Best San Diego Beaches for Beginner Surfers

Attention rookie wave-riders: San Diego is home to more than a few ideal spots for anyone looking to get their feet wet (literally) in the sport of surfing. With a generally broad coastline and (mostly) predictable currents, San Diego is actually one of the better places for wave-seeking novices to learn their craft. Best of all, beginners can practice year-round in the city’s sunny, world-famous climate.

We’ve scouted out the best San Diego-area beaches for beginners. These beaches have been selected for their ease of access, skill level assessment (beginner to moderate, no expert-level surf spots on this list) and lower crowd levels. The third factor is especially important; learning to surf while trying to dodge other surfers is counter-productive. However, a crowded beach also has its positives, too. Chances are you’ll probably find a few surfers just getting started, like yourself. And that’s always a great opportunity to build teamwork, learn new skills and encourage like-minded participants.

Ready to hit the waves? Get started at these San Diego beaches ASAP:

Oceanside Beach
Access via: Pacific Street

oceanside pier

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons


This popular beginner’s spot has great waves on either side of the pier – you can’t miss it! Oceanside sees big crowds on the weekends, especially in the summertime. Word of advice: try going here on a weekday afternoon or early evening, when other rookies are in the surf.

Silver Strand
Access via: Silver Strand Blvd. (Route 75)

silver strand

Image courtesy of jintae kim via Flickr Creative Commons


Plenty of beginners use Silver Strand to gain confidence, and also get pointers from more experienced surfers. The great thing about SS beach is the endless choice of things to do, once you’ve left the water. The paddle out isn’t too tough, and the beach is known for gentle, long-breaking waves, compared to other San Diego surfing locales.

La Jolla (Scripps Pier Area)
Access via: El Paseo Grande from La Jolla Shores Dr.

scripps pier

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons


You’ll find some experts here, mostly due to this beach’s considerable waves during certain tides. But it’s still an excellent place to learn both shortboard and longboard control, thanks to a wave breaks both left and right. For novice surfers, La Jolla’s unpredictability isn’t a hindrance to learning, it’s actually helpful.

Tourmaline Surfing Park (North Pacific Beach)
Access via: Tourmaline Street from La Jolla Blvd.

tourmaline surfing park

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons


For well over 50 years, Tourmaline has been a surfing stepping-stone for thousands of beginners. Abundant opportunities exist for any skill level, and a supportive local community makes Tourmaline perhaps the premier beginner’s surfing area in the entire city. Surfing snobs are discouraged from the park’s inclusive motto, which is, “Surf Well, Spread Aloha, Share Waves without Judgment.” With a saying like that, you gotta love Tourmaline.

From oceanfront properties to secluded condos nestled in the coastal hills, San Diego Vacation Rentals has the perfect getaway destination couples, families or even solo vacationers. If you’re learning to surf and would like to rent a seaside spot for a week or two, contact us today! Our agents can help you find the ideal vacation “home away from home,” based on your budget, preferences and preferred length of stay.

To get started today, speak with our beach house and condo specialists at (800) 222-8281, or visit our contact page to fill out a secure message form. SDVR looks forward to serving you in your search for beachfront homes and luxury condos around Mission Bay Park, La Jolla, Mission Beach and other nearby areas.

Posted in Adventure, San Diego

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