zach619 and zaGaffer are right, PB OB and MB are good for beginners, especially PB. In the summer though, it's madness...not exactly "uncrowded" or "family oriented".
Johnnydon'tsurf has a great recommendation for San Elijo/Cardiff. Very mellow breaks with mellow crews for the most part, and not as crowded as the City breaks.
My personal recommendation would be any of the North County areas, particularly between Cardiff and Carlsbad. Plenty of glassy and uncrowded breaks, away from the hassle and urban "ick" of PB MB and OB. Leucadia and Carlsbad have tons of uncrowded glassy consistent surf...just find a decent place to park and walk down the stairs.
I would definitely bring a 3/2 for late June. A short sleeve spring suit would probably work too. You won't be trunking it unless there's a heat wave. "June Gloom" usually burns off by 11am-noon, but gives way to daily NW onshore winds of 10-15 knots.
BTW: I was born and raised in SD, lived there for 30 years, and surfed it for 15 of those years. I still make annual trips there. I've traveled the entire coast there, as well as Tijuana to Cabo. I have also surfed OCMD and OBX as well.
Thanks Zach for more super info. It seems like we can get alot more bang 4 buck with a condo/house rental vs. hotel stay, but we'll keep checking both options in those areas to see what pops up. I already looked at the Hotel del Coronado. Out of our budget!
PS: Heading down to OCMD this weekend for St. Patty's celebration/parade. If the swells are between thigh and shoulder, I'm in. Water temp is only 40, so I'll be pretty cold in my 4/3. I've been fine down to 48 degrees in it and stayed pretty warm for about an hour. We'll see.
A guy I work with mentioned that years ago, he was in San Diego and there is a beach that is military only that general public can't get onto but there is an awesome surf break that everyone in the area wanted to try to get to. I work for the DOD and have an access/issue card. Is this somewhere I could surf or visit that would be worthwhile? Where is it?
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Seriously though, either of the breaks your buddy could have mentioned are way over your skill level. On a South Swell G****z, it's big and fast and you will have some good BUDs giving you the stank eye. On a North/W/NW the D** *** ****y will light UP! Love that place.
Originally Posted by RobfromFredneck
Again, go to Tourmaline, you'll be fine it's good, family fun. PB's changed a lot over the years, especially since the b!tchez in the City Council banned booze on the beach.
the place you're talking about in Coronado can be crazy in summertime. Takes any swell from a southerly direction and the prevailing NW breeze blows offshore there. Add the fact that it breaks on a super shallow sandbar in super cold water (for SD), and you have a neck-snapping freight train combination. You'll need a pass to get on there, so there will be zero crowds. Not a good place for a beginner, but a great place to watch some smoking summertime barrels.
FYI, since you have a pass, there's another place that's similar in Oceanside. Great lefts, no crowds. Like zaGaffer says, any more info than this would be too much. Not necessarily "secrets", but probably a couple of the last uncrowded spots in SoCal.
Sorry guys, I didn't mean to try to work a secret spot out of you guys on the web. I figured if some old non-surfer knew about it, it must be common knowledge, but I guess you locals are still trying to preserve it (and piggy back onto base with a military guy or civilian employee.
Yeah, I'm not interested in breaking my neck on a shallow sandbar. I've had some sketchy situations in OCMD on an hollow sand bar break in 2 feet of water and got out of that area. I figure the power of the Pacific/SD break will require a lot more skill so I won't bother. If its a good beach to visit and take the family and watch some quality surfing, I'm all for that as well. Sometimes I enjoy watching awesome wave breaks and really advanced surfers ride them as much as surfing myself. Observing a great break is like appreciating fine art in museum. Those that don't surf don't quite have that appreciation for the great waves that God creates for us to ride and become one with the sea.
In the summer, unless there is a bigger South Swell, North PB doesnt pack much punch and unless its super low tide, you will always be surfing in 5-8 feet of water.... Hitting the sand or reefs for that matter are really a non issue unless you are on the La Jolla reefs, which I assume you will not be... 95% of the Sunset Cliffs reefs are pretty deep. I have surfed them thousands of times, literally and never hit a reef. Well, i have hit a couple messing around on a small day on the inside, but as far as actually surfing the reefs on decent swells, they are all pretty damn deep. On good days, you will be a mile out. I have gotten held down for what felt like a mile under water out there and never hit anything.
Carlsbad/Tamarack has some easier waves to surf also, and it's up north.
Personally my favorite part of San Diego is the stretch from Carlsbad to Encinitas
Check out Blacks too if you can handle it and it's not too big. It's the best surfing experience there I think.
Ohh, and the place I think he was talking about is Oceanside Marine base (Camp Pendleton). The North end of coronado doesnt really break with all the dredging for the ship. The central, public area on coronado fires with a straight South Swell... No east, just south.... Its rare, but I proposed to my wife right in front of the Hotel Del on a Sand Dune and sunset... The way I tricked her into going onto the beach was by saying, Wow, its like DOH on coronado, ive never even seen a wave here before... So she grunted, took her shoes off and we walked down there... It was dumping.
But the DM Jetty etc that is litterally on Camp Pendleton is a sweet setup... Completely private. I surfed it while on based with some friend who just got back from Iraq a few years ago.... Its military only and its a sick setup... Its not a secret, you just cant get on it without a Marine with you and a few car searches on your way in.
and a bunch of wangs...
Originally Posted by stinkbug