Surfing in Del Mar
The beach in Del Mar is unique in what if offers the active surfer looking for fun and diverse waves, in addition to beach activities to complement the lifestyle. Lying just to the north of San Diego, Del Mar is close and accessible to all surfers in San Diego County.
For the opportunistic surfer looking for waves 12 months a year, Del Mar is a great destination. With a broad swell window open to seasonal swells twelve months a year, there is a great chance of finding a good ride within the city limits. Facing almost due west and with little land diverting waves from this stretch of coast, Del Mar, generally, sees good swell energy from the southwest, west, and northwest.
With surfing becoming more mainstream, crowds have grown significantly. The diversity of waves in Del Mar offers the ability to find a fun wave almost any time of year without the constraints of thick crowds.
The southern end of the beach offers a section of over one-half mile of rock-bottom reef. Depending on the swell size, direction, and tides, the reefs between 4th and 15th Streets will turn on at different times. Generally speaking, if there is a swell over a few feet, fun waves can be found at one or more of the reef outcroppings. The most frequented spots with the most consistent surf are Eleventh and Fifteenth Streets. Both locations thrive on swells in the 220-280 degree range with tides below 4 feet.
The middle section of the Del Mar beach consists of a one mile-long stretch of beach breaks. While the sandbars are at the mercy of currents, tides, and swell, fun and uncrowded peaks can often be found – and most often in a different location from one day to the next. While these shifty peaks are fun on most swells and mid-level tides throughout the year, overhead waves tend to be mostly closed-out on this stretch of beach as well as during extreme low tides.
The northern stretch of beach offers another unique wave area with the San Dieguito River meeting the Pacific Ocean, offering up some very consistent sandbars when the river is flowing. Additionally, reef outcroppings provide an area of more consistently forming waves to the north of the river extending to the Del Mar border with Solana Beach. This stretch of beach is most consistent during our northwesterly swell events and offer some of the better large wave swell riding opportunities in Del Mar.
Remember to inquire with local Lifeguards for detailed information on safety, rules, and conditions. Enjoy the waves!