So me and some friends are planning a trip to Oceanside in December. We are staying right by the peir. This is going to be my first trip to California in the winter any info on where to go with certain swell/wind directions would be a huge help. We surf beach breaks all year so i was going to try to hit up some of the other types of breaks in the area. We will have a rental car so traveling wont be a problem. Thanks
Can't go to So Cal without hitting this amazing place at least a time or two. Park at Christianitos Rd Exit off 5 and walk down the trail on the west side of the highway (get there early if it's on). If there's a swell, lowers is crazy (as everyone's seen in a million photos). Uppers and Cottons work well on WNW swells though, and is far less insane — vibe-wise. All great point breaks. People in the lineup are fairly friendly and easygoing. Further south, San Onofre State Park offers miles of reefs and is nice if you want to try and enjoy a little getaway from the crowds.
The San Diego area picks up more of the NW/NNW (winter) swells than points further north which can be a bit more shadowed.
Huntington's worth the drive if there's a mix of swells in the water. Otherwise it can be pretty walled out.
Goto Black's Beach in San Diego, It's like 45 min from oceanside pier. And also check out La Jolla reefs, theyhave somefun barrels. I've been there a few times in December it's really fun. San Diego would be bigger than oceanside would be,but Oceanside would be cleaner most likely. Have fun.
I used to live in Carlsbad, which is just South of Oceanside. You're kind of in the middle of a bunch of nice spots. I preferred the breaks in Carlsbad as they don't get as crowded as most spots in San Diego or Orange county, but your mileage may vary. I would recommend you get on the Pacific Coast Highway and head South. Check out the breaks in Carlsbad and Encinitas and pick one you like. My favorites were near the power plant in Carlsbad. If you don't find anything before Swamies (the Hari Krishna temple in Encinitas) stop there. There's almost always something rideable there. Blacks can be great, but also crowded. If you've got the time, head to Mexico.
Places I'd avoid include Imperial Beach and any of the breaks immediately South of T.J. Can you spell Staph infection?
All the time I lived there I never needed more than a 3/2 wetsuit. Have fun, I'm jealous.
Imperial Beach gets insanely good in the winter time. Your best bet will be Oceanside harbor,Seaside,Swamis, Blacks and some reefs south of Blacks. Blacks canyon action in the winter is worth the fight to scrap over blow in college kooks and donkeys from El Cajon.
Imperial Beach gets insanely good in the winter time.
... Yes it does. Just remember not to surf IB immediately after a big rain storm, which reminds me of one day while surfing there in the early 80s. My vision wasn't very good but while sitting outside the peak waiting for a wave I thought I saw a table floating off in the distance. Over the next half an hour or so this "table" drifted right next to me and you know what? It wasn't a table, it was a dead cow. Yup, no kidding.
If you surf South of Coronado or anywhere near TJ just remember to rinse the outside of your body with lots of soap and the insides with lots of alcohol.