Best time to visit San Diego

Surfing in San Diego

Southern California has the biggest number of surfers in the world for a reason


San Diego has a warm ocean and some of the best surfing breaks in California. The city of San Diego has a few great, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach also has piers so it's convenient to watch surfers up close. Board rentals are available at most beaches. Locals surf in San Francisco year-round but the best season is summer when the southwest swell arrives and the water gets warmer. Generally, the prime surfing season continues from August to November. In January and February, you can experience the biggest waves but the weather is not as nice, and the water is cold.

Ocean Beach is the main surfing spot in the city - a wide beautiful sandy beach with all facilities. Mission Beach is also long and located close to the city. Pacific Beach is located between Pacific Beach Drive and Crystal Pier and is also quite popular with surfers. Tourmaline Surfing Park Beach is a real surfers’ mecca. Silver Strand State Beach features a camping site where many surfers stay.

Imperial Beach is one of the most impressive places, it is located between Palm Avenue and Imperial Beach Boulevard. There are also plenty of secluded places without crowds where you can enjoy the ocean almost alone.

Practical info

What is the best season to surf in San Diego?

Surfing in San Diego is ideal from August to November when the southwest swell arrives and the water temperature increases. While January and February host the biggest wave, the weather conditions can be challenging, and the water is often frigid. Thus, it's crucial to keep an eye on the weather before venturing into the water. Show more

Where are the best surfing spots in San Diego?

San Diego's beaches serve as a surfer's haven, offering various popular surfing spots catering to all skill levels. Some of these spots include Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Tourmaline Surfing Park Beach, and Silver Strand State Beach. These beaches are well-known for having consistent waves and offering rental facilities and instructional services. Show more

What is the average water temperature for surfing in San Diego?

In San Diego, the water temperature for surfing depends on the season. From August to November, when most surfers hit the beach, the average temperature is approximately 68°F. However, in winter, it often drops to 59°F, making it important to wear wetsuits and avoid hypothermia while surfing during the colder months. Show more

When is the least crowded time to surf in San Diego?

Since August to November attracts many surfers and vacationers alike, the peak season in San Diego becomes crowded, both in the water and on the beach. However, January is usually the least crowded month, followed by February. Although the water has the most massive waves during this time, it is less populated due to the cold water temperature and harsh winds. Show more

Are there any surfing competitions held in San Diego?

San Diego frequently hosts major surfing competitions, such as the World Surf League's Championship Tour event and other regional competitions for amateurs and juniors throughout the year. The Supergirl Pro is the most famous surfing competition held in San Diego annually in August features over 100 of the most skilled global female surfers. Show more

Ask a question
Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin