Long Beach is a beautiful city in Los Angeles in California that is full of popular surfing spots. The city is extremely popular for its beaches, culture, arts, entertainment, and views of the Californian coast that you simply cannot experience anywhere else.
The city of Long Beach is home to lots of surf towns where you can ride the waves and feel fresh in the California sun.
If you are visiting Long Beach, you may be wondering what the best beach is for surfing. Below you will find the ultimate guide to surfing in Long
Beach so you can be prepared, plan your days, and make sure that you visit all of the serene surfing beaches that Long Beach has to offer.
We have also found the hotels, restaurants, and surfing stores so you can make sure that you are more than catered to during your visit to Long Beach.
Before we begin, you must be warned that after reading this guide, you will be desperate to get on over to Long Beach!
The scenes about to be described to you are like something out of a dream, so get ready to fall in love with surfing in Long Beach. `
When’s The Best Time To Surf In Long Beach?
One of the best things about California is that you can surf almost all year round, except for in the winter months. The waves are different all year round, so you need to be aware of the waves before entering the water all year round.
Here are the behaviors of the waves throughout the year.
April is a great time to surf in Long Beach as the sets from the South and Southwest create good power to create waves on Huntington Beach, Bolsa Chica, and Seal Beach.
The waves around these beaches in Long Beach are consistent and allow you to pick up quite a few waves around this time of year.
However, in Long Beach Bay, there won’t be any rideable waves around the Springtime due to the onshores.
Summer is the perfect time to surf in Long Beach! South and Southwest swells hit the Long Beach coast and create more rideable waves around this time of year.
The best waves are East around Seal Bay as the breakwater can affect incoming sets, but offshore winds help catch the best waves along Long Beach. The water temperature is usually warm around the summer so wetsuits aren’t as required but always advised.
You are able to surf in the fall but it may require some traveling to make sure that you are hitting the beaches with the best waves.
Bolsa Chica is great for waves around the fall as the Southwest swells are still leftover from the summer period which means you can catch some decent waves on this beach.
The Santa Ana offshores affect the North of California in the fall, but down South, Encinitas and San Clemente are perfect surf spots for fall.
Winter is the time of the year when surfing in Long Beach pretty much comes to a halt. Usually, Southerly breaks can form in Huntington Beach around the winter months, but the fact that the town is south-facing means that when combined with the breakwater, you can’t really catch a wave around this time of year.
There are some areas of Long Beach where the winter swells generate some larger waves, but these are not always reliable to catch.
Places To Surf In Long Beach?
Long Beach has some awesome surf spots that are most definitely worth a visit. Some of the spots are for more experienced surfers, but we will take you through them so that you can decide what ones are suitable for your experience level.
Some of the beaches aren’t great for surfing, so we have included some so you know what ones aren’t as desirable for surfers.
Seal Beach has pier breaks that can generate some waves that you are able to catch, but overall, it is not a great surfing beach. The beach has heavy backwash which can make it difficult to form big waves to ride, but there are certainly some smaller waves to catch.
Seal Beach is also known for having quite a lot of stingrays and pollution can be an issue on the beach.
Huntington Beach is one of the best beaches for surfing throughout the whole of California, let alone just in Long Beach. You can catch some seriously good waves at Huntington Beach and have a crowd to watch you.
The pier is always crowded full of people watching the surfers as you really could not ask for a better view to watch some high-quality surfing.
Surfside is only recommended for good surfers, so if you lack experience, it is best to avoid Surfside. The Surfside Jetty has a great takeoff point inside the harbor wall and the Western swells help to generate waves for you to catch.
After the takeoff point, you will need to be careful of the long right as it can be dangerous if you get caught in it.
Although 13th Street technically isn’t in Long Beach, it is the best area to surf on Seal Beach.
The Western swells in the winter months create some seriously good waves for you to catch and are probably one of the best areas to surf in those winter months when other areas of Long Beach are struggling for waves!
Although these waves are not always reliable, if you are in Long Beach in the winter and want to surf, you can always head to 13th Street.
64th Place isn’t a great surfing spot for experienced surfers, but it will make good practice for beginner surfers. The Southern swells in August create pretty good waves during the summer months, but they aren’t overly reliable.
If you are looking for smaller waves to practice surfing on, then 64th Place will be a good spot for you before you feel confident enough to try catching larger waves.
The 72nd Place jetty is very popular amongst longboarders in the Long Beach area as the waves hit good height before breaking to form perfect shoreline waves to cruise on.
The waves do reach quite a height, so you are able to surf on them, but this area is particularly popular for longboarding so the waves may not be as high compared to other Long Beach areas.
As you move North of Long Beach into Los Angeles, there are still some great surfing spots if you want to continue along the California coastline. The coastline further North has points and breaks in the water so you can catch some seriously good waves there.
Malibu is also known for its popularity for surfing, so if you are looking to go further North, there are still some great surfing spots.
What To Wear
The weather in South California is warm and sunny, so people mistakenly just pack a bikini or some shorts to visit Long Beach for surfing.
You need to be prepared for your trip, and here are some of the essentials that you will need to take and during which months.
A 3/2 wetsuit is recommended for surfing during spring and fall as even though it will be warm outside, the water usually has a chill to it. Wearing a 3/2 wetsuit will keep you warm but also allow you to be flexible and move freely in the water.
In the summer, the water is warmer in California thanks to the South swells, so you won’t need to fear chilly waters.
You can usually wear a short wetsuit in the summer months for surfing as your body will be able to keep cool in the warm water but keep you warmer for longer.
Some people do tend to surf with just their swimsuits, but it is always advised that you wear a wetsuit to help keep you warm.
Wearing a 4/3 wetsuit in the winter months will help keep your body warm in the colder water. Wearing a 4/3 wetsuit will provide insulation for your arms and legs, but mainly keeps your core warm.
As most of your body heat comes from your core, a 4/3 wetsuit will help maintain this warmth so you are able to remain in the water for longer.
Are There Surf Shops In Long Beach?
Of course! Long Beach is filled with surf shops to keep you going for the entire length of your stay. They are also handy if you have forgotten any surfing gear or if you have lost something that needs replacing.
Here are some surf shops in Long Beach that will make your surfing dreams a reality.
Seams Boutique is a small surf shop that is right near the coast of Long Beach. They have a great selection of surfing clothes and swimwear so you can make sure that you are ready to catch some waves.
The store has a wide range of bespoke boards for you to choose from and is a very knowledgeable shop, so any queries can definitely be answered.
Alternative Surf Bodyboard Shop
If you are looking to try bodyboarding before surfing, then the Alternative Surf Bodyboard Shop will be able to kit you out in all the gear that you need. The boards are of excellent quality and will see you gliding over the waves in no time.
Other surf gear is also available in the store so you don’t have to worry if you need to find replacement gear, it will be available here.
Where To Stay In Long Beach
If you are looking to travel to Long Beach, there are some places to stay that will make you feel right at home. You will have easy access to all of the surf spots in Long Beach and catch some incredible views from your room as well as a comfortable night’s sleep after a long day!
The Belmont Shore Inn
The Belmont Shore Inn can be found East of Long Beach right next to all of the awesome waves. The rooms have a distinct ‘surf vibe’ which will make you feel right at home in Long Beach.
There are showers in the room so you are able to wash the ocean salt out of your hair before heading out to enjoy the nightlife in Long Beach.
If you don’t want a surfer lodge vibe where you are staying in Long Beach, there are more luxurious places to stay throughout the city. Hotel Maya is owned by Hilton Hotels, and you can’t get much more luxury than that!
The hotel is right on the beachfront giving you awesome views of the ocean, as well as a large pool and modern rooms to enjoy.
Where To Eat and Drink In Long Beach?
Long Beach has lots of cool hangout spots to keep you refreshed throughout the day. Here are some of the best places to eat and drink around Seal Beach so you can experience the true essence of Long Beach with some awesome food and drinks to keep you going.
Sweet Jill’s Bakery
Sweet Jill’s Bakery is perfect for early morning starts to watch the Long Beach sunrise. Local favorites from this bakery include fresh cinnamon rolls, muffins, and coffee that will set you up for a long day of surfing so you never run out of energy.
The Hangout Restaurant and Beach Bar
Slightly different from Sweet Jill’s Bakery, the Hangout Restaurant and Beach Bar serve up traditional American meals that will satisfy your hunger after a day of surfing. Indulge in burgers, fries, steaks, and many other hearty dishes to energize you after a day of surfing before you hit the nightlife of Long Beach.
How To Remain Safe
Although Califonia is extremely popular for surfing, there are still some risks to be aware of when surfing. It is important to always remain as safe as possible when surfing as you want to enjoy your experience in Long Beach
It is a given that surfing involves water, so you need to make sure that you are a good swimmer to be able to remain safe in the ocean.
If you aren’t an experienced swimmer or surfer, then you must make sure that you do not try and surf in areas that are more suitable for experienced surfers.
Although shark attacks are rare in California, it is always important to be on the lookout for sharks. If you do spot a shark in the water, make sure that you let the coastguard know so they can alert people already in the water.
Even though it is rare that sharks are spotted on the California coast, it is worth being safe and remaining on the lookout just in case.
The clothing you wear when surfing is important as you want to keep your body warm for as long as possible. Lots of people believe that the warm weather in California means that the water will be warm, but this isn’t always the case.
Wearing a wetsuit will ensure that you are able to keep warm in the water and even be more streamlined and comfortable when surfing.
To conclude, surfing in Long Beach is an extremely popular activity amongst locals and tourists. As you are able to surf in Long Beach pretty much all year round, this makes it the perfect destination for keen surfers to surf however much they like.
Although there isn’t much surfing in Long Beach in the winter months, there are some points around Seal Beach, in particular, that generate bigger waves in the winter months for you to get your surfing fix!
There are great places to stay in Long Beach so you are able to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. You can have the beaches right on your doorstep and instantly be made to feel at home in the city.
There are also lots of great hangout spots throughout Long Beach to keep you full of energy before and after a great day of surfing so you can continue exploring Long Beach and immerse yourself in the surfer culture of the city.
If you have forgotten any gear or wish to find more, there are surf shops on hand to make sure that you are safe in the water. It is important to make sure that you are properly kitted out in the correct clothing to surf.
Although California is warm and sunny, you need to be aware of the time of year you are surfing as the water may be cooler than you expect.
Finally, it is important to enjoy surfing in Long Beach. If you are a keen surfer, the waves in Long Beach will never fail to amaze you. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, surfing, and fall in love with Long Beach!