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Tamarack Reef and Surf

The Reef:

Tamarack has a mostly sand bottom with the occasional rock here and there. Like most of the breaks throughout Carlsbad, the beach is all sand and great for a day at the beach. Under the main peak at Tamarack, there are a few big rocks that create the great shape of these waves but be sure to take caution on the low tides as they can get pretty close to the surface.

On big days at Tamarack make sure to watch out for rip tides pulling South toward the jetties. It can be pretty dangerous on big days because as all the water is moving in, it has no where to go and can create a lot of havoc in the inside section.

The Surf:

Best Tide: Medium to High tides are best for Terramar but  Low tides can lead to some fast walls and fun sections.

Best Swell Directing: A Northwest or West swell can do wonders at Tamarack but during the Summer South swells, it can get really fun and rampy.

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

Best Size: Anywhere from 2 - 8 feet. Make sure to watch out as Tamarack gets larger because it can get very chaotic on the inside with off the water being trapped and moving around.

Best Months to Catch it Going Off: September through April are best best but the Summer months can also provide some fun waves.


The surf at Tamarack can vary greatly on swell direction and conditions. However, there is a main peak and an inside section like most breaks around San Diego. the main peak is almost straight in front of the parking lot and breaks in an A Frame shape with both a right and a left breaking at the same time.

As the wave moves from the outside into the inside section, the wave speeds up dramatically and turns into a wall of fun! Make sure to be ready for a ride because as the contour of the ocean floor becomes shallower, the waves at Tamarack stand up and start moving! On a Low to Medium tide, I have seen this inside section stand up and pitch over and create some awesome barrels for surfer's in the water.

Tamarack is a beautiful beach with some awesome waves and I highly recommend checking this spot out.

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