About Horseshoe

One of the famed La Jolla reefbreaks, when it’s pumping Horseshoe is not for the faint of heart. When there’s a solid groundswell running, primarily during the winter months, the break is hollow and heavy with spitting barrels over a shallow rock reef. Get stuck in the lip on the drop and you’re going to wish you’d paddled out at La Jolla Shores up the road. Depending on the tide, the lefthander can break in only a couple of feet of water, leaving little room for error.

Source: Horseshoe Surf Guide

Ability Level


Beg Int Adv

Since it only breaks on a big winter swell, it’s only for those with experience and comfort in more powerful conditions.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Not the most inviting place for unfamiliar faces. The crowd here is largely comprised of highly talented, dedicated, somewhat salty locals that don’t relish the idea of an out-of-towner chandeliering the barrel on them. The bigger and heavier it gets, the more serious the scene.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

When it’s firing the locals are on it — and they always know when it’s firing.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

A serious reefbreak for experienced surfers only.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Paddling speed is key, as getting stuck inside here is zero fun.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Like most spots in Southern California, caution should be exercised during periods of heavy rain.

Additional Information


Rock reef, strong currents, stink-eyed locals.


Walk north from Marine Street.

Bring Your

Shortboard, gun


Jagged, shallow reef.

Best Season

A good wintertime spot that needs significant energy out of the W or NW to start working.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos