What You Can Expect to Find in Carlsbad
The Carlsbad beaches are truly the locals’ playground. Known for scenic biking paths, dramatic cliffs, fun tidepools, stellar waves, and lovely views, Carlsbad has an active and beach-centered atmosphere.
Northern Carlsbad boasts a quaint and beachy downtown area with boutiques and restaurants, as well as some awesome beaches. Carlsbad State Beach, Tamarack, and Warm Waters span the northern area of Carlsbad with a scenic path along the beaches for walking, running, or biking. Tamarack and Carlsbad State have bathrooms and Warm Waters and Carlsbad State have volleyball courts!
Southern Carlsbad is known for the Carlsbad State Campgrounds located on a high bluff overlooking the water. Beaches in the southern part of town generally have more cliffs and bluffs than the northern beaches. However, these beaches are still flat and sandy by the water below. Terra Mar, South Carlsbad State Beach, and Ponto cover this stretch of the coast.
Many beaches have small parking lots for parking, however, most people park along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) wherever they want to hop in the water.
These beaches are truly the locals’ playground.
What Makes Carlsbad Great for Beginners?
Carlsbad has multiple beaches that are ideal for beginners. South Carlsbad State Beach is a popular spot because the area by the campgrounds is often uncrowded and the beach is very flat. There is lots of whitewater at this beach usually which is great for those still working on their pop up or who need practice padding into waves.
Warm Waters (Lifeguard Tower #30) is a great break for those who have never surfed before or those who are looking to improve their skills. This beach creates gentle, mellow waves, especially in the summer. This is ideal for beginners because the long, smooth ride provides ample time for them to figure out their footing or practice turning.
When is the Best Time to Go?
Most of Carlsbad’s beaches are not incredible during high tide. However, Tamarack, South Carlsbad State and Terra Mar are most sensitive to the tides as high tide brings backwash from the steep sand or cliffs. This ruins the wave so it is especially important to surf at these breaks during middle or low tide – middle is most preferable.
These beaches in this area have solid waves all year round and are generally consistent.
Tamarack, South Carlsbad State, Terra Mar are most sensitive to the tides as high tide brings backwash from the steep sand or cliffs.
Who Surfs in Carlsbad:
Expect to see mostly beginners at Warm Waters. Terra Mar is the local longboarding spot, however, many of Carlsbad’s beaches are ideal for shortboards. Tamarack, for example, is dominated heavily by shortboarders. However, both board types are usually represented at every beach. Most surfers in this area are local – many of them ride their e-bikes right to the beach!
Ready to Shred?!
Let’s get out there! 😎 Book a lesson in Carlsbad 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!