What You Can Expect to Find in Cardiff

The cardiff coastline during the golden hour. A pink sky, bright blue waves, and golden cliffs covered in greenery, and people walking on the beach in cardiffNestled between classy Solana Beach and charming Encinitas, Cardiff is a hidden gem with laid-back vibes and incredible beaches. Cardiff-by-the-Sea is known for consistent waves, scenic bluffs, lovely reefs, and a relaxed lifestyle.


The prominent beaches are Cardiff State Beach and San Elijo State Beach, however, both span many different breaks that the locals have individually named, such as Pipes, Traps, Cardiff Reef, and Seaside.


A reef runs parallel to the coastline in this area which ensures wonderful waves at all of Cardiff’s beaches almost every day. The flat beaches are lovely for families with young children, long walks, or sunbathing. The reefs become fascinating tide pools at low tide that showcase various marine wildlife.


Parking is available in lots at San Elijo, North and South Cardiff State Beaches. These lots have fees to park. Alternatively, free parking is located along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) the entire way from Pipes (the northern break) to Seaside (the southern break) and all the breaks in between. Since PCH parallels the water so closely, the walk from the car to the beach is very short. However, in the summer, get there early in the day because parking quickly becomes packed.

Cardiff-by-the-Sea is known for consistent waves, scenic bluffs, lovely reefs, and a relaxed lifestyle.


What Makes Cardiff Great for Beginners?

Surfer catches epic wave at Cardiff ReefCardiff offers waves with long rides that are perfect for beginners. Due to the placement of the reef, the waves break farther from shore than at many other beaches. Waves are often slow and rolling, creating ideal circumstances for longboarders and those who are still learning.


While a favorite break for longboarders, something that is unique about Cardiff is that it’s waves are also great for shortboards. This is incredible for beginners because they can work on transitioning to a short board on mellower waves and at a break they are familiar with.


When is the Best Time to Go?

The beaches here are best at low or medium tide. The waves are especially great for beginners in the summer! The waves are pretty consistent, however, it is wise to check the surf report before heading to the coast. The Reef and Pipes can get a bit crowded and competitive during big swells and this may be overwhelming for beginners.

The beaches here are best for beginners at low or medium tide, especially in the summer.


Who Surfs in Cardiff?

Cardiff is a popular spot for many long boarders and beginners, as well as advanced short boarders. Those in the water are usually locals or from the surrounding Encinitas and Solana Beach.


Ready to Shred?!

Let’s get out there! 😎 Book a lesson in Cardiff or at any of our other awesome beach locations. One of our fantastic instructors will meet you at the beach with all the gear necessary. They’ll have you catching waves in no time! See you soon!