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South Carlsbad's Reef and Surf



The Reef:

Under the water in the Carlsbad area it is mostly sand with the occasional rock or two. The sand does move a lot when there is a swell breaking upon the shores so make sure to take caution for sandbars and deep holes to fall into. Other then those couple hazards, these Carlsbad beaches are safe and great for a day at the beach!

Picture taken during the 2007 fires.

The Surf:

Best Tide: Low to Medium but a High tide doesn't totally ruin these breaks.

Best Swell Directing: West and Northwest swells but during the Summer months, a clean Southwest swell can lead to some awesome waves along these breaks.

Best Winds: No wind is best but if any, a East wind will do wonders.

Best Size: Anywhere from 2 - 6 feet. These beach breaks will close out and become near impossible to surf after 8 feet.

Best Months to Catch it Going Off: These breaks are fun year around but will be at their best during the Winter months and occasionally during the Summer months.


As you head North or South on Old Highway 101, you will get distracted by the waves breaking in this Carlsbad location, in fact I always seem to find myself going about 20 while I check out the surf. It may not be the safest but I think it's a common thing for surfers to do.

Carlsbad may not be the most consistent waves but from personal experience, you can score some awesome days of surf while out at Carlsbad. In fact, I've had a few barrels that were jaw dropping while surfing the inside wall of these Carlsbad beaches. What it lacks in shape and size, it makes up for in fun!

On smaller days, the beaches at Carlsbad would be an awesome place for beginners or surfer's still learning their skills. The waves can be very gradual and smooth which provide a great canvas for beginners. I recommend for beginners to hang out in the inside and practice on the white water before heading out to the set waves an possible getting hurt or hurting another.

In my opinion, drive through Carlsbad and just keep your eyes open for the a spot you want to paddle out at. Find the closest parking lot and paddle out! Carlsbad is one of those spots where there always seems to be waves, even when it's flat out and I love that.

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