As far as Southern California goes, it is hard to beat the surf in San Diego...especially Encinitas. There are different breaks all up and down the coast and each wave has its own personality and crowd. While a majority of the waves here are laid-back reef breaks (which we love), there's also some punchy beach breaks and a few more competitive spots that attract the region's best surfers.
September/October is usually the golden window for Southern California, where optimal conditions can align. This means a combo of both North and South swells, offshore winds, not too cold of water and warm daytime temperatures. While the waves can get bigger on the good swells, there is almost always a good spot for a beginner to have fun too.
November/December/January/February, our winter season is the most variable in terms of condition. While some days are sunny and 70 degrees, some are cloudy and quite cold. Water temperatures drop down into the 50's and wave heights can reach 6-8ft. On most days, we can find a spot for beginners, but some days may be too big if the swell is peaking. This is best time for more advanced surfers looking to surf the region while it’s pumping.
March/April our spring can be fun and similar to the fall, but conditions are a bit more variable. It's still a fun time for surfers of all levels but its good to keep an eye on the weather patterns. Things tend to slow down as we approach summer.
May/June this is usually the slowest time for surf in Southern California. However, there can still be amazing south swells. The weather is usually overcast but still warm or at least mild enough to not need a jacket or a thick wetsuit.
July/August summer is in full swing and temperatures are hot and winds pick up early. That being said, this is the window for south swells to come in with good energy and light up the south-facing breaks.
Our goal is to work with you to make sure you have the best possible session based on your abilities and the surf conditions on each given day. A huge part of surfing that isn't always obvious to beginners (or even experts) is your perspective and how you approach each session and each wave. A wise surfer once said, "There are no bad waves, only a poor choice of equipment and a lousy attitude."
We are proud to have an excellent quiver of surfboards that are available if you need a board or simply want to try something new!
We can start each day as early as dawn or as late as mid-morning, depending on surf conditions and what's best for you. If you're down for dawn patrol, then we can pick you up while it's dark with some coffee and snacks ready to go, or we can take a more leisurely approach and have breakfast first while we wait for the tide to drop.
If you want some time to meditate or do yoga before we paddle out, just let us know and we can work that into our flow.
Most days are best spent outside and we know all the great spots to check out, from heady juice bars and great restaurants to cool coastal hikes or even a trip to the botanical garden.
If you opt for a full-day experience, we can grab some food and show you around while we rest up for a second session. To cap it all off we can finish the day with a trip to a local brewery, a cliffside hang to enjoy a classic California sunset, or even a vinyasa flow in a hot yoga studio.
While we will have our own lodging options available starting Summer 2022, if your trip is before then, we will be happy to recommend some local options if needed. The first choice would be Surfhouse Encinitas located a few minutes from our home in Leucadia.
San Diego Surf Padres is made up of two guides, Chris Dodds and Ettore Chiappa, and one photographer Tyler Huntley. Tyler and Ettore were born and raised in San Diego and have both traveled the world and spent time living in the Alps and Rockies to be able to surf the mountains. Chris Dodds was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and journeyed far and wide before finding his home in Encinitas 8 years ago.
They have each cultivated a vast network of friends and contacts that starts in San Diego but reaches across the oceans. Talking story is just one of the benefits of booking a trip with the Surf Padres.