San Diego

Learn to surf at one of San Diego's most beautiful beaches

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Map of beaches in North County San Diego good for beginner surfing. From North to Sounth: Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff, La Jolla, Mission Beach

Blue beach title "Oceanside" written over an image two surfers in wetsuit running towards the sea spray of large broken whitewash waves in North County San DiegoOceanside has miles of gentle beach break, but it's best known for the jetties on either side of its harbor entrance. On the steepest of south swells that pass the rest of the coast by, Oceanside Harbor and Del Mar Beach (on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base) can get big and hollow. Oceanside is one of our most popular destinations for San Diego surf lessons.

Blue beach title "Carlsbad" written over an image a golden southern california cliffs lining a denim coastline with violet mountains in the background.Carlsbad's beaches remain one of San Diego's best kept secrets. The north half of the Carlsbad coast is composed of a series of small beaches divided by sea walls, while South Carlsbad State Beach is where you'll find happy campers, riding bikes around the campground and body boarding on the often uncrowded beach below.

Blue beach title "Encinitas" written over an image a stunning violet and orange sunset near grandview beach and beaconsAlmost all of Southern California’s oceanfront communities can be classified as “surfy,” but Encinitas seems to embody this spirit better than most. You’d be hard pressed to find a lineup—or a line at the local Starbucks—that isn’t occupied by some level of surf celebrity or industry insider. Add the fact that fun-to-excellent surf can be ridden here almost every day of the year—if you’re willing to drive the coast for 30 minutes in either direction.

Blue beach title "Cardiff" written over an image of 5 seagulls flying over a golden, seafoamy beach in the afternoon near cardiff-by-the-sea

Located in Southern Encinitas, a town united by it's love of surf culture, Cardiff a gorgeous, quintessential California beach. It's a rare beach that can offer something for everyone, but Cardiff has it all! Right next to Swamii's (a world class wave, famous with competitive surfers), Cardiff can challenge experienced surfers while still offering waves that are PERFECT for beginners just taking their first few lessons.

Blue beach title "Carlsbad" written over an image a turquoise wave breaking on a peach sand beach near tourmaline surf park and the la jolla shoresLa Jolla is one of San Diego's best and most popular beaches. Somewhat protected from the prevailing southwest wind, it's a safe, gentle spot to learn or enjoy surfing. There are year-round lifeguard services, good facilities and decent parking. Most of the formal surf schools operate here for this reason, and a lot of local kids practice their basics at the Shores before graduating to bigger and better breaks.

Blue beach title "Mission Beach" written over an image a lavender pastel sunset on a peach sand beach at low tide near mission bay

Located right next to the Belmont park and Mission bay, Mission Beach is a lively city beach close to downtown San Diego. It's wide beach and sandy bottom allow beginners to easily catch some waves before heading over to the roller coaster right down the block!