Get out of your Surfing Rut & Surf Different B

sand bucket list surf spots

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think the reason the Endless Summer movie franchise was so huge was because it really did focus on the joys that both summer and surfing bring and the great time we have talking about our surf adventures!

During the cold and winter months when you have to wear the bulky wet suits, it can be easy to just keep going to your same local surf break (mine being Tourmaline Surf Park) that is convenient and close.  However when summer comes, there is a freeing feeling with the weightlessness that wet suit free surfing brings that makes you want to fly and explore all the other beaches in your city and nearby regions!

Therefore I’m making it a goal right now, and by documenting it here it’s official, I’m going to not only surf all of these varied surf breaks this summer, but I’m also going to try and vary the boards I use at each break, ya know, to mix it up and get out of my surfing rut.

With da Surf Engine, website & app, we have a “sand bucket” list, which is a list of surf spots you want to visit and ones you’ve checked off that list, and if you’re feeling extra sentimental you can actually collect the sand at every surf spot  you surf on the list.  Below is my summer time surf sand bucket list and some stories about the surf spots I’ve conquered so far and want to accomplish this summer. Surfers love a good surf story – aka surfer talk!

Summer Sand Bucket List Surf Spots I’ve completed so far:

Ocean Beach Surf Spot (Dog Beach) 

Ocean Beach Jetty Surf Spot
Ocean Beach Dog Beach Surf Spot

The last time I surfed here it was actually in the early spring on a 4-6 foot day. 4-6 feet is the max height of waves I typically surf, however I had no problem getting out to the back at first when I surfed there last as there was a rip current helping me.  However on the way out I thought I totally had made it over this wave but it decided it had other plans for me.  It jerked me back and my leash snapped off my board.

Fortunately for me, there were some people on shore watching me because they were checking out my Feisty Fish bright orange “Nemo” board and then alerted the lifeguards when they saw it run away from me.  I’m a strong swimmer, but waves do take the energy out of you and even though I was floating and gradually making it back to shore, it was still a bit tough getting back in and I was very thankful for the lifeguard’s help.  It took me awhile to get back there, but I love that beach with its dog friendly vibes and had a good fun session there a few weeks ago.

Windansea Surf Spot  

Windansea Beach Surf Spot
Windansea Beach Surf Spot

I don’t surf this break a lot but it’s a summertime surf spot for me that I surf a couple times each summer. It’s a quintessential regional classic surf spot in San Diego that is pristine and beautiful, but just be careful, as there is a bit of grumpy old men/localism in the area!

Cardiff Reef Surf Spot (by the Rivermouth) 

Cardiff Reef Rivermouth Surf Spot
Cardiff Reef Rivermouth Surf Spot

Usually I surf at the Seaside area (because of convenient but paid parking) or right in front of the Cardiff Kook area (as parking is usually decent up the hill at Cardiff). However the last time I was there it was really smelly and seaweed infested by the Cardiif Reef Kook area so I kept walking down south and eventually got to the rivermouth area where there is really one peak that people focus on.  I had a pretty fun time but the waves were pretty small and powerless so I should have brought my longboard.  Good to know for next time though!

Del Mar Rivermouth Surf Spot 

Del Mar Rivermouth Surf Spot
Del Mar Rivermouth Surf Spot

I usually surf the 13th-15th street area (where I broke my ankle surfing and trying to avoid the rocks at high tide several years ago when I first moved to SD). However today, because of crowded summertime parking, I wanted to try another location further north in Del Mar which I lucked out with finding parking (albeit paid but at that point after searching for parking for a half hour I was fine with).

The waves were just ok (pretty powerless and small 1-2 footers), but the warm, blue water and completely cushy sand bottom with no prickly rocks made my surf session so fun (especially since I brought my longboard – learning from the Cardiff Reef surf sesh the day before), and caught a few fun ones and there were hardly any surfers out which was a bonus!

Summer Surf Spots Remaining on my Sand Bucket Surf List:

Malibu  

Malibu First Point Surf Spot
Malibu First Point Surf Spot

I’ve never surfed here before and this is a definite brand new spot I want to conquer this summer. I’ve driven through Malibu a few times and the surf spots just seem harder to access via parking, etc. but I’m determined to get a hotel nearby one night and get up super early and get a great spot and soak up the surf in this area one weekend before this summer is done!  Next to San Onofre, it’s one of the best longboarding spots in California!

Bolsa Chica State Beach Surf Spot 

bolsa chica surf spot, sunset beach, footprints in the sand

I’ve been here a few times, biking and watching The Wheeland Brothers (a total surf bro band) perform at Sea Leggs but it’s always just been a little too windy and cold for my tastes to surf when I was there. However I heard the Wheeland Brothers are playing at Sea Leggs at the Beach there again this coming Labor Day weekend, so I will definitely have to check this spot off and check off surfing and seeing the Wheeland Brothers play on the same beach on the same day!

Swami’s Surf Spot  

Swamis Surf Spot
Swamis Surf Spot

This is another regional San Diego classic surf spot. Due to the small parking lot, it’s hard for me to surf here a lot (as I usually surf in the busier weekend summer afternoon times).  However it is an amazing point break in the San Diego area with super fun and long waves and I usually surf it a few times a year.

I definitely want to try and make it out after work on a summer Friday this summer, as to avoid the busier weekend time periods.  The crowd can be chill here but there is a little bit of localism in the lineup…either that or just a couple grumpy old men and agro surf dudes!

San Onofre Surf Spot  

San Onofre State Beach Surf Spot
San Onofre State Beach Surf Spot

I admit, ever since the shark attack a couple months ago, I’ve been a bit hesitant to surf up there. Not like sharks scare me (really, I’m scared of rocks there more at low tide), however I’ve had other places I haven’t surfed in awhile so I was thinking I’d surf those places for now till this shark thing blows over.

However this spot is one of my absolute fave San Diego County spots and an all time regional classic area as the waves are so friendly and so super long and almost endless it seems at times.  The surf vibe at this spot is super chill as well and party waves are the norm! I always have a blast and get super stoked surfing there!

Doheny State Beach Surf Spot  

Doheny State Beach Surf Spot
Doheny State Beach Surf Spot

I admit I recently surfed this spot in May – but it was chillier and May Gray so I can’t wait to come back here and surf during a summertime sunny/warm water day. This place is literally like surfing in Waikiki Hawaii, as the waves are super gentle but long and fun and you always do seem to find some native looking Hawaiian longboarding in the line-up.  This place is so chill I often surf with my sunglasses on because it’s such an easy ride there!  It is super crowded though, that’s just the one thing to keep in mind!

Lower Trestles Surf Spot 

Lower Trestles Surf Spot
Lower Trestles Surf Spot

I admit I just tend to surf this surf spot every September around the World Surf League competition time there so I can see pro surfers. It is a definite trek to get down there and requires you to really commit a full day to your surf sesh.

It’s a pretty experienced spot but if you go out and make sure people know you are trying to stay out of the way and just try for a wave here and then when there’s no one around, it’s a great spot with truly perfect waves – the best surf spot in SoCal by far, which is why the WSL hosts an event here.  Last September I was out surfing there and spotted John John Florence in the lineup.

At first I was like doing a double/triple take like is that really him?  It was so cool seeing him out there because while most times people/fans are hounding him for autographs, however out there, people treat him like a regular person for the most part, as they may throw a few comments his way/ask if they can touch his hair (I really did see a little surfer girl ask him this) but otherwise they leave him alone and are just in awe of watching him up close in action.

I mean it’s kind of like being on stage with a band, when you get to be that close to an athlete performing on their stage, the surf!!  No other sport is this possible! I mean can you really see Lebron James just showing up to your half court basketball pickup game at the local park?  I was in awe of John John out in the lineup here as he just seemed to “feel” the waves coming and start paddling after them before anyone else knew what was up.

There was this one wave I was right next to him that he started paddling for and as a joke to myself I tried paddling a bit for the same wave he was going for, literally laughing out loud and saying “this will be fun” when he was right next to me and could hear.  I knew I had no chance of making that wave, but to just be able to say I kinda had a paddle battle out in the lineup with John John Florence is kinda cool!

Oceanside Pier Surf Spot  

Oceanside Pier Surf Spot
Oceanside Pier Surf Spot

I don’t surf here too much as it is a bit of a drive from my place and if I go that far I might as well go on up to San Onofre which is my fave. However I am planning on attending the Super Girl surf contest later this July so I always like to get a few waves in here after the contest is done.

Last year the waves were so crystal and sparkling blue and warm it was literally almost like surfing waves in the Caribbean – that was probably due to the pristine sunny day last year, but I’m hoping this year will be the same.  Depending on the wave size here it can be a fun chill place or a definite workout getting out to the lineup!

Imperial Beach Surf Spot  

Imperial Beach Surf Spot
Imperial Beach Surf Spot

I’ve never surfed here before and generally have avoided it as I’ve heard it’s not the cleanest beach, etc. However I am planning on going to see this dog surfing competition there in a few weeks so figured I might as well try something new that I won’t do much while I’m there.  I’m looking forward to it – both the dog surfing and checking out the surf for myself.

Now this is just my summer time local/regional surf sand bucket list for the SoCal area.  I definitely have a much longer list of dream surf places in Hawaii, Mexico, Australia, Fiji, Bali, and many others that I want to accomplish in my surfing life.  I’m definitely hitting up Mexico for some Cabo and Puerta Villarta/Punta Mita this October on a surf cruise on the Carnival Celebrity cruise ship hosted by pro surfer Mary Osbourne.

I also hope to get back to Hawaii and surf a few new chiller spots on the North Shore and see Kelly Slater compete 100% full on tour at Pipeline for the first time (for me) probably last time (for him). I’m editing this blog the day after Kelly’s foot injury at J-Bay but I think he’ll still be surfing Pipeline this year and in fact now I’m hedging he’ll win that event!

Of course I’ll probably be frequenting my local surf spot of Tourmaline Surf Park – my favorite San Diego (city) surf spot by far!!!  However I found it inspiring to make this list now to get me out of my usual surf board/surf spot rut for the summer, now that I can spend the whole day and multiple surf sessions a day with the waves now that wetsuits are not needed.

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