7 of the Best Beginner Surf Spots in San Diego

There are plenty of amazing beaches that make surfing in San Diego ideal.

If you’re new to surfing, some of the best beginner surf spots in San Diego can be found in the Pacific Beach and La Jolla areas.

The waves here are gentle and consistent, making it a perfect spot for beginners.

Best beginner surf spots in San Diego

  1. Ocean Beach
  2. Mission Beach
  3. Pacific Beach
  4. Fletcher Cove Beach
  5. Moonlight Beach
  6. La Jolla Shores
  7. San Onofre

If you are a beginner, it is best to start surfing at one of these beaches.

You will be more safe because there will be other people who are following surf etiquette.

Also check out our guide 8 of the best beaches in Encinitas.

Ocean Beach 

First in our list of best beginner surf spots in San Diego is Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach is a fantastic location to surf. It’s near the airport and north of Point Loma.

All year, there are lifeguards on duty, making it ideal for novices.

The best time to go is during the winter when there are less people.

Check the tide on your tide watch before you depart; it may fluctuate throughout the day.

Mission Beach

The waves at Mission Beach are usually gentle, but during winter they can sometimes be bigger.

If you’re a beginner surfer, you’ll need to paddle out further than more experienced surfers before reaching the ideal spot near Southern Mission Beach.

One thing beginners will appreciate about this beach is its width; because there’s more space between people, it feels less crowded than narrower beaches—which can make surfing more frustrating for newbies.

Pacific Beach

In Pacific Beach, the best wave is found near a ton of restaurants for your post surf meals.

Tourmaline Beach

Surfing Tourmaline Beach is the perfect experience for beginners.

Plus, there’s a parking lot so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot.

The waves here are also mostly gentle, making them easy for beginners to navigate.

Law Street

Law Street in Pacific Beach is ideal for novices. The waves are typically quiet and tiny, making it perfect for beginners. It’s also a beach break, so the waves will be breaking on the sand rather than rocks.

Many seasoned surfers in San Diego learnt how to surf there – it’s highly recommended.

To get away from the crowds, visit at off-peak hours during the week or before breakfast.

Crystal Pier

Only surfing is allowed on the north side of the pier.

Swimming is allowed on the south side of the pier.

Crystal Pier can feel crowded when everyone gets out of work.

Experienced surfers congregate near the pier itself, but beginners can find some good waves further south of the pier.

Fortunately, there are always lifeguards around so it’s a safe place to learn and they’re usually happy to provide helpful tips or information about rentals.

It’s not a terrible place to hang out after surfing.

Take a walk on the pier, which is interesting to walk on, and there are plenty of options for food in the area.

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is perfect for beginners due to the gentle rolling waves. In addition, large swells typically don’t happen there.

Although parking is a challenge when the summer crowds are present, La Jolla Shores is definitely worth checking out!

Keep an eye out for lost boards and watch your area closely to avoid collisions, since the Shores is such a popular beach for first-timers.

Fletcher Cove Beach

Fletcher Cove is an excellent location to learn how to surf, as the waves are simple to catch.

The season is always open at our year-round location in Solana Beach, north of Del Mar.

Moonlight Beach

Moonlight Beach is a great place to visit.

Though crowds happen. Make sure to check the surf forecast before you go so you know what to expect.

Moonlight Beach offers easy parking, lifeguard attention, and many amenities like clean restrooms and a snack bar. It’s a great way to relax after a long day of surfing!

San Onofre

If you want to surf in San Diego, go to San Onofre.

It is perfect for beginners and experts.

It is in North County. People from all over go there to surf.

If you are coming from Oceanside, it is just past Camp Pendleton.

Is San Diego a good place to learn to surf?

San Diego is an excellent place to learn to surf. The waves are typically gentle and easy to catch, making it a great place for beginner surfers. In addition, there are plenty of beginner-friendly surf spots in San Diego, so you can find the perfect spot for your skill level. Plus, San Diego is a great place to surf year-round, so you can keep practicing your skills even when the waves are small.

Where is the best surfing for beginners?

Beginner surf spots in San Diego include Tourmaline Beach, Pacific Beach’s Law Street, Crystal Pier, La Jolla Shores, and Moonlight Beach.

Is Ocean Beach San Diego good for beginner surfers?

Yes, Ocean Beach is a great place for beginner surfers. The waves are typically gentle and easy to catch, making it a great place for beginner surfers. In addition, there are plenty of beginner-friendly surf spots in San Diego, so you can find the perfect spot for your skill level.

Is San Onofre good for beginners?

Yes, San Onofre is an excellent place for beginner surfers. While not techinically in San Diego, it’s close enough to make a day out of surfing in San Onofre. The waves are typically gentle and easy to catch, making it a great place for beginner surfers.

Is Torrey Pines beach good for surfing?

No, Torrey Pines beach is not good for surfing. The waves are typically large and difficult to catch, making it a poor choice for beginner surfers. In addition, the beach is often crowded and there is limited parking available.