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A Beginner's Guide to Surfing in Santa Monica and Ocean Park

Riding the Waves

Surf's Up in Santa Monica:
Discovering the Thrills of Surfing in Santa Monica and Ocean Park

Visit Santa Monica California
Visit Santa Monica California
Visit Santa Monica California

Santa Monica Beach is a fantastic place for surfing, with its easy and laid-back vibe making it an ideal spot for riding the waves.

Visitors can take in breathtaking ocean views and catch glimpses of the iconic Santa Monica Pier sparkling in the distance. The ocean waves here are generally on the smaller side, making it easier for new surfers to learn and catch a wave. A good time to surf is during low tide when the waves are more manageable, and smaller swells can create some fun rides on the foamy waves.

Surfing is an integral part of Santa Monica's culture, and the state officially recognized it as California's official state sport in 2018. Visitors can catch surfing events throughout the year, but May is the perfect time to join in the fun during the Santa Monica Pier 360 event. This event showcases classic surfing competitions and friendly TANDM surf races and brings together locals and visitors alike for a day of fun in the sun.

Ocean Park, Santa Monica

Ocean Park is a popular surfing spot in Santa Monica, located off of Ocean Park Blvd. Once a part of the nautical-themed amusement park at the end of the pier, it is now known for its great surfing scene. The beach break makes it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced surfers, with the waves breaking on most swell directions and offering plenty of take-off spots. However, due to its popularity, the beach can often get crowded, especially on weekends.

Despite the crowds, Ocean Park is a fun and surfable spot with a point break. The numerous sandbars and different swell directions make it a versatile spot to surf. If you're looking to catch some waves without the crowds, it's best to come out early in the morning, especially on weekdays when there's usually an early-morning crowd. Overall, Ocean Park is a great spot for surfing and offers a unique blend of surf culture and California history.

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Water Temperature

Southern California's yearly average water temperature is usually around 62°F, with winter temperatures ranging from approximately 55°F to 60°F, and summer temperatures ranging from roughly 60°F to 65°F.


Winter is generally the peak season for swells, providing the largest and most consistent waves in many surfing spots. However, decent swells also occur during the shoulder seasons of fall and spring.

Surfing on Santa Monica Beach is an experience not to be missed. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, the waves and relaxed atmosphere here make it an ideal spot to catch some waves and enjoy the California lifestyle. So, grab your board and wetsuit and head out to the beach for an unforgettable day on the water.

Santa Monica Visitor Guide
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