Are you ready for the next part of your surf road trip?
If you’re just joining, make sure to check out part 1 of the ultimate surf road trip up the coast of California!
Now that you have surfed your way from San Diego to Ventura, it is time to take a pit stop in Santa Barbara.
Your first surf stop after Rincon is going to be Leadbetter Point for a chill session. This point is going to have calmer waves for the beginners and can be treated like a surf playground for the experienced surfers to try out new tricks.
If you are looking for a challenge, Hammond’s Reef is going to be a fast and powerful break but once you are on a wave, you’ll have a nice, long ride. Just look out for the rocky bottom!
While in Santa Barbara, don’t skip Campus Point. The waves might not be the most impressive but still a promising ride with a fun crowd. Your next wave is going to be at El Capitan State Beach. These hollow rides might even put you in a barrel! As you drive north through Santa Barbara, park your car at the Jalama Beach Campground. Jalama Beach’s waves aren’t going to be forgiving so make sure to bring your A game!
The water is cooling down as you head north to San Luis Obispo so I hope you brought a good wetsuit!
Surfing in SLO is pretty popular and you can expect crowds of both locals and Cal Poly students. The Pismo Beach Pier is a hot spot as the surf here is consistent and not too big.
If you’re wanting to experience a moonlight surf session, the pier is the place!
Next stop in San Luis Obispo is going to be Morro Strand State Beach. This break is quite unique as you’ll be surfing next to a 500-foot volcanic plug. This beachbreak creates an A-frame with waves ranging from 2-6 ft and is perfect for any size and type of board. Morro Strand is a good place to stop and camp out.
You might start to notice more pine trees than palm trees as you drive to Monterey which is the next stop along your surf road trip!
If you are just learning to surf, try to catch a small wave day at Carmel Beach. It’s a great place to learn because of its sandy ocean floor.
On a good day, Carmel’s waves are around 5-7 ft and can be pretty powerful. The waves are getting bigger as you head north to Ghost Tree.
One could say Ghost Tree is a bit of a ghost as it’s not very reliable but when the waves show up, they SHOW UP. This break can get up to 60 ft but you will also find the waves ranging from 3-11 ft. Unless you’re a big wave surfer, this might just be a stop-and-watch rather than a surf stop.
The next stop is Santa Cruz for some elite surfing.
Many have classified it as being a world-class surf spot and it’s for a good reason. The waves seem never-ending on this section of the California coast.
One of the awesome things about surfing in Santa Cruz is that there are waves for the beginners and waves for the pros.
Some good spots for the beginners are Cowell’s and Capitola Jetty because of their mellow and long waves.
For the experienced surfers, suit up for Steamer Lane and get ready to jump in, literally. The easiest and fastest way to get in the water here is to jump off the cliff next to Lighthouse Point. Known for its point break, Steamer Lane is probably the most notable surf spot in Santa Cruz.
These rights produce fast and long pitching breaks that allow you to show off your tricks.
After Steamer Lane, head to Pleasure Point and maybe stop for some lunch at Pleasure Pizza to refuel. Follow the stairs down from 36th Street and get ready for a long paddle out. Pleasure Point is going to be perfect for longboarders as it’s going to offer a slower wave, perfect for cruising.
While the surf spots in Santa Cruz are endless, San Mateo has just as much to offer.
First stop is The Jetty in Half Moon Bay for some fast pitching rights.
While this can be intimidating, paddle out 50 yards left of The Jetty for a calmer break. The Jetty sits adjacent to a beautiful harbor just a few miles from Mavericks.
While you might not want to surf Mavericks, it’s a must-stop along your road trip. This world-famous break can produce 60 ft waves where only the most daring and trained surfers take a ride for their life.
Drive 45 minutes north to San Francisco.
While you might think of the Golden Gate Bridge before you think of surfing, San Francisco is nothing less of a surf playground.
Ocean Beach in the summer is going to be perfect for fun waves that break on a sandbar but don’t expect warm water.
In the winter, this beach break wave can get up to 16 ft. After Ocean Beach, head to Fort Point just under the Golden Gate Bridge. While this surf session is going to be incredibly beautiful, you can also expect a good left. Who doesn’t want to surf with the Golden Gate Bridge overhead?
Marin County is going to be your last destination on this surf road trip.
Heading over to Rodeo Beach, you will find a beautiful black rock beach that produces great rights off the northern side of the cove. While this wave is mostly promising, always make sure that you are surfing with a buddy due to marine life and a rare crowd.
You’ve now surfed the best breaks in California and it’s time to seek out your next surf trip!