Visitors and residents of Orange County can’t help but feel the pull of the ocean – the vast undulating blue and green expanse sings its siren song year round. Whether you are a longtime local or are just visiting, the experience of surfing is something not to be missed. If you are a beginner or haven’t felt the free glide in some time – don’t worry – there are plenty of great beaches that are ideal for learning and re-learning the art of surfing.
Finding the right beach for a new surfer is crucial – a good experience will bring you back time and time again, but paddle out into surf that is unforgiving and you may not want to come back for some time. Beginners should look for waves under three feet, avoid surfing during Santa Ana winds (too choppy) & always go with a buddy – the more experienced, the better.
Huntington Beach Pier
When the surf is breaking right, Huntington & Newport Beach have great stretches of surfable breaks; that said, Huntington & Newport tend to break short and quick, so be sure to check conditions before going.
Crystal Cove State Park
Just south of Newport is Crystal Cove State Beach and while not known for surfing, it has a couple of gentle breaks that are worth checking into when they are breaking right.
Doheny Beach State Park
Laguna Beach offers a few spots, but they tend to be for more advanced surfers – keep heading south, skip Salt Creek & Strands – great breaks, but for advanced surfers and find your way to Doheny in Dana Point. Doheny is probably the best spot in OC for beginners – the paddle out is super easy, the waves are long and relatively slow, the breaks are consistent and the vibe is great – people of all ages and skill levels freely carve up the generous offerings day in and day out…
San Clemente Pier
San Clemente has plenty of good spots due to the longer stretches of sand that reach into the Pacific; the breaks tend to be fast, but not too big and can be caught and ridden by newcomers.
Old Man’s at San Onofre
Further south as you leave san Clemente and head towards San Diego is San Onofre State Park; Old Man’s is a must – classic SoCal sunny beach vibes with epic waves tailor made for all. Maybe they should rename it “Heavens”.
That’s it – just wanted to goose you back into the water – I’ll leave the maps and driving instructions up to you – you can handle that, right?
Much Aloha & see you in the water!