Ohh, and scripps and La Jolla shores are just fine... From a scientific standpoint, Ocean Beach picks up every swell angle, 365 days of the year. It is exposed to NW, WNW, W, SW, SSW etc. Other than Blacks and the La Jolla reefs, they are more fickle. Just look at a map and you will see how they are not exposed to certain swells, but like the other guy said, OB beach breaks are ridiculously crowded and the locals are nasty as hell. I lived there for over 10 years and became an honorary local after a while and the things I would see were crazy. Too many people, not enough space. Pro surfers scattered through the lineup along with Meth Heads and brazillians. I mean, it can be a real sh** show. Sunset Cliffs too. If its big and perfect, choose your spots wisely, cause some of the older guys on the cliffs will ruin your day really fast. Ive seen fist fights there, the spear trick, ive seen the board to board tackle, ive seen guys intentionally run a guy over and god forbid one of the locals paddles into the lineup and points at you, you may as well go home or somewhere else. That is the official "Burn that guy" call and everyone out there will literally burn you. Its a ton of fun when you are the burners, but if you are the burnee, not so much. Every wave you go for, they will drop in. If you get to close or call them out, you will either get punched or pushed off their boards. I have seen 12 years old get in on the burn sessions, and if you mess with one of those kids, they older guys will pull the "east Bound and down on you" Cut the leash, probably punch you and then launch your board at the cliffs. Then you can swim in with your tail between your legs as you watch your beautiful surf board slap up against the rocks...
But when you see 100 guys on one reef break, go to another. there are dozens of them... Not trying to freak you out, Im am just saying that guys have been surfing those spots their whole lives and take it really seriously so just be respectful. But if you are a guy learning to shortboard, I doubt you will be out there when its 10-12 feet, offshore and firing... Im just giving you some heads up
Long story short: Every beach break in san diego is fun. They are all great places to learn... OB does have a lot of closeouts because it sucks up more swell than other spots and gets much bigger too. It will be 3-5 feet in PB and OB will be 7 foot and draining. It gets super deep about a mile off OB and the cliffs and it delivers a lot more power...
Central Mission beach surprisingly hold up very well in most conditions... There are usually good peaks and wave faces on them....
And if you are a goofy footer and want to ride an automatic barrel machine, go to the south mission jetty. A complete novice can get a stand up barrel there. Its a freaking wave machine... Dont mind the nasty, meth-head locals there. They arent really locals, they are just guys from Claremont and La Mesa that have jacked up pickups and drug problems... They act hard, but they arent... Only a few of them can actually surf...
And if you are regular footed and want the automatic barrel machine, do the OB jetty on the other side of the river mouth... It too is a perfect barrel machine... The locals there are equally as bad, but I would rather get into a pissing match with a Hippy on a single fin in OB than a methed out roid freak in South Mission.
zach thanks for your epic response! Yeah thats what I need to know. As a beginner guy I definitely dont want to get into these types of messes, im there to surf and learn not fight. SD sounds epic though. I am living in PB and literally cant wait any longer!! I have tons of friends down there so I might have them surf with me a few times too to check it all out.
Just curious, seeing as I surf early mornings before work, do you think it will be less crowded? I cant imagine the "meth heads" getting up at 6 am to go surf. I am hoping I can get less crowded times by going early!
Weekends are a whole 'nother story haha...
zach619, re: your avatar....the Rock or the Shoe?
Originally Posted by surfero93
This is a priceless southern california tip. Always surf between 7am and 10am. Tides dont really matter as much out there. They dont swing 8-10 feet at high and lows like here in the SE. It barrels a little more at the mid tides etc, but I never, ever based my beach break session on things like that. Just go early in the morning. Almost all year round, the winds pick up around 10-11am. You will have the marine layer and calm winds almost every morning. If you are surfing in PB, there are no beach/guard designations until 11am. Thats when they blackball things, so you will be one happy camper pretty much every day. Yes, weekends can get crowded but like I said, in PB the crowds will be at Crystal Pier, up at PB point and Tourmo/Law street. There is plenty of room all over PB to not mess with them. You will never have issues with crowds until you get better and post up and more recognized spots.
And remember, meth heads are up at 6am because they never went to sleep.... =)
I always told people that talked about Socal and the crowds... if you find yourself crowded all the time, complaining about all the "kooks" then that means you are actually the "kook", cause if you cant find uncrowded surf along 80 miles of perfect beaches, its your fault, not everyone elses.
But again, remember: ALWAYS surf between 7-10am. Sheet glass almost every time... You can throw in the occasional sunset session, cause winds CAN drop down at that time... but those are just bonuses.
Offshore usually come in the winter from the Santa Anas and the surf is usually really big around then, which makes for perfect conditions, but in general, what you want in San Diego is little to dead wind. Almost every afternoon, most of the year (sometimes not in the fall) the onshore flow will pick up until almost sundown....
Other reminders, the coast bends a lot. Places like Scripps and LJ Shores can be sheet glass when all the beach in PB/OB are getting hit by cross winds. Study your map, monitor the wind. When you have a great session, go back to your computer and look at the direction of the swell, the wind direction and speed and your tides and kind of get that as a "mental note" so as you look at forecasts, you can remember where it was really good in similar conditions.
Shoe. I always tell people, it was right next to the "Hospitals"
Originally Posted by kidrock
Surf Del Mar. I rented a 5.8 quadfin surfboard when I stayed there for a week. The waves there are perfect to learn on. I dont recommend that you surf places like salt creek because those types of waves are steeper. GL
Epic thread. I've never been there, but now I am drooling and making plans for October. Keep us posted on your progress surfero93, and thanks for the knowledge zach619!
No problem... As you can probably tell, I miss my San Diego =)
Thanks a lot for the detailed responses, this forum is awesome! I think its clear what I need to do and I will keep you guys posted with developments and my own observations for future reference.
I am PUMPED
Love the sound of the wave sucking off the reef while inside the tube at that place. Kind of a "deadly silence".
Originally Posted by zach619