This Winter i got suckered into a family trip to San Juan instead of Rincon. I'm not complaining its a beautiful place but I am not familiar with how consist it gets or how similar it is to Rincon or aguadilla in general. Anyone know any spots or places to go near san juan. I'm bringing the boards hoping to find something.
I hear its more further out reef breaks instead of a marias or wilderness type break
....waves there from what I saw from my hotel room at the Marriott when I was out there for a business trip but it looked like longggggg paddle to the break...I didn't realize how big it was until I was looking at a wave and couldn't see the person surfing I could only see the white water he/ she was kicking up along the wave face....
Was down there for a few months about 12 years ago for work. Learn from my mistake, which I only did once...Do not paddle out! It'll tire you out and make youor session that much shorter. Plus, the paddle back in is gruesome and depending on where you go, the tide, and size, you could be fighting currents. Most of the local fishermen will be more than happy to take you out on their boat and come back in a few hours to get you. It cost me $20 back then, but might be more now.
I surfed in San Juan a few times and loved it. There is a lot of swell that hits the north side so its usually bigger than Rincon but more disorganized (prevailing east tradewinds) so if you get good wind its fun. La Ocho is well documented and a pretty fun break. Really long paddle but its always bigger than it looks from the beach. PLaya Escombron i think.
If you are feeling frisky, check out La Perla. SKETCHY but awesome. You walk through a Oceanfront Project next to the fort and through a graveyard before jumping off a reef of urchin. I was freaked out because I heard theres sharks and Cuda all over the place. I surfed with one guy out and had a blasty. other than that, bring your banana hammock and slasa dancing shoes. I Love PR.
The north side of the island is nowhere near as consistent as Rincon or Aguadilla, but if you get a swell from an Atlantic storm the whole coast will be working. I was at there the day after Irene, and was rewarded with 85 degree water and glassy turquoise tubes. There are a number of reef breaks within the city limits of San Juan, especially in the Condado hotel zone; if there are waves, you can clearly see the breaks from the beach, but as the other posters pointed out it is a LOOOONG paddle out, and I have never seen any 'local fishermen' (although maybe you could flag down a passing jet skier!). If you're in shape and can handle the paddle, you'll have a break all to yourself, though.
A better bet is the local favorite, "La Ocho", a series of reef breaks just outside the old city limits, between Condado and Old San Juan. You can paddle out (not too far) from the public beach called El Escambron just east of the old Normandie hotel. There's a parking lot if you're driving, but any taxi driver knows where El Escambron is (and most taxis are vans, so boards aren't a problem). Within walking distance is La 8 Surf Shop, a cool bunch of folks who can give you some local info. Tres Palmas Surf Shop in Ocean Park is another good resource.
Farther east, there is a fun beach break in the town of Luquillo (La Pared), very close to El Yunque rain forest (which is worth a visit; the rest of the family can go hike to a waterfall there while you rip ; ). If you really want the full Boricua local experience, go a few miles east of Luquillo and hike across the cow pastures to La Selva, one of the wildest, most fun beach breaks (some bits of reef here and there, be careful) on the north coast, and almost never crowded - but you have to find your way there (it's not that hard). Watch out for the bulls! (It's magic mushroom season right now, too, check the cow patties if you go...)
There are many spots all along PR's north coast within an easy drive of San Juan, but again, they only really work if there's some storm swell. I find the locals to be exceptionally cool, more so than Rincon or Agua - maybe it's because there are fewer expat gringos and foreign travelers in the lineup! Speaking of which, lineups are a little chaotic, lots of spongers in the mix, but the vibe is generally laid back and I've never gotten attitude (a little Spanish helps). Been going to PR several times a year for 15 years (my wife is from the island) and I truly love the place. Have fun!