Surfing in Santa Cruz, California, USA

There are way too many great spots to surf in Santa Cruz, California, USA then I can capture in one page, so I just focus here on my favorites.  Keep in mind that there are lots of surfers in Santa Cruz of all levels - all the way up to some of the pros that live there.  So be respectful in the waves and only surf the spots that are inline with your level.

 

Surf

Break Type:  Reef

Gear: Thick Wetsuit

Ambience:  Gets crowded but a friendly crowd for the most part.  When the surf is really big getting in and out of the water can be rough.  There are multiple stairways that lead down from the cliffs to the water and during big surf you need to time it well or you will get crushed on the rocks.

Main Surf Spot:  Steamer Lane

Link to current conditions:  Surfline

Logistics

Public Parking:  Yes.  Parking Located Here

Public Showers:  Yes.  Same location as parking.

Public Restrooms:  Yes.  Same location as parking.

Transportation:  Need a car.

Nearest Airport:  San Jose, CA, USA  (SJC)

Alternative Surf Spots

There are some great spots closer to the town of Capitola - just 15 minutes down the road.  

26th StreetPark here and cross the street.  There is surf to the left (more advanced) and right (shore break - good for boogie and bodysurfing).  Showers and restrooms at the parking lot.

Pleasant Point:  This is similar to Steamer Lane in that on big days you can get crushed on the rocks getting in and out of the staircase drop-in points.  Street parking only - be respectful of the neighborhood!  Showers and restrooms here.  Great market with take-out burritos etc here.

Manresa State Parks:  About 30 minutes south of Santa Cruz.  Big wide open beach.  Great beach for walking and sandcatles.  Nasty rip tides if surf is big.  Minimal crowds. Park here.  Restrooms and showers.  Need a CA State Parks Pass for parking but there is a parking spot just outside the entrance that fits a few cars.

and 

 

 

 

Area

Lodging:

Hotel Paradox

Food:

Sala Thai

Taqueria Los Pericos

Check out the Santa Cruz Area Map

Surf Traveler - Great Surf Spots in Great Locations

This site is maintained by surfing volunteers.  The surfing information on this site is only as accurate as the last update.  If you see errors please email us at admin@surftraveler.org.  Surfing is an inherently risky sport that can result in injury and death if not cautious.  This site makes no claims as to the safety of the surf spots described within. 

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