The Central Coast is known for its picturesque beaches: crystal clear, blue waters, salty ocean air, and tons of beach-goers enjoying the sandy shore. The sun days and cloudless skies that are so common to the area bring tons of visitors and residents to our shores to enjoy the Pacific Ocean and all it has to offer. The most popular surf spots on the Central Coast are perfect for every person, whether you’re the most seasoned veteran or you just enjoy watching the magic of riding waves from the sand. These beaches are the best places to work on your surfing skills or even grab a rental and try it out for the first time! Head to Surf Line and Wave Watch for live beach cameras and reports on the best surf at these popular surf spots on the Central Coast.
Pismo Beach is already an immensely popular spot to enjoy the summer weather and try out some beach activities, but it is also one of the best surf spots on the Central Coast. Around the pier is known as one of the most consistent areas for great waves and clean water, usually best from late spring into summer and then fall. The surf is best when winds are light and the tides are high, providing near perfect waves for skill levels from beginner to beyond. This easily accessible spot is also located near tons of Pismo Beach hotels, like Inn at the Cove, Pismo Lighthouse Suites, and Best Western PLUS Shore Cliff Lodge, so if you’re a vacationer looking to try surfing for this would be the most convenient choice. The pier is also fully lit at night, which means night surfing is an option for a new and exciting experience!
Moonstone Beach in Cambria is located about an hour drive north of Pismo Beach and has also become well known for its great waves. Best at low tide around the reef and medium tide at the beach break, Moonstone is a local favorite and can get crowded with tons of resident surfers showing off their best moves. During fall and summer these waves are great, with the outer sandbars creating long, pealing waves. Bring your shortboard or longboard to this beach for an awesome day on the water, but be watch out for the low temperatures, shallow shorebreaks, and sometimes even sharks!
The Cayucos Pier is just south of Moonstone beach and is a less crowded options for surfing enthusiasts. Locals can be found fighting the sometimes tough paddle out here while enjoying the sunshine and generally warmer waters. The waves are usually best here from spring to fall, so grab you’re wet suit as the waters get chilly during those colder months. Surfing is often best at low tide, but the shore bottom is known to have some rocks for a sometimes uncomfortable wipe-out. This consistent beach break with unpredictable wave shapes creates a fun ride that you won’t forget. Fishing is popular off the pier though, so make sure to steer clear of fishing lines.
Morro Bay is known for the massive, daunting rock located offshore from the marina. To surfers though, this is one of the most popular spots for locals who are always friendly to newcomers or first-timers. You might want to grab some pointers from the seasoned veterans though, as the paddle out here can be mildly difficult to just plain impossible! These clean, blue waters are perfect for any board type, with an average beach break in most spots. On the north end, bigger and more challenging waves are known to pop up if you’re looking for a wild ride. Perfect for beginner to intermediate surfing, this spot is a beautiful way to spend the day.
San Simeon is home to tons of elephant seals basking in the sunshine, along with some surfers who love to do the same! Surfing on your longboard or shortboard is popular here at Pico Creek, with waves being best at low tide with a southern swell and wind from the northeast. You might even see a few kite surfers catching the winds here, providing fun entertainment during your surf session. The reef break is great on large and small days, located in front of a creek mouth. These smooth rides are most reliable during larger swells, creating waves most suitable for intermediate surfers.