Mission Beach, located in sunny San Diego, is known as a vacation destination rather than a surf spot. The waves here are endless so whether you are a local San Diegan or on vacation, try out surfing in Mission Beach!
While Mission Beach has a lot to offer from its lively nightlife to sandy beaches, there is still something to say about the waves here. The beach itself runs from Crystal Pier to the South Mission Jetty giving you two miles of surfable waves.
An awesome aspect of surfing along Mission Beach is how safe it is. The waves break at a calm rate and the ocean floor is sandy so there is little room to hurt yourself. This makes Mission Beach a great place for beginners.
There is no need to look out for rocks or a reef below making this a top spot for learning how to surf. The waves here are going to have a soft beach break and long whitewash ride if you are just looking to stand up and enjoy the ride.
With two miles of sand and waves, there is a spot for anyone and everyone. When surfing in Mission Beach, you won’t need to look out for territorial locals or need to find a spot in the line up. There are plenty of waves to go around.
Mission Beach is home to many college students and tourists making it a playground for newbies. When in San Diego, go surfing!
For students at the University of San Diego, surfing in Mission Beach is a must and almost like an initiation.
For tourists, learning how to surf here is a highlight of your trip and something you can brag to your friends back home about.
Starting at the South Mission Jetty, you will find experienced surfers and beginners on the same waves. This spot pumps out the best and most consistent waves along Mission Beach while still being friendly to those who are learning to surf.
The waves in Mission Beach are the best in the fall and winter months with west and northwest swells which is just another reason to surf in the winter!
Once in a while, you can even catch a barrel. Mission tends to be better in the winter but don’t doubt the waves in summer. In the summer, you can catch the San Diego Junior Lifeguards surfing the jetty all day long.
In fact, the South Mission Jetty is where I learned to surf and I haven’t stopped since! The jetty is super great and accessible due to its parking lot so no more fighting for parking.
While there are certain surf ‘spots’ in Mission Beach, most of them are just named after whichever street they are down from. Just a few blocks from the jetty is the street and surf spot Capistrano Place.
The waves are going to be similar to the jetty but the current here is more forgiving and the paddle out is going to be easier. Anything south of Belmont Park is considered South Mission, Capistrano included, and the parking here is much easier to find.
As you start to paddle north towards Belmont Park, you’ll find good waves and a lot of entertainment along the boardwalk. Just in front of the Belmont parking lot is a great surf spot where tons of surf contests are held.
If you are walking the boardwalk on the weekends, it is not rare to come across a contest whether it be the AM SLAM series or local high school surf competitions. This just proves that this is a great place to surf and watch some good surfers show off their skills. The beach break here can be great for carving and airs.
Moving into North Mission Beach, there are still plenty of waves to surf. Jamaica Court is going to be one of the more notable spots in North Mission due to its sandbar.
The formation of sandbars along the ocean’s floor can create a better-shaped wave that happens at Jamaica Court. The face is going to be larger providing more room to ride which allows more movement along the wave. This is great for learning, especially for learning how to carve and other tricks!
Mission Beach is widely known for the beach itself but not so much for surfing even though the surfing opportunities are countless. If you are planning a vacation to San Diego, stay in Mission Beach and book a surf lesson with HOKALI!
One thought on “Why surf in Mission Beach: a guide to where and why this beach is a great spot”