Best Spots to Surf in LA From Pros Jen Smith and Amy Murphree
Roxy Pros Share Their Favorite Spots to Surf in SoCal
Summer has solidly arrived in LA, and now that the temperatures are heating up, it's a perfect time to dust off your surf board. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there are several great places to catch a few waves within driving distance of the city.
We caught up with Roxy team riders Amy Murphree and Jen Smith, the 2009 women's longboard world champ, at the recent Roxy and Neutrogena Malibu Surf Camp. Jen (left) and Amy (right) helped us narrow down the best spots to shred in Southern California, sharing a few of their favorite hidden gems and cluing us in on the best places for beginners to get going. Check out their picks below:
- Trestles, San Clemente State Beach: This collection of surfing spots is home to several annual surf competitions and offers a variety of breaks that can suit any skill level. Lower Trestles is known for consistently great breaks, making it Amy's go-to spot near her home in San Clemente. "I surf Lowers more than anywhere," she said.
- Malibu Lagoon State Beach: This surf spot, formerly known as Surfrider, is one of the most popular places for surfers to gather in LA County. "[Surfrider] is one of the best waves in the Summer," Jen said. Located just North of the Malibu Pier, it's also convenient to LA and has several great places to grab a bite postsurf, like Gladstone's or Grom.
- Rincon Beach, Ventura: Jen recommends Rincon as an alternative to the Malibu breaks in the Winter months when north and west swells come in to create even, long waves that stretch all the way to Santa Barbara. Located just off the 101 freeway in Ventura, it's more of a trek than Malibu but offers a slightly less trafficked place for intermediate surfers to catch remarkable rides.
- Tourmaline Surf Park, La Jolla: Jen recommends Tourmaline for those new to the sport. "It has great learners' waves. The waves are pretty soft and they roll for a long way." While the location is admittedly a lengthy drive from LA proper — about two hours — it's worth it for beginners who want to spend the day honing their new skills in gentle waters.
- Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point: For more daring surfers, Jen suggests a trip to Dana Point's Salt Creek. "Salt Creek is a pretty good break. That's a little bit heavier and breaks a little harder," she says. "You can go there and usually get a little barrel."