Malibu Beach: the heart of SoCal surfing

Southern California is the capital of US surfing. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, within 185 miles (297 kilometres) only, you get the best surf spots in SoCal.

The iconic peaks, the legendary sand and rocky points and the mythical beaches of sunny California can be discovered and explored in a summer week surf trip.

The world-class beach breaks for all levels of surfing can be surfed along the beautiful coastline highways. Although there are no secret spots to be unveiled, Southern California offers the true surf spirit of the aloha lifestyle. Surf crowd is inevitable.

SoCal surfers are friendly, but you should respect locals as well as surf etiquette. Almost all Southern California surf spot are easily accessible and do not demand tricky paddle-out knowledge. Flawless perfect waves will roll in every SoCal beach.

Los Angeles and San Diego are the biggest surf cities of Southern California and offer a large number of unforgettable surf experiences. The Northern boundary of the Southern California map can be explored by surfing Rincon, near Santa Barbara, where you'll find a long, peeling right-hander that is perfect during low tide winter sessions.

Malibu Beach is the ultimate SoCal surf spot. Laid back wave rides, warm sands, beautiful people and fast access to the Pacific Coast Highway makes of Malibu an icon of Southern California. Grab a longboard and hit the waves with a smile.

On your way to Los Angeles, Zuma Beach, Topanga and Venice Beach should be tried if you're in the intermediate or experienced level. Enjoy fast, short and consistent waves before you head out to the sunny LA, where you only have an average of 35 days of rain per year.

In the heart of Californian surf metropolis, you'll find two great urban surf spots. El Porto is a great peak for beginners, although winter swells may boost medium-sized waves for everyone. Hermosa Beach is an alternative beach break for all levels of surfing experience, as well as Manhattan Beach.

Seal Beach offers a long sand strip protected by jetties with the best swells coming from SW. A few miles before Huntington, there's Bolsa Chica, a popular surfing and fishing beach for classic riders.

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 trendier. The city features the most consistent waves of the West Coast.

The Wedge, in Newport Beach, is a crazy SoCal surf rollercoaster. Best known for its bodyboarding wave conditions, the spot offers an incredible backwash ride. The wave is really hollow and deep and easily breaks in the sand. It's an iconic must-surf Southern California spot.

The roots of modern surfing pass by Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point. In the late 50's and 60's, California surfers would show off their new boards and skills in these infamous and powerful left-handers. Prepare to grab the rail.

On your way to Trestles, check T-Street, in San Clemente. It's a fun city surf spot surrounded by palm trees. San Onofre State Beach is very near and makes the perfect connection with Trestles.

Lower Trestles is a SoCal surf classic. Near San Clemente, the several peaks of Trestles are great to relax and enjoy the sights. Offshore winds produce perfect and endless surf breaks for shortboard and longboard adventures. A friendly rocky bottom invites you to feel the spirit of surfing in California.

Drive through the San Diego Freeway, with the Pacific Ocean on your right, and reach the Oceanside Pier, another classic SoCal surf center. Then, near Encinitas, meet Cardiff Reef Beach and Blacks Beach. This last one frequently delivers amazing barrels in the three-peak wave formula.

The surf trip through the best surf spots in Southern California ends in the La Jolla shores. Park your surf wagon at Scripps Beach and enjoy waves for all levels of experience. SoCal means surfing.

Grab a good California surf travel guide, check the Wave Height Forecast for Southern California and enjoy life.

Also, take a look at the best beaches for surfing in Los Angeles, and at the best surf spots in Northern California.

The best Southern California Surf Spots:

Rincon, Santa Barbara
Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles
Malibu, Los Angeles
Zuma Beach, Los Angeles
Topanga, Los Angeles
Venice Beach, Los Angeles
El Porto, Los Angeles
Hermosa Beach, Los Angeles
Seal Beach, Seal Beach
Huntington, Huntington Beach
Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach
The Wedge, Newport
Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point
Lower Trestles, San Clemente
T-Street, San Clemente
San Onofre State Beach
Oceanside Pier, Oceanside
Cardiff Reef, San Diego
Blacks Beach, San Diego
Scripps, San Diego