Home to dozens of amazing beaches, San Diego stretches 70 miles of open coastline. Much of the coastline is spotted with reefs, incredible cliffs, nude beaches, and activities for all sorts of thrill seekers. As the unspoken Surfing Capital of the World, San Diego boasts some of the best waves, breaks, and swells a surfer could ask for. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time surfing or you are a seasoned veteran, there is a wave for everyone.
If you are heading down to Sunset Cliffs or La Jolla, you will be greeted by rocky shorelines that offer several left and right breaks. You can expect different swell's directions and sizes in the conditions. La Jolla is one of our favorite San Diego beaches. If you want to explore more westerly-facing winds, explore Scripps and Blacks Beach, where you will find consistent power during the winter months. They all have their own unique charm, but it will depend on what you are looking for. For surf, La Jolla is unmatched. While most use La Jolla to lie on the beach, have a BBQ or play in the sand, we were there to watch the surf.
La Jolla is home to plenty of beginners that go to surf and plenty of locals in the water every day. Often times it will be crowded or very open for catching waves. On the plus side, La Jolla was very easy to get to, easy to park at, and easy to reach the lineup for some fine waves. While there might be plenty of other San Diego beaches to go to that break bigger, better, or faster, that doesn't mean there isn't some really fine surfing going on at this break.
Before we dive into the waters at Sunset Cliff, you have to go see a sunset there, thus the name Sunset Cliffs. Perched high above the shoreline, Sunset Cliff has a phenomenal view point for some of the best sunsets you will ever feast your eyes upon. Even if you aren’t into the surf, go there with a picnic basket and your favorite glass of wine for a magical memory. In the meantime, the surf is not too shabby either.
There are definitely better waves at the cliffs than some of the other San Diego beaches, but at least this spot rarely gets clogged up with too many people. Getting in and out at a low tide is not hard. At high tide, you are going to have an unbelievable day, but you better not surf here unless you are a really strong swimmer. Getting out of the water is challenging. Visit the Beach YouTube Channel to see what we mean. The waves mostly go straight and inside of them they can barrel. Sometimes this spot will be more consistent than the other waves around, however, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that If you take a hard left you could end up in a downward spiraling duck-dive.
Are you interested in catching a surf event live in San Diego? Check out the ASP events at Oceanside Pier and Lower Trestles for a great adrenaline rush. (Link to ASP events)