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.
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
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 Street: Park 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.
Check out the Santa Cruz Area Map