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Solana Beach Reef and Surf

The Reef:

Under the breaking waves of Solana beach, there is mostly soft sandbars and subtle rocks. However, every once in a while after or during a large swell, this sand can be moved around a lot and cause new rocks to surface and be a possible danger to surfer's in the water. If you've never surfed Solana before, make sure to paddle out and try to take as much note as possible of your surroundings both above and under the water.

Looking down the San Diego coast from Solana beach

The Surf:

Best Tide: A low to medium tide is best.

Best Swell Directing: South and Southwest swells make the cove rock but strong Northwest swells can also pump!

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

Best Size: Anywhere from 2 - 6 feet. When the surf gets over 6 feet, be careful of currents and rip tides.

Best Months to Catch it Going Off: All Summer long and make sure to stop by during the winter to catch it firing with little to no crowd!


Make sure to watch for strong rip currents when the waves get over 4 feet or so. Due to the fact that the wave energy has no where to despite but on the beach, that energy needs to return to the sea which cause rip currents. Make sure to know what to do if you do get caught in one and don't hesitate to call a lifeguard if you end up in some trouble, that is what they are there for.

The sandbars and small reefs about Solana can offer up some awesome rights and lefts with the right conditions so make sure to keep that in mind before checking the surf. Solana will be best with no wind as due to the fact it faces South so when the dreaded South wind does kick up, it will turn all of the waves into mush.

Just North of the actual cove, there are a few really fun reefs that not a lot of people know about. In fact, I've had a few really fun barrels along the inside section of these fast and rampy waves. Make sure to check the surf all along this section of coast before just paddling out to optimize your session!

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