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7 Surf Spots around Santa Barbara

surfing santa barbara

Surfing and Santa Barbara go hand in hand! Santa Barbara is famous for its beaches and there are several surfing spots that are popular with surfers. Since 1998, Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s surfing trips have been a great way to experience this exciting sport! Our knowledgeable guides focus on the fundamentals–reading water, paddling, etiquette, catching waves and riding. We choose surf sites based on the current swell and tide conditions, finding the best breaks for successful learning. So where are the best beaches to catch a wave? Take a look at the following best surfing spots in Santa Barbara and the surrounding area!

North of Santa Barbara:

El Capitan
At El Capitan, the wave quality is world-class. The waves are fickle but can be 300 to 500 meters on a good day. The direction of the swell is Westward and the wind direction is North, Southeast, East and Northeast. The El Capitan surfing spot is open to public access and is crowded during the weekends.

Campus Point
The wave quality at Campus Point is standard and the beach is sandy. Campus Point is located right near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. This surf spot is open to the public. If you are a beginner, this is a great place to try. A big west swell makes for long right-breaking waves that can go for 100 yards.

In Santa Barbara:

Leadbetter Beach
Waves never too big, Leadbetter is a good spot for novice surfers, and is right downtown along Santa Barbara’s waterfront, making it an excellent spot to relax and enjoy the beach, even when there’s no surf!

This surf was accidentally created in 1929 when Santa Barbara built a break wall in order to create the Santa Barbara Harbor. Accessible from the end of the break wall in the harbor, this surf spot is not for the faint of heart!

South of Santa Barbara:

Rincon Point
One of the top surf spots in America, Rincon is the place to see and be seen for those who love to surf. You may even catch a glimpse of famous pro surfers here. But the waves here are not for beginners! If you want to watch pros at work, grab a seat on the beach!

La Conchita
Stretching between Rincon and Mussel Shoals (aka Little Rincon), La Conchita is a long and quiet beach, good for surfing in solitude or practicing your techniques before heading up the bike path to Rincon Point.

Mondo’s Beach
Mondo’s is a family friendly beach in Ventura, with a unique break that keeps the waves small and consistent. A great spot for surfers of all ages and ability levels. It’s also where you’ll find us!

Here at Santa Barbara Adventure Company, we offer 2–hour Surfing Lessons and Full-day Surfing Lessons at this location. If you are really adventurous, we even offer a 2-day Surfing Lesson!

Do you have a favorite surf spot, did we miss one? Share it with us in the comments below.

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