Finding the right spot is the first step to a great surf session. Luckily for us, San Diego County is blessed with a variety of surf spots for all preferences and skill levels. Whether you’re learning to stand up for the first time, or trying to get barreled in steep fast waves, we can find a spot that works for you.
Home to some very special surf spots, Encinitas is a great place to both learn to surf, and to hone your skills on world class waves.
D-Street and Swamis are just a couple of excellent choices in town, plus lots of emptier beach breaks only a short drive up and down the coast. Beginners may find the waves at Beacon’s, Moonlight State Beach, or South Ponto to be more accessible and spread out compared the more popular and challenging spots.
Encinitas Surf Spots
- Stone Steps
- Moonlight State Beach
- D Street
Cardiff By The Sea
Just a short drive south is Cardiff, where you’ll find great waves at some well-known spots like Cardiff Reef and Seaside Reef.
On the north end of Cardiff is San Elijo State Beach, which is a good choice for beginners. You can usually find an empty spot here, and there’s plenty of parking right along the cliff. Cardiff also happens to be the home of Rob Machado, so you may find yourself splitting a wave with him on the right day.
Cardiff Surf Spots
- San Elijo State Beach
- Cardiff Reef
- Seaside Reef
Across the lagoon at Seaside Reef the cliffs rise up to the south, this is Solana Beach.
The high cliffs and rows of private residences here mean one thing, smaller crowds. Solana Beach is our favorite place for surf lessons, and you’ll be sure to get plenty of waves to yourself out here. Fletcher Cove offers plenty of parking and a paved walkway to the beach. Further south you can find access to a few more surfing beaches before hitting the end of town at Dog Beach.
Solana Beach Surf Spots
- Del Mar Shores
- Seascape Surf Park
- Fletcher Cove
Bordering Solana beach is Del Mar.
The river mouth in front of Dog Beach can get good on the right swell, but changing tides and currents can occasionally make it a bit of a workout. You may also need to dodge some “landmines” on your way in and out of the water thanks to some less-than-courteous dog owners. Further into town is Del Mar City Beach, featuring long stretches of beach break waves (with the occasional rock reef) and fairly spread lineups. Fun empty waves can usually be found somewhere between the middle of town and south to Torrey Pines.
Del Mar Surf Spots
- Dog Beach / Pickleweed Point
- Del Mar City Beach (29th – 4th streets)