Surfing In Encinitas: What to Expect

Wooden stair case leading to Encinitas BeachA quintessential surf town positioned on bluffs and overlooking picturesque beaches, Encinitas is arguably one of the best areas of San Diego County for surfing. Encinitas has a cute downtown with charming boutiques and restaurants as well as waves for all types and skills of surfers. From the beginner surfer to an experienced surfer, there is enough variety to satisfy those thirsty for waves. Encitas also offers slow-rolling waves in San Elijo State Beach for those wanting to learn how to surf. There are great spots to get a private surf lesson or join a summer surf camp.


The most popular Encinitas beaches in this San Diego County area are Beacons, Moonlight Beach, and Swamis. However, there are other hidden gems, such as Grandview. A couple blocks north of Beacons, Grandview’s name does not disappoint and neither does its clean, rolling waves. Encinitas’ waves are ideal for both shortboards as well as longboards, depending on the beach and the day, but are generally very consistent. There are almost always waves to catch!


Many of Encinitas’ beaches, with the exception of Moonlight, are located by a cliff or bluff so expect stairs or a long pathway from your car to the water. Once you get down to the water, however, the beaches are flat, sandy, smooth, and gorgeous! Most beaches have small parking lots located by the entrance and parking can also be found in the surrounding neighborhoods. Moonlight Beach has an especially large parking lot with showers and bathrooms. 

Encinitas has a cute downtown with charming boutiques and restaurants as well as its waves for all types and skills of surfers.


What Makes Encinitas Great for Beginner Surfers?

Surfer walking on the beach in EncinitasMoonlight Beach is by far the favorite for families, group gatherings, and beginner surfers. The flat beach often has chill waves that are great for those learning to surf. This beach also has bathrooms, volleyball courts, a playground, ample parking, and a snack shack. It additionally has lifeguards present all year round.

Beacons is the best beach in Encinitas for beginners and private surf lessons. The atmosphere in the water is quite friendly and laid-back. Preferred by longboarders, this is the perfect place for beginners because the waves are generally quite mellow and consistent. The many breaks along the beach allow space for everyone to to enjoy a surf session and catch waves on any given day.


Swamis is prized by the locals because the point break provides an incredibly long wave with smooth rides, especially for longboarders. While this wave can be epic for beginners, Swamis is frequently competitive and crowded on holidays or when there is a swell so make sure to check that before heading out.


When is the Best Time to Go?

Medium or low tide is preferable, however, there are usually waves at high tide in many spots. Waves are pretty consistent here so you will probably have a great time on any given day. The winter months offer big north swells while the summer months offer up smaller south swells. Southern California, specifically San Diego County is fairly consistent all year round and is a great destination for a surf trip. Whether you want reef breaks in La Jolla or beach breaks in Carlsbad, the county truly has it all. 

Waves are pretty consistent here so you will probably have a great time on any given day.


Who Surfs in Encinitas:

Most people who surf in Encinitas are local to the area and live in Carlsbad or Encinitas. There are usually both longboarders and shortboarders out in the water. Encinitas is the type of place where everyone in the family surfs so there are plenty of kids, moms, and dads out there surfing. You’ll often hear people talking about their family and friends in the water. It’s a very community-driven town. 


Encinitas Surf Lessons

Let’s get you out there! 😎 Book a lesson in Encinitas 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. We provide a wetsuit and surfboard for your surf lesson. Our surf instructors are CPR certified and practice ocean safety to ensure your surf lesson will be fun and exciting. They’ll have you catching waves in no time! See you soon!