5. Mavericks, Half Moon Bay
Mavericks in Northern California is famous for its right point breaks over a terraced reef in the winter. Big wave riders come out to test themselves on these epic waves – its definitely not for the novice. The perfect massive waves can go up to 60 feet – there is a yearly competition called Titans of Maverick for those brave enough to take these monsters on. Adding to the excitement of surfing at Mavericks are the house sized boulders known as “the Boneyard”. People have died surfing here, so only for the experts!
4. Malibu Surfrider Beach
Malibu has been a famous surf spot for decades, and rightly so. The 21-mile long beach has three lengthy right break points that work in all kinds of swell, and in the right conditions can connect to give you a really long ride. Famed for longboards, just about anything will work here. Be aware that its fame means Malibu is very, very popular – the crowds in summer are huge.
3. Rincon Point
Rincon Point has arguably the best right pointbreak in California. Great for intermediate and more advanced surfers, if you hit it right, you can ride this wave for a good 400 yards. There are three breaks: The Indicator, long and slow, that, if you’re lucky, connects with The Rivermouth – it has the best barrels, and then, if you’re really, really, lucky, you’ll ride straight into Cove which is the most consistent and most popular of the three waves. Rincon is very popular, so be prepared for crowds on the weekends.
2. Black’s Beach, San Diego
Black’s Beach has one of the greatest beach breaks in California. A deep underwater canyon leads to very shallow shallows, meaning great waves with big barrels. Not recommended for beginners, this spot can attract some of the best surfers in the state. If you decide to give it a go, be careful of sneaker sets and rip tides. Good all year round, it requires a hike down a steep cliff, and can get pretty crowded on the weekends.
1. The Trestles, Orange County
Trestles is at the number 1 spot on our top 10 for a reason – breaks. Left breaks, right breaks, beach breaks, sandbars – Trestles has it all. Lower Trestles hosts a variety of competitions throughout the year, including the NSSA nationals and the WSL World Tour. The peak at Lowers can send you left or right, and a couple of good surfers can split the peak. The consistency of the waves means people get catch some air to get creative with their surfing. Upper and Middle Trestles are not as crowded, but that’s because the quality isn’t quite as good. It’s a hike to the beach, and the competition for waves can be fierce, but this is a spot that is worth surfing.