3 Ways to Experience the Surf Culture in Oceanside

Oceanside is the quintessential Southern California surf town with stellar year-round waves, an abundance of incredible surfboard shapers, and a variety of local surf shops.

Of course, one of the best ways to experience the local surf culture is to get your toes wet and take a surf lesson with a local surfer.  There are a variety of aficionados who specialize in all things surf that would be happy to teach you the ins-and-outs of the local surf scene. 

For those that don’t want to get wet, we have some good news for you! This summer, you can experience the thrill of the City’s surf vibe without a wet suit. From a premier surf event featuring top female pros to new exhibits at the iconic surf museum and a special evening with a legendary surf filmmaker, Oceanside’s surf-related fun goes way beyond the waves.

Here are three ways that you can experience the local O’side surf culture. 

Summer Surf Contests

Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro 

Catch the best female surfers in the world in action at the Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro held at the Oceanside Pier. Surfing superstars including Bethany Hamilton and Carissa Moore are scheduled to compete in the event, which is the only women’s Association of Professional Surfing (ASP) qualifying event in North America.

The event supports an eco-awareness platform that features a surf industry village with 40 vendor booths and a variety of activities including live music with headliner Natasha Bedingfield, an all-female DJ contest, a competitive video game tournament with the Super Girl Gamer Pro, and the Super Girl Skate Pro, featuring the world’s top 20 female skateboarders.

Oceanside Longboard Surf Contest & Beach Festival 

Celebrating the power of female surfing continues with the Annual Oceanside Longboard Surf Contest and Beach Festival at the Oceanside Pier. This year’s event will honor Women in Surfing and celebrate female surf pioneers as well as current day competitors.

As part of the event, the California Surf Museum will have a pop-up exhibit featuring photos of female surfers in history.

World Bodysurfing Championships

Check out the best bodysurfers from around the country compete at the World Bodysurfing Championships at the Oceanside Pier. Visitors can watch the best in body surfing as they take off on killer waves and perform tricks to earn high scores from the judges.

MORE: Surf Contests in Oceanside

Surf Spotlight at Oceanside International Film Festival

Held every August, the Oceanside International Film Festival (OIFF) offers an exciting lineup of special events related to the surf and action sports lifestyle. Special guests in past years have included Taylor Steele, a North County San Diego native and award-winning surf filmmaker who has produced and directed over forty best-selling surf films starring the world’s best surfers such as Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Jordy Smith and Taylor Knox, as well as Tony Alva, known as the “godfather of modern-day skateboarding,” among other iconic filmmakers and personalities. 

This event offers independent filmmakers the chance to screen their work in the North County area, in addition to inviting attendees to experience local and international films in a vibrant arts and culture district. 

Surf Exhibit: The Healing Power of Waves

Oceanside’s California Surf Museum is considered one of the premier surf museums in the country and has an updated lineup of exciting surf exhibits for visitors this summer. Museum-goers will discover a moving exhibit about the healing power of wave riding including how adaptive surfing has made a stratospheric leap both recreationally and competitively. There are also exhibits showcasing legendary surfers Kelly Slater, Eddie Aikau and Greg Noll.

Always a big draw is the permanent exhibit, Courageous Inspiration, that features Bethany Hamilton’s journey after losing her arm to a shark at age 13.

Published: July 25, 2019

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