend a helping hand to each other. The amenities include lifeguards, restrooms, showers, fire pits, picnic tables, BBQs and free parking.

Ocean Beach

The best spot for beginners at Ocean Beach is located just north of the Ocean Beach Pier, because it is calmer and allows for an easier swim out. Additionally, this location has typically shallow waters, which is a great thing to have for beginners. The amenities include surf schools, lifeguards and public restrooms.

Pacific Beach

Pacific beach is a perfect spot to learn to surf. It has sand bottom breaks, which is very forgiving for new surfers. The beach is long, so there won’t be as much crowding as other spots. The best thing about PB is it has a lively community with tons of things to do before and after surfing. The amenities include restaurants, bars, public restrooms and lifeguards.

Mission Beach

Mission beach is the southern neighbor to Pacific Beach. Like PB, Mission also has a sand bottom break. This location is best surfed when the tide is high. Once you start to get the hang of things, you can head to the south jetty (end of mission beach) for some higher quality waves. The amenities include restaurants, bars, lifeguards, volleyball/basketball courts, public restrooms and free parking.

Oceanside Pier

The northernmost spot on our list of surf spots is Oceanside Pier. You can surf on both the north and south side of the pier, which allows for a large crowd made up of a mix of locals and tourists. The amenities include restaurants, bars, lifeguards, and public restrooms.

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