Between California’s place in surf history and Hawaii’s revered beauty, the West is perhaps the most important place for surfers on the planet. To this day, it continues to attract thousands of surfers each year, drawing them to golden sands, clear waters, and magnificent waves.
For those just starting to find their feet on the water, riding their very first board, it can feel a little overwhelming. Many will not know exactly where to begin or which beach to go to. And, while some beaches are renowned for their waves, they might not be best suited to beginners. Thankfully, alongside a number of welcoming clubs and societies, those that welcome new members eagerly, there are also a number of beautiful beaches that are appropriate for beginners.
If you are wanting to experience some of the finest waves on the California coast without the bustle of tourists and crowds, then Black’s Beach is where to go. Located by Torrey Pines in San Diego, this two-and-a-half-mile stretch is host to some impressive swell but remains lesser-populated due to it being slightly difficult to get to. If you’re willing to take the hike, however, then you’re in for a treat.
Making great use of the state’s westerly swell, Rincon beach has some of the best breaks in California. Professionals and experienced surfers will flock to the area, since the water is generally assured to be accommodating with waves. However, these crowds can make it difficult for beginners to find their space.
While Cowells beach might be a contender for the most well-known and well-populated beach in Santa Cruz, it remains an important destination for surfers, especially beginners who are looking to experience the magic of the region without feeling overwhelmed. The waves here are also relatively gentle and slow, making them ideal for other types of boarders, such as those wanting to try out SUP surfing too.
Not all great beaches are confined to California and there has been a recent shift further north, with many experienced surfers taking to Oregon and even Washington to find their favorite breaks. Otter Rock is one of the best reasons to take a trip to Oregon and has quickly become one of the state’s most popular surf spots, especially among beginners due to its consistent and relaxed waves.
There are a number of great beaches surrounding La Push, such as Rialto and Ruby, however, it is here that most surfers will visit because of its beauty and great swell. Both experienced surfers and beginners are likely to love the area but its relatively small size means that it can quickly become crowded, with many choosing to visit during the week instead.
Back in California, one of the largest beaches is also one of the best for surfing, being internationally renowned, and offering a variety of experiences for different surfers. If you are looking for the ultimate west coast experience, then San Onofre might be the best place to start.