Time for one of the guys at Learn to Surf to give a bit about his favorite spots to surf at in San Diego. Now before I go on, I should say that the beginners should stay away from some of these spots, for a number of reasons. Intensity and vibe are the two
My favorite break in San Diego personally. It’s got the feel for the waves at trestles: it’s real consistent where it breaks (being a reef), handles high tide relatively well, and won’t wreck you too bad at low tide either. It isn’t as exposed to the winds as other breaks around La Jolla since it’s just at the south end of an extended point. Long period swells make set waves froth and break relatively slowly, with a wide-open face. It’s a fun wave to carve around on if you have what it takes.
Perhaps the more extreme wave compared to Windansea, Black’s at low tide is where things get real. Not for the uncertain type of surfer. Black’s can be a seriously fun wave, and I’ve seen some of the most beautiful barrels at this break at low tide. But the sets will almost always be a foot or two larger than the waves in between, and to boot, they’ll break a lot harder. If it’s your first time here, I’d recommend going during a mid-period swell, a day before or after it peaks. The break is in one single spot, but the shoulders can be nice too. Check it out on an off-day. Oh, and the climb down from the cliffs to the ocean takes 15 solid minutes if you’re new.
Check out the name, it’s a great break for beginner’s. A super high tide may kill your day here, but that’s most of the Pacific Ocean. There is always a surfable wave here when there is any kind of swell, and any wind not from the south won’t hurt it too badly either. You can take a shorty here, but good luck if you do if you’re not right at the point. This break is primarily full of longboarders. If your stick right now is of the foam/storm variety, you’ll fit in just fine. Friendly vibe, too.
Pacific, Mission, and Ocean Beach
These pare true beach breaks. Not one single spot people need to fight for, and great for swells with medium strength. Some of the cleanest waves I see at a mid-period fading SW swell are right at the OB pier. Right along the north side of each of these breaks is a nice long shoulder that are fit for long and short boards. Sensitive to tide and wind, so most people will hug the pier.