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Surf's Up: A Wave-by-Wave Guide to the Best Months for Surfing in San Diego

San Diego, with its sun-soaked shores and consistent swells, is a surfer's paradise year-round. However, savvy surfers know that some months offer more epic rides than others. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into the best months for catching the perfect wave in San Diego. Whether you're a seasoned local or a visiting enthusiast, this breakdown of the region's surf seasons will help you plan your next unforgettable ride.


1. Winter Wonderland: November to February. What are the best months to surf in San Diego?

  • If you have been surfing for a few years, then you are probably stoked for the winter months. The bigger swells roll in, the crowds thin out, and the barrels crank up!

  • The North Pacific Swells bring in heavy and peaky waves at renowned breaks like Windandsea and or Blacks. Hit up YouTube here for a sample of what that looks like!



  • You will want a thicker wetsuit. A 3/4 will keep you nice and toasty all winter in San Diego.

2. Spring Bliss: March to May

  • Oh Spring, we love thee. After a winter season of massive waves, were all ready for the Spring wells and warmer weather. We can finally swap the 3/4 for a bright and retro spring suit. Giving us a much-needed break from harder paddle outs.

  • During this season, you will find us teaching surf lessons at Tourmaline Surf Pak, La Jolla Shores, and Sunset Cliffs.

  • Spring brings a less crowded lineup during this season, making it an ideal time for beginners to hone their skills.

  • What are the best months to surf in San Diego? We love April for its fresh Spring time energy.

3. Summer Sun and Fun: June to August

  • Summer brings a much smaller surf experience. Perfect for beginners and absolute newcomers. 1-3ft is pretty consistent.

  • If you're just passing through or recently relocated, summertime is the best time to start your surfing journey.

4. Fall's Hidden Gem: September to October

  • Often overlooked, but still amazing, Fall is a local favorite. The summer crowds have gone home and left the lineup open once again. A few summer swells can be caught fading in and out during this time.

  • OB often gets a lot of south-by-southwest swells rolling in making it the perfect Fall paddle-out spot.


5. Local Insights and Surf Etiquette:

  • It's always important to respect the lineup. If that sounds German to you, we recommend you sign up for a surf lesson in San Diego with Saltwater Surf Lesson. Where you will learn the essential surf practices to keep you safe and having fun on your board.

  • No matter what time of year, San Diego has some standout spots. You just need to know where to look, and how to read the tides and swells.


Catching the Perfect Wave in San Diego - Year-Round San Diego's consistent waves and diverse surf seasons offer something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros. By understanding the unique characteristics of each season, you can plan your surfing adventures accordingly and make the most of this iconic surf destination. Whether you're chasing massive winter swells or looking for a relaxing summer session, San Diego's waves are ready to welcome you year-round. So, grab your board, wax it up, and get ready to ride the tide in this surf haven on the California coast.

Sign up for an epic surf lesson experience with our private surf coaches!



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