Probably every surfer alive would take on a respectful, even reverential, tone when talking of California and with good reason. This sun soaked state of the United States is the birthplace of modern surf culture, has a status which is almost mythical in the surfing fraternity and is home to more board-shapers, surf outlets and professional surfers than perhaps everywhere else on the planet put together.
California is riddled with surf spots and named breaks which will be familiar to all wave riders whether they have ever stepped onto these hallowed shores or not.
California based surf trips make it possible to ride world class waves before lunch, ski in the afternoon and then head off to LA or Hollywood as the sun sets to party and get wonderfully lost amid some of the planet's best bars and nightclubs.
A surf holiday in California means stepping into a laid-back beach lifestyle with a glorious and mythical surf paradise full of fun waves to be explored with experienced guides. On small wave days you can head off sightseeing, whale watching, shopping for surf-wear and goods, scuba diving or enjoying a massage.
Mexico offers something totally different but equally fascinating with lush tropical jungle, volcanic mountains, delicious food, intriguing culture and super consistent surf breaks galore.
California offers up an obscene number of surfing choices including perfect points, mellow reefs and world class beach breaks and a coastline which is exposed to the same swell which fires up Hawaii.
From midway state situated Santa Cruz – one of the most wave rich areas on the whole western seaboard – with its wide swell window, right down to San Diego County with 60 miles of coast full of reefs, points and beach breaks including Oceanside, there are waves, waves and more waves. In between these are Santa Barbara with its many right points and great wind patterns; LA County – home to mythical Malibu – and Orange County known as the 'mother country of surfing' with the big name, ASP World Tour venue Trestles and empty secret spots to be found.
Because this area is so vast optimum surf seasons will depend on where you are based and different regions work with widely varying wind, swell and tide conditions. However, generally speaking, primary surf season, which sees long distance West Pacific swells arriving, occurs around April to September. Off-shores are more common in winter and perfect glassy conditions are a common occurrence, in South California especially.
Mexico surf holiday choices base you either in south Mexico's Guerrero region or mid-coast Nayarit, both of which are considered to be something of a longboarding heaven. Guerrero with its many breaks and a 180° swell window has year round surf with April to October seeing the arrival of the biggest swells. Mornings are typically off-shore at a choice of beach breaks, points and reefs. Nayarit has almost year round swell consistency with different spots working better at varying seasons.
From beachfront bungalows of the luxury variety in Mexico to affordable surf camp based accommodation in California – North America has a little bit of everything suitable for solo travelers through to families.
North American surfing options are popular with those looking for medium to luxury standards and suitable for complete beginners through to pro level wave riders. Both Mexico and California offer a slice of longboard heaven for all you cruising Mal riders out there but party seekers, families, couples, groups and solo travelers will all find something here.
Accommodation only through to bed and breakfast and half board are the most commonly found packages for North American surf vacations and there are also choices which either include or allow you to add on surf classes and guiding.
Mexico or California dreamer, luxury seeker or longboard rider – everyone should surf here at least once in their lifetime. Give the LUEX team a call – we know all of our North American options from personal experience and with this first-hand experience we can easily and happily point you in the right direction according to your party's needs and skill levels – whatever they are.