Surf City U.S.A. features a long stretch of coast that’s open to all swells, big and small, and has minimal blockage from the off-shore Catalina Island. Breaking over a sandy bottom, HB waves are often fast and powerful unless you surf Huntington Pier where you will find not only interesting characters, but also a deep spot that will often reform into a punchy inside wave. Who says practicing your chop-hop is a sin?!
Sometimes you can get a spot to yourself and sometimes there are 20 of your best buddies fighting for the peak, more particularly at the north and south ends of the pier. However, between the six mile stretch from the Santa Ana rivermouth to Bolsa Chica, it is entirely possible to get a good wave all to yourself while everyone else is running down to Newport or Trestles.
What the locals say:
“Our beach sits at the perfect spot to get swell from the north, south and west, which means there’s something to ride here every single day,” said local surfer Marcus Barton. “Sometimes it’s two foot mush and sometimes its eight-foot hollow off-shore barrels. As long as you have the right board for the conditions that day, you’re guaranteed to have fun.”
“I surf at Bolsa Chica State Beach near tower 18. The water is clean, waves are fun and the surfers are friendly,” said local surfer Jen Castelo. “I also like this beach because they have ample parking, pretty clean bathrooms (for the beach) and they have showers! My only tip is: don’t get caught in the beach break. You’ll end up getting sand in places where the sun don’t shine. I call that the ‘Bolsa Chica Special.’”
Peaks: Miscellaneous beach breaks, Huntington Pier-Southside, Huntington Pier-Northside, 17th street, Huntington Cliffs, Bolsa Chica
Nick-names: Surf City, HB
Vibe Meter: 1-8