Boost Your Confidence: Top San Diego Surf Spots for Beginners

San Diego’s surf scene benefits from some of the best beaches in the country.

Because of the great weather all year round and an abundance of beaches to choose from, if you’re a beginner, there are few places better to take on the waves and become a pro in no time.


When you’re starting the last thing you want to do is head to the beach only to see giant intimidating waves crashing onto the shore.

That’s why there are sites dedicated to letting you know the surfing conditions before you set out. These are great resources for knowing about which areas have safe conditions and which other ones pose risks to weak swimmers and newbies.

With that in mind, the following beaches are some of the best options for those just starting.


La Jolla is known for its gorgeous ocean views and vast beaches that are ideal for people looking to learn surfing in a safe environment.

In the warmer months, the waves often stay a consistent 2-3 feet in height allowing you to swim out without fear of anything too big coming your way.

Underneath the water is mostly sand so there are very few rocks that anyone would need to worry about. When you head out there, you’ll be able to spot the locations where beginners congregate readily.


There’s a beautiful spot just north of the pier where the waves tend to stay calmer allowing beginners to swim out quite easily.

Also, the water remains relatively shallow so people who worry about their swimming abilities can still walk out quite far without having to be afraid of deep water.

Anyone who goes to this spot needs to pay attention to the direction of the waves and ensure they stay in the center.

You can bring your board or easily rent one out from the local surf shops right on the beach front.


Directly between La Jolla and Ocean beach is Tourmaline, a perfect spot that invites both beginners and more advanced surfers to play in the water.

The coastal cliff in the area helps curve in incoming tide leading to ideal surfing conditions.

It’s a great place to meet intermediate surfers with more experience. You’ll often find they are more than happy to offer advice and tips on how to improve your technique.

Parking is also simple making it an ideal place to go any time of the year.


Just like any other skill, learning to surf takes dedication and practice, and San Diego’s surf scene is one of the best in the world for starting.

The more time you put into it, the better you will become so don’t give up after just a few weeks. Even the act of swimming out to sea and trying to catch waves is incredible exercise all on its own.

As the months go by you’ll not only become a better surfer but a stronger swimmer and more athletic person too.

Of course, the best way to learn is with others while receiving immediate feedback. Take a look at our many excellent surf lesson options to find the one that’s right for you.