Ralph's Surf Break

Discover a hidden surfing treasure when you learn about Ralph’s Surf Break. This is not for the faint of heart as it is in a protected location and features some intense waves.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Surf Point Loma from Boat Access Only Ralph’s Surf Break
Ralph's Surf Break
Overview
Save on Gear
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Get There & Parking
Featured Activity
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Beaches

Highlights

Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking
Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking

Overview

Ocean Birds Flying next to Ralphs Surf Break, Point LomaSurfers on a Small Day at Ralphs Surf Break, Point Loma

Ralph’s Surf Break is on the east side of Point Loma. It takes some time to get here and actually begin to surf because it is only accessible by boat. The area around it is a military base and protected reserve space, which means that you must follow all signs and rules while in the area.

If you are hungry for a good wave, though, this is the place to surf. Not only will you get to experience the only real point break in San Diego but also you can watch large Naval ships and aircraft carriers coming into the port, which is an experience you won’t forget.

Before you ever hit the water with your board, the atmosphere and excitement will have you amped up and ready to go. It is an exciting experience you won’t soon forget.

Go Surfing with Go Pass!

La Jolla - Surf Board Rental
La Jolla - Surf Board Rental
La Jolla is home to some of the world's best beaches for surfing, and with your Go Pass, you can enjoy this experience. Whether you are a rookie or a pro, get a full day Surf Board rental. The waters are perfect for those learning.
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Local Tips
What activities does the Go Pass include?

There’s a variety of activities included with the Go San Diego Pass such as: The San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld, Hiking Tours, Whale Watching, Snorkel Rentals, Museum Tours, Speed Boat Adventures and more!

For the most popular attractions and water-sport rentals as well as the biggest discounts, consider the All-Inclusive Pass.

Things to Do

Surfing
Surfing

The Waves Are Legendary

Amazing Surf

Ralph’s is an amazing place to surf due to the world-class wave quality and the fact that it is not easily accessible so you have to put in some effort to surf here. The waves are some of the longest and biggest in the area.

Experienced Surfers Only

Anyone can surf here, but it is best for experienced surfers only. The waves can be long and big. They allow for multiple turns and barrels.

Watch your Surroundings

There are also a lot of dangers lurking that could spell trouble for surfers who do not have enough experience. You’ll encounter rips and undertows. The bottom is basically rock, which is terribly unforgiving. Plus, urchins populate the area, and sharks are not uncommon.

Check the Tides

Ralphs surf break works for long and shortboards. It’s best at mid-tide, but high tide produces a good experience, too.

Fall has the Best Waves

You’ll want to go in fall for premium conditions, but winter and summer are just as nice. Stay away when the wind is blowing from the south because the waves will fall flat. The best winds come from the north or west. They produce the epic southwest, south and southeast swells.

Surf, Surf and more Surf

There isn’t really anything else to do here except surf. So, avoid bringing along anyone who just wants to sit and watch unless you have a nice boat where they can sit.

How to Get There & Parking

It’s an Adventure to Get There

The biggest thing everyone knows about Ralph’s Point Break is it is hard to find and get to. You cannot just stroll up and hop in the water.

It is boat access only because it is on a military base. The only other access is through Cabrillo National Monument, but you cannot walk through there as it is a protected reserve area and it is also on a military base.

If you try to enter through the reserve area, officials will catch you. You will also get a federal fine of up to $5,000. It is not worth it to take the risk.

Your best option is to boat in from Shelter Island. It is about a two-mile ride into Ralph’s.

Do not try paddling over because you will likely be unable to do it physically, due to the distance and the currents. Remember the waves are strong, and while it may not seem that far, it takes extreme physical fitness to make it without tiring out.

Featured Activity

Gray Whale during Whale Watching Tour in San Diego
Half Day Whale Watching Tour
Enjoy a 4-hour expert led tour departing from beautiful San Diego Bay on a two-story whale watching yacht. Take in the views, enjoy the marine life & marvel at the majestic gray whales as they migrate along the coast.
Buy Now

Know Before You Go & Tips

No Camping
No Camping

Before You Go

Don’t Go on Land

To avoid trouble with the military or Homeland Security, try to avoid going on the land. Stick to the boat you rode over on.

Follow All Signs

There are a lot of regulations here. Do not ignore the posted warnings. Officials will catch you doing anything prohibited, and you will face punishment. This is a serious matter of security and federal law.

Ralph's Surf Break
is Known For:
Surfing
Surfing
Know This:
Boat Access Only
Boat Access Only
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

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