Where to Surf in Los Angeles

It's an "Endless Summer" at LA's world famous surfing spots

Leo Carrillo State Beach Surf Surfer
Leo Carrillo State Beach | Photo courtesy of Jeremy Lusk, Flickr

Whether you’re getting on a board for the first time at some of LA's best beaches or you’re a seasoned rider searching for LA’s best breaks, there’s something for everyone. Beginners can learn how to surf with mellow, consistent waves, while experts can head toward the big stuff. No matter what level you’re at, you’ll want to check out these legendary LA surfing spots and dive into surf culture USA.

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Zuma Beach | Photo courtesy of Eric Demarcq, Flickr

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach (3000 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu) sits at the northern end of Malibu and stretches nearly two miles. Expect clear waters, significant waves and a local crowd.

Malibu Surfrider Beach | Instagram by @samisneider
Malibu Surfrider Beach | Instagram by @samisneider

Malibu Beach (Surfrider Beach)

How can anyone talk about surfing in LA without talking about Malibu? The iconic Surfrider Beach (23050 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu) is practically where LA surfing culture was born. Think long, lazy point breaks and ideal winds. It’s the beach for those who say they’re surfers, and want to prove it. Make these waves and you’ve made a point that you’re a pro.

Topanga Beach Surf Surfing
Topanga Beach Surfing | Denise Taylor, Flickr

Topanga Beach

For adventurous novices, the swells at Topanga Beach (18700 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu) are a little easier to drop into and perfect for the beginner’s longboard. The only catch: conditions are so ideal you might have to compete with plenty of good surfers for waves.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Goldberg, Flickr

Venice Beach

The crowd here is known to be a little quirky, but on the other hand, the waves at Venice Beach (3100 to 2700 Ocean Front Walk, Venice) offer mellow rides that are perfect for beginners. Plus, there’s no better place to relax after surfing than Venice’s famous boardwalk.

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Surfing in Manhattan Beach | Photo courtesy of JKG II, Flickr

Manhattan Beach

One of the best beaches for winter riding, Manhattan Beach (400-500 The Strand, Manhattan Beach) takes the cake for large surfs (and waves with fast closeouts). Expect big waves and ideal opportunities to practice your aerials.

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Photo courtesy of Shannon Howard, Flickr

Hermosa Beach

One of LA’s hippest beaches, Hermosa Beach (Hermosa Avenue and 33rd Street, Hermosa Beach) boasts some of the area's best waves, though at times the water can be colder than you’d expect for California weather (consider a wetsuit). The break is best during low tide and during the fall and winter.