Best PlaceTo Surf In San Diego

Surfing is hard enough as it is.  Not only do you have to balance and turn on the board, you have to learn to position yourself, paddle correctly, drop in, and pop up on moving waves just to get to the riding part.  It’s like trying to snowboard on a moving mountain or skateboard on a moving street.

(Of course we strongly recommend surf lessons to make the process easier.)

But surfing in San Diego can be made that much harder by choosing the wrong place to go, and so much easier by choosing the best place to surf in San Diego.

We strongly recommend learning to surf in San Diego at La Jolla Shores.  Here’s why:

Every time we cruise by Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and Ocean Beach, we watch beginner surfers struggling on the fast, close out waves.  In general the waves at these beaches all break in big sections, called “close out waves”.  This means the whole wave face crashes at once leading to steep drop ins and very little time and room to surf.

where to surf san diego
A “close out wave”, found along most of San Diego’s coast, leads to steep drop ins and very little to surf.

At La Jolla Shores, the waves are, in general, much gentler, a bit smaller, and far easier to drop in and leave more room for the fun part: surfing!  We call these “peeling waves” or long board waves” and can make life so much easier for a beginning surfer.

Long board waves at La Jolla Shores are gentler and easier for beginner surfers.

Learn more about learning to surf in San Diego at

Photo Credits:
“Close Out” Mike Baird:Flickr:CreativeCommons
“Long Board Wave” SurfCRS:Flickr:CreativeCommons

Why Is The Water So Cold In San Diego

Spring is here…and summer is coming!  That means the water warms up…at least by California standards. Soon, south swells (waves from the south)  pump consistently great waves for beginners along our beaches and it’s a prime time for surf lessons in San Diego.

But even in the spring and summer, when air temps are in the low 80’s, at just about every lesson we teach we hear the comment, “Whoa-that is some cold water!”  So what’s the deal?

Our water temps do warm up to mid 60’s and 70’s, which, when using one of our top-tier wetsuit rentals, is really pretty comfy.  But it’s a far cry from the Atlantic coast which easily reaches the 80’s.

The reason is a process called upwelling.  It’s a pretty simple idea.  Wind and currents pull the warmer water at the top (warmed by the famous San Diego sunshine of course) away from the beach and that water is replaced by colder water from the bottom of the ocean floor.  And sadly, as soon as that colder water warms up in the sun, it’s pulled away again for and colder water replaces it.

The good news?  That colder water is super rich in nutrients picked up from the bottom of the ocean.  That spurs plankton blooms, which attract lots of fish, which is why you’ll have a great chance at surfing with dolphins, sea lions, and seals!

Photo Credit: NOAA

 Are you a kid or parent of a kid who digs fun ocean facts like this?  Check out Ocean Adventure Camp where kids learn tons of great marine biology!

Menehune Surf School Sponsors Menehune Surf Contest

If there was ever a no brainer, this was it.  Menehune Surf School will be the 2013 Menehune Surf Contest at La Jolla Shores!

What may sound like running our own surf contest in San Diego, is actually totally different.  The 2013 Menehune Surf Contest is organized by the La Jolla Shores Surfing Association who are great friends of ours.

Good pals paddle out during the 2012 contest

So when the opportunity came for us to take over the title sponsor role, we jumped!

We love this contest because it’s fantastic for beginner and intermediate groms (surfer kids).  If you can ride the white wash (the area closer to the beach after the wave has broke), you can join in.

The Menehune Surf Team will be there!  Will you?

Of course our Menehune Surf Team, the year round surf instruction program for kids of all levels, will be in representing big time alongside all the friends they’ve made in the program.

The event is Saturday April 20th, and early bird registration ends on March 25th.  Hit us up if your grom would benefit from a private surfing lesson at La Jolla Shores to tune up before the contest.

See you out there in the lineup!

Photo credit:Menehune Surf Team: Flickr:CC: