Overview of surfing in Los Angeles County
Properly Southern California, Los Angeles County begins with points in the Malibu region and a couple beach breaks before turning into the greater LA area at Santa Monica. After Santa Monica, the city continues into Redondo Beach and then Palos Verdes before reaching the Southern edge of Long Beach. The vibes along the coast vary from chill and crowded to hostile and relatively uncrowded. This area includes some of the most historic breaks in California: Malibu and Palos Verdes Cove. These spots have been a massive influence on surfing since the 50’s, grooming longboarding and shortboarding talent alike. Beyond the surf culture, the beaches of Santa Monica and the Redondo area are colorful to say the least. Exploring these areas of the LA area can be an amazing time for families as well as young adults.
The 36 best Surf spots in Los Angeles County
Overview of surfing spots in Los Angeles County
Surf spot overview
The first and most famous spot to mention is Malibu, first surfed illegally as access was only available through a private ranch, this break has been home to incredible surfers across the years. The perfect right point is both consistent and user friendly. This does lead to crowds, but the break is well worth surfing if only for the historic significance even without the long, pristine waves. Moving further South the beachbreaks will light up on the right swells, but the next spot we will mention is Palos Verdes. This cove offers long, rolling left and rights perfect for the advent of surfing in California. This is one of if not the first spot to be surfed consistently in California. It has also been one of the most localized spots in the area throughout history, but the vibes have mellowed out a bit since then. Don’t step on toes here and you’ll be alright.
Access to Surf Spots
All surf spots here can be accessed by car and a quick walk. Rent a car (preferably a red convertible) and you will be all set to go to any spot on the coast. Some of the breaks toward the North will require a walk to check, but almost all can be checked from the road.
Surf seasons and when to go
The best time of the year to surf in Los Angeles County
There is little variety in the weather here. Summers are hot and dry with temps usually high but also cooled by the ocean breeze. “Winters” here are colder but not by much, the fog is more common and therefore mornings stay a bit cooler. T shirt and flip flops will be fine in the summer, bring a couple layers for winter but you won’t need much. Water temps vary, but a 3/2 will be fine year round, but a springsuit is really all you need in the summer.
This season is best for surfing larger swells with better winds. The beach breaks and coves really like this time of year, and the offshore winds usually cooperate, especially in the mornings. Some of the points will also really turn on during these months. Bring a sweatshirt or two and you’ll be fine.
Summer is hot and dry with slightly worse winds that pick up earlier. This time of year smaller swells filter in and fill in the points up and down the coast. Malibu loves this time of year, but so do the crowds. Onshores will pick up earlier than winter. T shirts and shorts are the play this time of year.
Los Angeles County surf travel guide
Find trips that fit a flexible lifestyle
There is the full range of options to choose from there. Camping is readily available in the North of the county, just make sure to reserve very far in advance. Also in this area are some incredible resorts and hotel options. Once you hit the city, hotels and motels of all levels of quality start sprouting up. There is something for every budget here, especially if you are willing to drive just a bit to the beach.
Before we get into the city, we have to cover the vast state parks and wilderness in the Northern parts. Go for long hiking trips in the dry air that will offer wonderful views of the LA area and the pristine coast. These areas can get crowded on weekends. The city itself offers amazing nightlife, daytime activities, and fun for all ages. The piers along the coast are famous for a reason. Walk around and you will take in all of LA beach culture from the muscle heads to the 80s roller skaters. Have fun.