You can expect excellent weather in San Diego throughout the year, and no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to go surfing. However, the surf does change throughout the year, and you may want to plan your visit according to the surf you’re looking for.
In general, the best time to go surfing in San Diego is the late summer and early fall. During this time, the weather is still very warm, and the Santa Ana winds blow up from the south for consistently fun waves that are great for surfers of all ability levels.
The winter season has much larger swells, which can be exciting for advanced surfers. There are also fewer crowds, so you’ll have more of the surf to yourself. However, San Diego does experience colder temperatures, higher winds, and even the occasional rain storm during the winter, which can make surfing slightly less pleasant.
Consider Ponto Jetty
South Carlsbad’s Ponto Jetty realized its potential courtesy of two jetties built by the Army Corps of Engineers. Not for beginners, the main peak is primarily a left that freight trains on the takeoff.
The spring season is a transitional time, with similarly high swells to the winter. However, the “May Grey” and “June Gloom” can lead to overcast days.
While you might think that summer would be the best time for surfing, the waves can actually be very unpredictable. Typically, the summer swells don’t hit most of San Diego beaches but there are a few stand out spots in the La Jolla reefs and Oceanside where their beach direction faces more south and are able to pick up these southern swells. The beaches can also get very crowded during the summer, so there’s less room to spread out and enjoy the warm temperatures.
San Diego typically experiences the best waves in the morning, when the wind is less. Sometimes just before sunset the wind will die down and the waves can get good for a sunset surf.
Be sure to check a surf forecast website before heading out to get more detailed information about the waves in your area.