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I'm considering taking a surfing lesson while in San Diego in August. I have never surfed. I am not super athletic, but i do exercise regularly. Is San Diego a decent place to try? Which surf school would you recommend? Do I need a wet suit? I think I read somewhere that Mexico dumps garbage in the ocean, so is it safe to surf in San Diego?

Pacific Surf School
Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
Mission Bay Aquatic Center
Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Kayaking & Canoeing
San Diego Surf School
Sports Camps & Clinics, Equipment Hire, Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
Surf Diva Surf School
Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
San Diego...
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1. Re: Surfing

I can't provide a recommendation on a surf school because I've never gone to one. You will not need a wet suit in August, that's the time the water is the warmest of the year. Possibly 75 degree water towards the end of August. Yes, it's safe to surf in San Diego, don't worry about what Mexico does. I would recommend that you visit Windansea Beach, a famous surfing spot, and there are surfers in the water almost every single day of the year there. It is in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, along Neptune Place, near Nautilus Street and La Jolla Boulevard. It's a large, pretty beach, and to me typifies the classic southern California beach scene. It was also made famous by the first chapter of "The Pump House Gang" by Tom Wolfe, and the actual pump house is still there. Here is video of Windansea Beach I took in the winter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LjNLWV2F-g But there will be a LOT more people there in August. I don't know of any surfing instruction near that beach though, that's more of an experienced surfer's beach. You'll have to do more research into the various surfing instruction schools and read reviews and recommendations of them before deciding which one. Also, there is a "wave house" in the Belmont Park amusement park at Mission Beach in San Diego, where, for a fee, you can try surfing on a continuously-generated wave, if that interests you.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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2. Re: Surfing

The best place I know to learn to surf is at La Jolla Shores beach with :


I have a friend who took her first lesson with them when she was in her 50s.

She really loved the experience!!

The beach mentioned above is a good place to watch local surfers but not the best place to learn.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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3. Re: Surfing

La Jolla Shores, Pacific Beach and Coronado are all good places to learn.

Not sure where BW is finding 75 degree water in So Cal, we are grateful when we hit 70 degrees, which is rare. The high 60's is more like it. In the chart below, Scripps Pier it the La Jolla Shore area.


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4. Re: Surfing

Below is a Yelp search for surf lessons in San Diego. You can judge the comments for yourself.


Technically, a sewage accident could happen anytime and foul the water, but it's usually a winter-time problem, so you shouldn't have any issue with that. In my opinion, the water is normally warmer in La Jolla/Del Mar than in Coronado (and further from TJ sewers, to boot). It's best for newbies to stay clear of breaks favored by local/experienced surfers. But, an instructor will make sure you're in the right spot and that you have a positive experience.

San Diego, CA
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5. Re: Surfing

Kind of guessing by your screen name that you're female. In which case, another vote for Surf Divas.

As my daughter learned, women learn to surf a little differently because of shoulder strength. She was really happy with her Surf Diva lessons because they addressed that difference.

San Diego, CA
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6. Re: Surfing

Agree with previous posters about Surf Divas. Otherwise, almost any surf school in Pacific Beach or La Jolla Shores will be fine. As a beginner, the main thing you want is a sandy-bottom beach with little/no rocks, which PB and LJ Shores are (Windansea is not a beginner's spot by any means).

Edited: 23 May 2012, 14:57
La Jolla, California
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7. Re: Surfing

Surf Divas for sure. Both my daughters learned to surf from them. They will provide wetsuits if I recall.

Go to WindanSea to WATCH the surfers, but don't surf there if you are a beginner.

8. Re: Surfing

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