All reality T.V. shows and art festivals aside, no matter what anyone will say to keep you and your board away, Laguna Beach has its share of waves…just not that often. Fast hollow waves that break over shallow rock bottoms paired with random boils require some solid local knowledge and a bit of confidence in your surfing. Beginners be warned. It might be best to spend some time watching the spot before paddling out. Most of the locals take surfing their spots very seriously…perhaps a little too seriously.
The only spot that I have consistently experienced is El Morro, which straddles the border of north Laguna and Corona Del Mar. This spot is no secret. Anyone with a set of wheels or a pair of legs on Pacific Coast Highway can see it straightaway, park and paddle out. It’s that easy. On the right south swell or a big west, this spot features a left that breaks off a cliff and freight trains across a sandy bottom. The steep hollow rights tend to be glorified close-outs and, to me, not worth a neck injury. Other than this spot, there are other common knowledge spots like Thalia Street, however, it takes a special swell for most Laguna spots to break.
You’re more likely to find better more consistent waves north or south of Laguna.
What the locals say:
“You park the car, jump off the stairs and you’re in the lineup. Brooks is one of those waves that has a penalty if you mess up.”
–Nick Lanfranco, Laguna Beach local
“It’s not like you’re going to find a sick spot that’s always breaking. When there’s good sized swell, you’ll be able to get a few good waves with a few people. El Morro is a sick wave. It’s one of those spots when you get it on a good day, you can get the wave of your lifetime. Every beach has its day, but compared to its neighbors (Dana Point and Newport), it’s really not the place to hang out waiting for swell.”
–Dave Campbell, Newport Beach local
Peaks: Brooks Street, Thalia, Rockpile, El Morro
Highlights: secret spots, a slice of blue in predominantly red Orange County, beautiful scenery, cool hiking trails, art galleries, snorkeling, diving, skim boarding, body surfing, Stand Up Paddle spots, tourists looking for LC’s house,