10 Best Beginner Surfing Spots in Southern California

California is almost synonymous with the sport of surfing, and a novice can quickly develop experience at these 10 best beginner surfing spots in Southern California. Get ready to travel to some of Southern California's best beaches as you follow the waves!

  1. The Point at San Onofre. Best on a strong south swell, the Point is a novice longboarder's dream, with gentle waves and long sandy beaches, and it is less crowded than many other spots. The Point offers both rights and lefts and is a fun place to surf.
  2. Old Man's at San Onofre. Old Man's is another section of surf at San Onofre, about a fifteen-minute paddle south of the Point. It got its name because it is a favorite with older surfers who share waves without any strife.
  3. Dogpatch at San Onofre. Dogpatch is the next section south of Old Man's and is a slow wave, perfect for beginners if the swell is up. Surfing here allows a budding boarder to develop his skills before stepping up to the other two sections at San Onofre.
  4. Doheny. Doheny would likely rank as number one among the best surfing spots in Southern California for beginners. The waves here are almost perfect beginner's waves, with long, slow rights and, on fortunate days, even some hollows.
  5. Malibu. Probably the waves that epitomize California surfing are at Malibu, with an almost perfect right point break that provides a beginner with a long, slow ride on a beautiful wave.
  6. Trestles. Although it is a little hard to get to, Trestles is a great beginner's surfing spot in Southern California thanks to the 100 yard lefts and rights.
  7. Hermosa Beach. Really a stretch of beach that is five miles long, Hermosa Beach features a number of spots that would qualify as great options for surfing beginners in Southern California, but they vary depending on the swell direction and the time of the year. When they're working, all of the spots are good for beginners, and there are lots of things to do on the beach as well, including an annual surf festival in the fall.
  8. Huntington Beach. The "Surf City" of legend and song, Huntington Beach is a great spot for beginners, with a sandy bottom and a great history. Beginners should avoid the pier; that's for the advanced surfers.
  9. Imperial Beach. Imperial Beach is the southernmost surf spot in California, and the waves vary depending on the swell, wind and tide. The sandbars move about a bit, but the location is very forgiving and beginners do well here.
  10. Scripps. Scripps is one of the most popular beach breaks in Southern California, and the consistent waves make it a great surfing spot for beginners in Southern California. The sandbars that form on either side of the Scripps pier generate good waves, making it the most popular spot for beginners in San Diego County.
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