1) Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA
Huntington Beach aka Surf City, USA is definitely a break to keep your eye on if you are looking for good waves in Southern California. The South side of the pier has become the home of the annual US Open of Surfing where professionals from around the world gather to compete. You’re in for a treat if there is a west southwest swell, which has been known to produce waves can get head high or higher.
2) Rincon Point, Santa Barbara, CA
Rincon Point consists of three breaks along a natural occurring point in Santa Barbara. The three breaks are the Cove, Indicator and Rivermouth. The Indicator is on the outside tip of the point, so it picks up waves from most swells. However, the waves are not always smooth and the wind can produce some chop. The Rivermouth is at the start of Rincon Creek. It be slightly mushy and feature a lot of close outs but, a good swell can benefit the spot. Lastly, the Cove is where you will find the best waves, while it does need a good Westward swell to get large, it frequently offers knee to waist high waves that are great for longboarding.
One of the most popular surf breaks in San Diego County, Cardiff Reef consistently produces great waves for any board style. Since it is powered by a flat rock reef, the waves get more powerful further out when compared to many of the shore breaks (like the Wedge) that California tends to offer.
4) Old Man’s, San Onofre, CA
Old Man’s at San Onofre is a classic California surf spot producing long rolling waves perfect for longboards. Easy to access off the 5 freeway just south of San Clemente, San Onofre state beach can get quite crowded especially on the weekends during Summer. Get there early, or expect to spend some time in line when you visit. Once in the water, there is plenty of room for everyone. While most of the boards are long, the beach boasts a wide variety of people from all walks of life who are there for the same reason; to catch some tasty waves and a cool buzz. The best conditions at Old Man’s is, like most of Southern California, come from a Southwest swell with offshore winds.
5) Trestles, San Clemente, California
Before California got Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, Lower Trestles was the only stop on the World Surf League’s professional tour in the continental United States. Access isn’t as easy as Old Man’s as Trestles requires you to park in a small lot next to a Carl’s Jr., walk over a bridge, and hike down to the beach. But, the hike is definitely worth it, and many people bring bikes/skateboards to get to the water a little faster with their boards. Uppers and Middles at Trestles are more welcoming and less crowded than Lowers, but Lowers produces a better quality waves under a South or Southwest swell. The spot can get crowded but this is the same spot that Kolohe Andino and Griffin Colapinto were surfing on long before their WSL tours began.
What surf spots will you visit during your surf trip? Be sure to check out surfboards for rent on Gearo and take the stress out of finding the right deal in the right location.
Disclaimer: Gearo is not liable for any animosity you face from California locals. Get pitted, but not at the expense of others.