Surfing Locations in California

Surfing locations in California are in good supply. In fact, no other state in the contiguous 48 offers better surf spots. As such, the culture of California is very much tied to surfing. Take the Beach Boys, for example. Hailing from Hawthorne, California, this famous music group pioneered the surfing sound and is partly to thank for California’s reputation as a surfing hotspot. Of course, it’s California’s numerous surf spots that are ultimately responsible for the state’s reputation as a surfing mecca, and while many of the best spots are found in the south, surfing enthusiasts won’t want to overlook the central and northern regions.

Southern CA Beaches

Southern CA Beaches
Southern CA Beaches

The Southern California beaches are where many surfers go when looking to hang ten in the Golden State. This is understandable when you consider the quality of the waves along the southern coast and the region’s enviable weather and relatively warm waters. The Ventura beaches figure among the very best surf spots in California and are often mentioned among the best surf spots in the entire world, so this southern city is a good place to start. You don’t have to limit yourself to Ventura, however. From Santa Barbara on down to San Diego, high quality surf spots abound. Year-round swells help to make Southern California such a great place to surf, so while summer is a slightly less consistent season, it is still considered to be a excellent time to ride the waves.

Central CA Beaches

Central CA Beaches
Central CA Beaches

California’s Central Coast might not be as famous as the Southern Coast when it comes to surfing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good place to ride some waves. Head to Santa Cruz, for example, and you are all but guaranteed to see a healthy amount of surfers in the area waters. Big city surfing can be enjoyed in San Francisco, while those who prefer a more natural environment might focus on the San Mateo coast. Due to the relatively cold water temperatures off the Central Coast, surfers are often seen wearing wet suits. Hard weather is common and also something to consider, but the area’s beautiful coastline more than makes up for a little rain and wind.

Northern CA Beaches

Many surfing experts who are well versed in the California surfing scene consider the Northern Coast to be relatively wild and cold. As is true along the Central Coast, hard weather is not uncommon, and when it comes down to it, the north is arguably best suited for the hardcore surfing crowd. Regardless of your surfing level, the counties of Mendocino and Humboldt can be good places to go surfing along the Northern Coast. Between these counties, there are at least 30 surf spots to choose from. Further north in Del Norte County, at least 10 more surf spots await, including those that are found in and around Crescent City. Perhaps the best thing about the surf spots in Northern California is the relatively low amount of fellow surfers. Head south, and it is much more likely that you will have to compete for waves.

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