From it’s fantastic surf breaks to its warm water, surfers flock to San Diego in their droves to catch some amazing waves. But San Diego isn’t just a surfer’s paradise, it’s a great city to visit and is full of surfboard companies and stores meeting the demands of all these keen surfers!
But whether you’re a local or tourist, the sheer amount of stores selling or renting surfboards and other surfing gear make it difficult to determine what the best ones are. But that’s where we come in.
Below you’ll find ten of the best surf shops in San Diego in a few different neighborhoods, so you can find an excellent surf shop near you.
Address: 1105 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am-7pm and Sundays from 10am-5pm.
Phone: +1 760-753-6595
Hansen Surfboards isn’t just one of the oldest surf shops on this list, but the biggest. Hansen Surfboards was founded by Don Hansen in 1961.
Originally from South Dakota, Hansen first shaped surfboards in a shack on the Oahu’s North shore, and moved to Encinitas in the 1970s. Since then Hansen Surfboards has grown into a 20,000-square-foot store, across from the break at Swami’s.
The store has a staggering 500 boards, many of which are Hansen models. At Hansen Surfboards you’ll also find boards from top companies like Channel Islands Surfboards based in Santa Barbara.
But if you’re more into the surfing style than the surfing itself (and we don’t blame you, it’s pretty cool!), then there’s plenty of Hansen-branded clothing to enjoy such as t-shirts with the company’s original logo that have a cool, retro feel.
Address 1: 631 Pearl St., La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 459-5933
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
Address 2: 363 North Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:15am-5:45pm, closed on Sunday
If you’re in the La Jolla or Solana Beach area and are thinking of hitting the water then you need to stop by Mitch’s Surf Shop first.
Not only are they experts in surfing, but they also sell all the equipment you need for paddle boarding and spearfishing too. Both their stores in La Jolla and Solana Beach have rental options, perfect if you want to dip your toe into a new activity, or if you’re just passing through.
It’s also a great place to go if you’re into surfboard shaping too, as they have an excellent selection of blanks and resin shaping supplies.
Address: Bay Park: 1091 W. Morena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110.
Phone: (619) 276-2473
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm
Like Hansen Surfboard, Bird’s Surf Shed is a legendary surf shop in San Diego. It’s been open for decades, and is a self-proclaimed San Diego surf destination.
It’s hard to imagine San Diego surf culture without Bird’s! Covered floor to ceiling in surfboards, Bird’s is passionate about surfing, not just selling surfing gear but holding surf film premieres and running hands-on board shaping clinics from experts.
Bird’s Surf Shed was founded by Bird Huffman who has been involved in the San Diego surf community since his early youth, and his passion for surfing has not, um, wavered. After working in various local stores for decades, he took his knowledge and opened up Bird’s Surf Shed.
For Bird, board riding isn’t just limited to a specific board, it’s whatever board that lets you achieve that perfect stroke. This is because when he was a kid, Bird was constantly on the lookout for any board he could get his hands on, including kneeboards and foam boards as well as surfboards.
Bird is still obsessed with collecting them, learning their stories, analysing their mechanics and sharing what he’s learned with the community.
4. PB Surf Shop
Address: 4208 Oliver Ct. San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 373-1138
Hours: 9am-6:30pm all week
Another storied surf shop, PB Surf Shop opened in 1962 and has become a staple of the Pacific Beach community thanks to its homely, family feel. One look at the old logo and you’re sure to be humming ‘Good Vibrations’ and daydreaming about catching some amazing waves.
Despite being around for so long, PB Surf Shop hasn’t lost its authenticity while still keeping up with the times. You can buy all their gear, surfboards, wetsuits, and clothing online as well as in store. The high-quality gear and friendly, knowledgeable staff are sure to make for a memorable visit.
As well as being a surf shop selling all the equipment you could want, they’re also a surf school! Not only that, but they are one of the most affordable surf schools in the San Diego area. It goes without saying that both the store and school are well-established, and show no signs of slowing down now!
Address: 6393 Balboa Ave. San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 292-1153
Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-7pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm
Clairemont Surf Shop is another long-time surf shop beloved by the San Diego surfing scene. A family business that opened in 1976, there’s nothing that Clairemont Surf Shop doesn’t have – when it comes to surfing at least! But one thing they always have in stock is an impressive knowledge of surfing.
6. Mission Surf
Address: 4320 Mission Blvd., San Diego, Ca 92109
Phone: (858) 292-1153
Hours: 9am-6pm all week.
PB Surf Shop isn’t the only multi-tasking surf shop on our list. Mission Surf doesn’t just provide you with all the surfing equipment you need, but they also put you right where you need to be. This is because they rent two Airbnb apartments directly over the store!
To get all your equipment you just need to roll out of bed, head downstairs, buy your equipment and you’ll be hitting the beach in no time.
Talk about a convenience store! Situated right on Mission Beach, the perfect wave is just a couple of minutes away, and if you would like a change of scenery you can head a few minutes north to Tourmaline Beach.
Address 1: 5023 Newport Avenue Ocean Beach, CA 92107
Phone: (619) 223-7017
Hours: 10am-6pm all week.
Address 2: 740 Felspar St., San Diego, CA 92109
Hours: 10am-6pm all week.
Another long-running store, South Coast Surf Shop was opened in 1975 and has become a staple of the community. They have a well-stocked store, as well as a website where you can buy equipment online. In fact, its charm, beloved place in the community, and great business have led to four sister stores opening across San Diego.
They also offer a great rental service if you find yourself wanting to surf but have no surfboard (hey, it happens). To rent a surfboard from South Coast Surf Shop, visit their Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach shop just a block away from the surf.
Their staff will let you know what’s available, and whether you’re after a longboard, shortboard or foam top, South Coast Surf Shop is sure to have it!
They also offer rental wetsuits that are warm and flexible and available in all sizes from the best wetsuit manufacturers.
Also, if you’re looking for a new board but want to try it out before buying then you can take their demo surfboards from the store and other major surf labels for a whirl. If you’re interested in these demos, just ask a member of staff!
Address 1: Belmont Park | Mission Beach: 3126 Mission Blvd. Suite A, San Diego, 92109
Phone: (858) 866-0108
Hours: 10am-8pm all week long
Address 2: Fashion Valley: 7007 Friars Rd #844 San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 268-2295
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11am-7pm, Friday to Saturday 10am-8pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm
Address 3: Westfield UTC 4465 La Jolla Village Drive Suite #H-14, San Diego, 92122
Phone: (858) 646-0632
Hours: Monday to Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday to Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm
As the name suggests Sun Diego Boardshop don’t just specialize in surfboards, but any kind of board you can think of. Surfboards, skateboards, paddleboards, even snowboards can be found at Sun Diego Boardshop! What’s more, they have three stores in San Diego, so there’s sure to be one near you!
Address: Pacific Beach: 4287 Mission Blvd. #A CA Pacific Beach, 92109
Phone: (858) 273-8070
Hours: 9am-7pm all week
One of the most recognizable names in surfing, you can find Rip Curl stores all around San Diego. However, the best Rip Curl store can be found in Pacific Beach. Whatever surfing equipment you’re after, you’re sure to find it at Rip Curl, and their clothing range accommodates all ages and genders.
10. Emerald City
Address: Coronado Island: 118 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
Phone: (619) 435-6677
Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 10am-6pm
Named after the breathtaking evergreen barrels of Coronado, Emerald City was opened in 1988 by two local San Diego brothers, Kelly and Larry Kraus, who were into skateboarding and surfing before it exploded in popularity.
They grew up in Imperial Beach, CA before migrating north to Coronado in the late 1970s where they moved on from surfing the big waves at the Tijuana Sloughs to the mesmerizing green barrels at Coronado’s major surf spot, Outlet.
But Kelly and Larry didn’t limit themselves to just a couple of surf spots. They would hit the waves at a number of beaches around the world, befriend those in the know in the industry, before opening the first surf shop in Coronado.
They named their store ‘Emerald City,’ not just because that is the nickname of Coronado’s famous green barrels but this premier store really is like the Emerald City found in the Wizard of Oz – a magical, must-go-to destination for Coronado surfers.
Emerald City was founded by a family of surfers, is run by surfers, and was created for those who love surfing. They offer a huge selection of apparel, industry leading accessories, and also sell skate equipment as well as surf equipment.
They’ve been going strong since the 80s, selling anything you could ever want to buy for a day at the beach. They also have a generous selection of rentals for those just passing through. If you are a tourist, you really can’t beat a visit to Emerald City for a great Southern California experience!
If you’re buying rather than renting however, their price matching guarantee is sure to snag you the best deal, and saves you traipsing around San Diego looking for the best deal. Although we think a day spent at these surf shops is a day well spent!
If you’re a surfer living in San Diego, we’re sure you’d agree with the statement that one of the best things about living in the area is having access to some of the best surfing beaches in the country.
San Diego draws in surfers from far and wide, and luckily the abundance of surf shops in every neighborhood meets the demand of surfers eager to catch the perfect Californian wave. What’s more, these surf shops offer something for every type of surfer, no matter what level you’re at.
For new surfers, we recommend stores like PB Surf Shop that not only offers lessons to help you get started or improve your new skills but has equipment available to rent too.
Meanwhile, for tourists we’d recommend Mission Surf. With their Airbnb apartments to rent above the store, it’s a surf shop and accommodation in one. You’ll have everything you need for your surfing trip under one roof!
But if you’re an experienced surfer, you’re sure to love stores like Emerald City, Hansen Surfboards or Bird’s Surf Shed. Their nostalgic vibe and passion for surfing are sure to delight die-hard surfers.
So whether you’re a hardcore surfer, a San Diego local, a newcomer to the surfing scene or a tourist just wanting to dip their toes in the San Diego surfing scene, any of these surf shops will cater to your every need.
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La Jolla Shores is one of San Diego's best and most popular beaches. Somewhat protected from the prevailing southwest wind, it's a safe, gentle spot to learn or enjoy surfing. There are year-round lifeguard services, good facilities and decent parking.What time of year is best to surf in San Diego? ›
Generally speaking, San Diego's best surf season is August thru November. In late summer and early fall, big, orderly south swells combine with Santa Ana winds to produce beautiful offshore walls and barrels.Where do most pro surfers live? ›
California and Hawaii are leading the charts in the place for surfers. However, in the recent years, they encountered plenty of competitors. West Coast of Florida is the new frontier for surfers. Cocoa Beach has it all, white sands, wildlife-reach coastal dunes and unparallel Atlantic waves.What is the most popular surf shop? ›
- Maui and Sons.
|1||-||Filipe Toledo Brazil|
|2||2||Italo Ferreira Brazil|
|3||1||Jack Robinson Australia|
Without Jack O'Neill, there would not be surfing as it is known today. He not only launched O'Neill the original surf brand, he launched the whole notion of the surf industry.Is surf better in the morning? ›
Typically, morning is the best time to surf. Sunrise brings an excellent water swell, which creates perfect waves. There's nothing better for breakfast than catching the ultimate wave and riding it into shore. Surfing early in the morning also allows you to avoid crowds that are present throughout the rest of the day.Is high or low tide better to surf? ›
Most surfers agree that high tide provides the best surf. However low tide might be the best time to surf if you're a beginner surfer or have never surfed before.What time of day should you surf? ›
The morning and evening are often the best times to surf because the land is cool and the offshore wind is blowing. As the day heats up, the hot air from the land rises and the cooler air from the sea comes in underneath it, creating an onshore wind or “sea breeze”.What city in California has the best surfing? ›
Perhaps the best place for bodysurfing on the Eastern Coast, period, Newport Beach is part of what made Southern California famous for surfing in the first place.
The darker out it is, the better you will be able to see the bioluminescent lights San Diego style. Some good spots would include Torrey Pines, State Beach, Sunset Cliffs, and Solana Beach in San Diego's North County.Where is the hardest place to surf in the world? ›
- Hawaii – Jaws. This surf spot has notably forged the reputation of a star: Laird Hamilton. ...
- California – Mavericks. ...
- Australia – The Box. ...
- Australia – Shipsterns. ...
- Tahiti – Teahupoo. ...
- Hawaii – Waimea Bay. ...
- California – The Wedge. ...
- Portugal – Nazare.
Ghost Trees is a famed big wave surfing location off the 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The wave breaks off the rock-strewn shoreline known as Pescadero Point.What is the average age of a surfer? ›
The average surfer is a 34-year-old male who's well-educated and employed full-time, earning around $75,000 a year. A typical surfer comes to the beach in the morning and surfs for 2.5 hours. The first international championship was held in 1953 in Makaha, Hawaii.Why are surfers so happy? ›
Surfers release a lot of adrenaline and endorphins while they are riding the waves. These hormones cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. A surge of adrenaline makes you feel very alive. Endorphins resemble opiates in their chemical structure and have analgesic properties.Where do most surfers surf? ›
Oahu, Hawaii, USA
CNN named Oahu's Pipeline as the world's number 1 surf spot, though only experts will be able to ride these legendary 6-meter waves. Fortunately, there are also plenty of other breaks located on the island that is the birthplace of modern surfing.
The Cocoa Beach Ron Jon Surf Shop is also the world's largest surf shop at 52,000 square feet.What is the largest surf shop in the world? ›
Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach is the World's Largest Surf Shop and the company's "One of a Kind" flagship facility. With 52,000 square-feet filled floor to ceiling with merchandise, you'll find the best selection of surf, skate, swim and beach essentials on earth!How much do surf shapers make? ›
The salaries of Surfboard Makers in the US range from $18,780 to $82,724 , with a median salary of $49,960 .What is a good name for a surfer? ›
- Kelly — Kelly Slater(bright headed)
- Layne — Layne Beachley (path or roadway)
- Keely — Keely Andrew (slender or pretty)
- Malia — Malia Manuel, Malia Ward (bitter or of the sea)
- Bronte — Bronte Macauley (thunder or bestower)
- Julian — Julian Wilson (downy or youthful)
Layne Beachley has been considered the ultimate surfer girl and probably the best female surfer of all time. The talented Australian has taken seven world surfing titles; her record has never been beaten. Sarah Gerhardt was the first woman to challenge Mavericks' big wave surfing arena.Who is the fastest surfer? ›
Frenchman Albeau is one of the world's most successful windsurfers: he has accumulated 25 world championship titles and above all has dominated the slalom discipline for many years. And he is also the fastest.
The legend of Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing and double Olympic champion in Antwerp. At the Antwerp 1920 Games, Hawaiian champion Duke Kahanamoku became the first swimmer to win the Olympic 100m freestyle twice in a row. This came after his first title eight years earlier in Stockholm.Which country invented surf? ›
In Polynesian culture, surfing was an important activity. Modern surfing as we know it today is thought to have originated in Hawaii. The history of surfing dates to c. AD 400 in Polynesia, where Polynesians began to make their way to the Hawaiian Islands from Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands.What is the oldest surf shop in California? ›
Island Surf: Coronado's Oldest Surf Shop.When should you not surf? ›
Health experts believe people should avoid surfing or swimming in the sea for at least 72 hours following rainfall because they will expose themselves to diseases and infections. A few hours after a major precipitation event, the ocean water becomes a paradise for E.How long should you surf per day? ›
A normal surf session is about 1-2 hours. When you're learning to surf, 2 hours will feel like a long time. If you last the full 2-hours on your first session, congrats! As you improve your conditioning and become a more efficient a paddler, surf sessions can last up to 4-5 hours.Should you eat before or after surfing? ›
Each surfer is different, but as a general guide, eating a carbohydrate rich meal 2-4 hours before the first heat starts is a good goal. Choosing good quality carbs for long lasting fuel is a good idea. Some suitable options include: Wholegrain cereal with milk and fruit.At what tide are waves bigger? ›
If the tide is too high and rising, each successive wave will push higher, while if the tide is high and falling, the energy in the waves will decrease with each wave. As the tide approaches low tide, the waves will be less powerful and flat.What do surfers call small waves? ›
Moderate local winds form little waves known as chop which can kill a good surf session. It's also know as "wind chop."
The best time of day to surf fish is usually the first few hours around dawn the final few hours around dusk. With that said, the tide is still the most important factor. If you really want to increase your chances, find the days where the high tide coincides with dawn or dusk. Plan to fish around these dates.Do you shower after surfing? ›
Elevated levels of ABRs on the skin lasted for six hours post-swim, according to the study To reduce the risk of skin infections, it's best to shower shortly after you've been in the ocean. Much like with showering post-workout, a shower after the ocean washes away bacterium.What should you not do while surfing? ›
- DON'T STEAL WAVES. If someone else has a better claim to a wave than you do, you can't hurry over and drop in any way. ...
- PADDLE WITH CARE. ...
- REMEMBER YOUR BOARD IS NOT A PROJECTILE. ...
- LEAVE SOME WAVES FOR OTHERS. ...
- SURFING ETIQUETTE TAKES TIME TO LEARN.
You will be able to feel results with just 2-3 workout sessions per week but if you really want to commit to being as fit as you can be then we recommend 3 days of surf specific strength training and 3 cardio training sessions per week with one day complete rest and recovery.Can a 70 year old learn to surf? ›
Just like any non-impact sport, there is no age limit for surfing. Boys and girls start surfing as early as 3 years old and famous old surfers like Woody Brown and John H. “Doc” Ball were still paddling into waves well into their late 80s.Can a 50 year old learn to surf? ›
If learning to surf at 30, 40, 50, 60, or well into the age of retirement is your goal, you've come to the right place. Just like there is no age limit for surfing, there is no age limit for learning how to surf. It's never too late to start!Is 55 too old to learn to surf? ›
It's perfectly possible to learn to surf well into your 50s or 60s, but as mentioned you'll find it a whole lot easier if you take care of yourself and have a little bit of a fitness base.What is the surf capital of the world? ›
Pichilemu in Mapuche language means “Little Forrest”. Beautiful and calm spa located in the central zone of Chile, in the last few years it becomes beautiful and beautiful landscapes that go from the sea to the mountain range, everything together brings the qualified name: Pichilemu, The World Surfing Capital.What is the surf capital of the US? ›
In addition, the rock and roll duo Jan and Dean had Huntington Beach, not Santa Cruz, in mind when they recorded their 1960s song "Surf City". Santa Cruz began using the "Surf City" nickname in 1927 after a local newspaper coined the moniker. Huntington Beach officially adopted the "Surf City USA" nickname in 1991.What is the surfing capital of California? ›
Huntington Beach Surf City, USA, is the capital of surfing in California. The famous pier offers surfable waves on both sides of the pier, although the south peak is generally trendier. The city features some of the most consistent waves of the West Coast. The Wedge in Newport Beach is a crazy SoCal surf rollercoaster.
Bioluminescent waves 2022: California beach sees return of glowing blue sea thanks to bioluminescence of algae bloom - ABC7 Chicago.Is the bioluminescence still happening 2022? ›
We actually see bioluminescence all year long. In summer time, we see bioluminescence produced by dinoflagellate organisms. In winter, we see bioluminescence produced by comb jellies. Both provide a glowing affect that lights up the water!What time of year is best for bioluminescence? ›
While we typically see the bioluminescence nightly throughout the year, the optimal time for viewing is around new moons when there will be no moonlight reflecting on the water. In the summer months, during these darkened nights, the bioluminescent plankton give off a neon blue glow!Where do Mexican surfers go? ›
Today, the west coast is peppered with beach towns known for their surf conditions. Some, like Mazatlan, Puerto Escondido, and Punta Mita, are packed with amenities, from hotels and surf shops to restaurants and beach clubs. Others, like Barra de La Cruz and Pascuales, are much more remote.What is the surf capital of California? ›
Huntington Beach Surf City, USA, is the capital of surfing in California. The famous pier offers surfable waves on both sides of the pier, although the south peak is generally trendier. The city features some of the most consistent waves of the West Coast. The Wedge in Newport Beach is a crazy SoCal surf rollercoaster.What age do most surfers start? ›
You can start surfing as early as 5 years old, but it is often best to start at around the age between 7-9.How much do pro surfers make a year? ›
In 2021, the base salaries of the top pro surfers range from $200,000 per year to over $2 million, based solely on surf sponsorships. Most professional surfers earn in the low hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.Do surfers prefer high or low tide? ›
The best tide for surfing in most cases is low, to an incoming medium tide. Keep in mind low-tide on shallow surf breaks jack the waves up higher, leaving less room between the water's surface and ocean bottom. Always know the area you're surfing and avoid shallow reef and rock obstacles if possible.Why do surfers hate boogie boarders? ›
One of the reasons why (some) surfers (still) hate bodyboarders is because boogie boarders ride anything - even a closeout wave. Fortunately, times are changing, and the oldest and fiercest rivalry in the history of boardsports is fading away.Is Puerto Escondido for beginners? ›
Home to one of the world's most intimidating swells, Puerto Escondido also has some of the best surf spots for beginners and intermediate surfers in the country.
The morning and evening are often the best times to surf because the land is cool and the offshore wind is blowing. As the day heats up, the hot air from the land rises and the cooler air from the sea comes in underneath it, creating an onshore wind or “sea breeze”.Who is the most famous surfer ever? ›
Robert Kelly Slater (born February 11, 1972) is an American professional surfer, best known for being crowned World Surf League champion a record 11 times. Slater is widely regarded as the greatest professional surfer of all time.