Best Surf Spots In Southern California

Brian Ribeneck, Reporter

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With an El Nino just around the corner, it’s time for surfers to wax up their boards and head down to the beach. Here are four southern California beaches I’d recommend for surfers at Venice High to check out this summer.


Down by San Clemente, Trails is wedged between a military base and a nuclear plant. 

The beach is generally pretty weak and mushy but during the low tide it has good shape and the waves break really far out. 

During a swell you’ll probably see a lot of A-Frames and it’s not uncommon to see people ride a wave for like 300 yards. Since you have to hike down the cliffs to get to the water the beach is rarely crowded even on busy weekends and there are plenty of more hidden spots where you can hide from the valleys.

Old mans

Just north of Trails, Old Mans is a cool beach that’s fun for the whole family and adjacent to the famous beach Churches. It hosts tidepools, tiki huts, bamboo plants and soft waves. It’s known for its reef break that’s soft and easy for kids and beginners although with the power of a swell it can have enough energy for the best surfers around.

Unfortunately Old Mans is pretty widely known and always has a crowd. You’ll probably have to wait in a long line to get in the park and when you do you’ll have to compete with crowds of valleys on Wavestorms and local longboarders. But if you’re willing to put up with the hassle or get lucky and arrive there before the crowd it can be a great place.

San Elijo

San Elijo is a beach with a lot of diversity. Depending on where you are you can find different sand and reef breaks. It can be pretty inconsistent and the quality of the surf fluctuates depending on how much swell is in the water. 

Some spots can get pretty crowded with both swimmers and surfers but it’s easy to move and find a less crowded part of the beach.


In Ventura County Oxnard is the third beach I’d suggest. Although it’s much better during the fall months it can get really fun during the Summer too. 

Unlike Old Mans Ox is known for having a more punchy wave. It’s not for kooks and can be pretty brutal and unforgiving. With or without a swell you can find A-Frames that are perfect for any shortboarder with any experience.

Because it’s so gnarly and the waves are so big it’s a haven from valleys and the water never gets too crowded. It’s also pretty funny to see Wavestorms get snapped in the waves.