TheCaliCamp

USA: Orange County - South

A guided B&B surf experience in California, the classic surf destination.

 LowPressure Stormrider Surf Guide says

Orange County, Southern California, USA, NORTH AMERICA

Southern Californian surfing started in 1907 when Hawai'ian George Freeth performed for a huge crowd at Redondo Beach. Since then Southern California has remained the urban heartland of American surf culture. By the early 1960’s people were taking to the waves in numbers as the SoCal beach lifestyle rapidly developed. Today the place is more crazy and crowded than ever, but despite the chaos, surfing in LA can still be a pleasurable experience. Orange County is an extremely populated area south of the steep coves of Palos Verdes peninsular. North Orange County has mainly long, straight beaches, while the southern border reverts back to cliffs and coves again.

A mixed bag, preferring SW pulses and zero wind, Orange County is more of a small-wave/beachbreak frontier than anything else. Also the hub of the ‘surf industry’, as it happens, catering to millions of surfers worldwide, and an abundance of surfers right nearby. Too many, in fact. They wait, elbow-to-elbow, noseguard-to-leash plug in the generally mediocre line-ups … which do get good on occasion, to be sure. Quite good. But, for the most part, Orange County waves are comparatively weak on the global scale, easily disturbed by the slightest onshore breeze, and typically don’t last more than four seconds from take-off to close-out. Those big blue ’n sunny Salt Creek barrel photos the magazines have teased you with for the past three decades are actually glorified close-outs – same with Newport and Huntington. It’s cruel, but it’s true. Jetties and piers play a major role in determining surf quality from Seal Beach (first spot clear of the LA breakwater) to Newport Beach, which is all fairly consistent beachbreak, home to such wonders as the Wedge, the famous Huntington Pier, and the elusive Newport Point. Down the coast a few more miles are the craggy, fickle reefs of affluent Laguna Beach, the nouveau ritz of Dana Point (harbored to death), and the classic beach city of San Clemente (more beachbreak). Orange County faces SW, so summer swells have better luck here than in LA or San Diego, occasionally reaching epic status with big waves, warm temperatures. It can seem like the best place in the world at times, but it isn’t. Spots that handle the waves and give them decent shape are few and far between, and pesky onshores arrive without warning. Also, it’s no secret in California that S swells are as fickle as they come; many spots don’t even break without a south. Wintertime W swells do get in quite handily, but due nor’wests tend to approach the coast with less intensity than they do farther north. N-NW swells miss large sections of coast due to the shadowing of Santa Catalina Island, especially during west-southwest swells around Huntington. Rideable surf is never huge in Orange County, except for a handful of rare spots and that freak of nature, jetty and backwash known as the Wedge. Still, there’s generally something to ride just about every day, be it good, bad, or something in between.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

San Diego County, Southern California, USA, NORTH AMERICA

From the long sandy beaches in the north of the county to Sunset Cliffs and Point Loma, every inch of this coastline has been thoroughly scoured by generations of surfers. Its’ line-ups have featured in countless magazine spreads and these days dozens of web-cams spy on the waves, 24/7. Despite this huge media exposure the reality is that San Diego surf is not exactly world-class, although like everywhere, it can be. The exposure to N swells is good, but not California’s best, whilst the S swell exposure is not always ideal. With at least 80 spots from Camp Pendleton to Silver Strand, there's plenty of good waves to be had and, of course, plenty of amped locals to share them with. There are so many good breaks to the north, between San Onofre and Cardiff, it’s impossible to list them all here. In summary, San Onofre offers punchy peaks at The Point, backed up by miles of empty beachbreaks towards the Camp Pendleton military zone. Oceanside always has something to offer from its’ assortment of jetty, pier and beach breaks. A stretch of undemanding waves extends from Carlsbad to Encinatas before the impressive peak of Swami’s livens things up. Long, lined up rights hold as big as it gets while the shorter lefts disappear with size, but the crowds never will! Fun well-mannered peaks grace Cardiff Reef making it a longboarders favourite.

You can find almost any type of wave in San Diego County; from Trestles in the north down to the Mexican border, good surf is a common occurrence, especially during clean conditions in autumn and winter. Like the rest of California, San Diego County has a lot of beachbreak, but it’s frequently interrupted by good reefs and semi-points. Although there are no true, classic pointbreaks, world-class sandbar waves can be sussed out at Black’s Beach, Imperial Beach, and Oceanside. Most notably, San Diego’s got it covered as far as quality reefbreaks go: Trestles, Swamis, Big Rock, Windansea, Sunset Cliffs, etc. The list goes on – from the longboard sliders of San Onofre to the behemoth lefthanders of La Jolla Cove, San Diego surfers have plenty of options. W swells hit most of the coast with supreme accuracy, though SSWs are favored for the Coronado and Trestles areas. More southerly summertime swells do better up in Orange County, but San Diego gets the preferred wintertime action. Virtually everywhere can be pumping in the winter as long as the size is manageable. Most north/central county spots can’t handle anything bigger than a few feet overhead before they close-out. South county reef areas like La Jolla and Point Loma really shine during solid winter swells, but there’s a noxious vein of localism at some breaks. On the whole, San Diego surf varies in power and consistency, but it’s safe to say most spots are quite user-friendly and mild on a global scale. Lengthy flat spells are not unheard of, and summer crowds can be stifling, but quality conditions can occur throughout the year. Plus, there’s a major resource right next door; it’s called Baja.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure’s Stormrider Guide website.

 

Condition descriptions provided by the Operator

Within 15 to 45 Minutes we find great Surfspots around the Camp. From beginners to advanced Surfers...here we give a a quick views and be sure, there are some secret Spots you will be amazed of.

 

San Diego

San Diego is actually a very broad area with over 60 miles of coastline and is well exposed to swell from each and every direction. We know the way to find you waves specific to the days conditions and your ability while discovering SD. San Diego truly has everything on offer. Reef breaks, point breaks, and sand bottom beach breaks inhabit the area.

 

Oceanside

Sitting at the northern most point of San Diego is Oceanside. This is a beach famous for its pier, its military base, its boardwalk and its world class beach break lining the city from tip to tip. Here it all comes down to finding a nice empty sand-bar and enjoy the waves with just you and friends which we make readily available to you with the help of our guides.

 

Trestles and Orange County

Now what shall we say about Trestles?…. World renowned one of the single most high performance waves on the planet and, not to mention, 10 minutes from the camp. Loved by every professional in the sport of surfing it is a spot worthy of a place on the ASP World Championship tour. If you’re up for the challenge we would love to assist should you demonstrate the ability to surf such the more prominent ‘peaks’. For the more intermediate surfer DON’T LET THE PRO’S SCARE YOU AWAY!!! Trestles is not just “A Spot” but an area with many nooks, crannies and empty areas. At the end of the day world famous perfection is at your finger tips. There are also a wide variety of “secret spots” that are a little harder to get to but offer miles of coast with peaks offering some of the longest rides of your life.

 

Huntington / Newport Beach

Huntington Beach or “Surf City USA” which hosts the US Open of surfing each year is the host for 1 reason. Great waves and an unbeatable surf presence in and out of the water. Along with its neighbor, Newport Beach, both provide miles and miles of sand bottom beach break and peaks every step of the way. To surf alone in California is not necessarily that hard when you know where to go. It’s one of our many specialties

 

LA County

When you think of beaches in LA you may think Venice, Santa Monica or maybe even ‘Baywatch’. To a certain extent you are thinking correctly. However, on the right days the Los Angeles area offers world class surf across a vast area. Perfect points and reefs combined with a wide variety of open beach break, LA provides it all. Imagine surfing Malibu. The birthplace of modern progressive surfing. And before you know it you’re headed off to Hollywood for lunch on “The Sunset Strip.” Or how about a stroll along the walk of fame? The true California experience.