From groms to pros, wave riding is huge in O’side.
Basically, surf is life here, a marriage of consistent waves and an old-school beach vibe. With 3.5 miles of beaches, there’s no shortage of great spots to paddle out from, including Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside Pier, and some great surrounding surf breaks. The culture is emmeshed in our community, too, manifested in local surf shops, the California Surf Museum, and lots of surf camps and lessons. Three miles inland, there’s even a whole business district dedicated to custom board shaping.
In the Encyclopedia of Surfing (a real thing), Oceanside is referred to as “one of Southern California’s most consistent surf spots.” Since a daily shred session is surf nirvana, that’s basically like being called the best surf town in SoCal. Oceanside is angled for primo southwest swells, and when the surf’s up, you’ll find surfers from all over San Diego County making the trek north.
Oceanside has been at the forefront of surfboard design and manufacturing since the 1950s and is home to popular and well-known shapers like Donald Takayama, Gary Linden (Linden Surfboards), Michael Baron (Byrne Surfboards), Jason Bennett (Chemistry Surfboards), Javier Huarcaya (XTR), Hank Byzak (Pure Fun Longboards), and Pat Mulhern (BYB Surfboards).
With a bigger beach, Oceanside Harbor offers more room in the line-up than the Pier. Two large jetties on either end of an expansive sandy beach makes for large waves and a sweet spot for a post-break nap.
Join Oceanside local and Professional Surfer Caity Simmers, California Surf Museum President and writer of Big Wave: Guardians Jim Kempton and USA Surfing Professional Surf Coach John Daniels on a celebration of surfing in Oceanside, California.
O’riginal O’sider Myles McGuinness is a top travel and surf commercial photographer.
O’side surf culture came full circle when this mecca for surf history opened in downtown Oceanside. The family-friendly museum boasts a stunning collection of surfboards showcasing the progression of materials used by surfers around the world, but probably it’s most gawked at artifact is Bethany Hamilton’s infamous shark-bitten surfboard. The museum actively collects, documents, and preserves surfing-related objects and memorabilia, and touts the legendary O’siders who made its breaks famous.
Thanks to the geographic orientation of our spectacular coastline, our 3.5 miles of sunny beaches are blessed with consistent swells, making for epic conditions year-round. In fact, USA Surfing uses O’side as its official training location. And we’re also home to some of the most high-profile surf competitions in the world. While basking on the beach, you can watch some of the best pro and amateur surfers, body surfers, and adaptive surfers battle the breakers to take home the glory.
USA Surfing Championships & Team Trials
O’side is the official training ground of USA Surfing, which selects new members for the U.S. Olympic and, International surf teams at this annual June competition covering longboard, adaptive surfing, and stand-up paddling.
Super Girl Surf Pro
This annual event is part eco-awareness platform, part empowerment festival (don’t miss the all-female DJ contest or the video game tournament), part search for the next female surf superstar.
Oceanside Longboard Surf Contest & Beach Festival
Hang ten at this two-day family-friendly event held annually each August at the O’side pier and amphitheater. Festivities include a world-class longboard competition and a festival with live entertainment and activities.
World Bodysurfing Championships
Marvel as some of the world’s most gifted wompers and bodybashers exploit the fluid dynamics of O’side’s epic swells. Tricks earn points and thrill spectators at this competition held annually each August.