About Huntington Pier

Diehards swear by this classic "Surf City" break, claiming it's the ultimate wave; while others just laugh and say the contest organizers can have it every day of the year for all they care. But anyone who stumbles upon a peaky swell with Santa Ana winds here would probably side with the diehards.

While most outsiders think of the South Side of Huntington Beach Pier as a summer hot spot, that’s not always the case. Locals say it works better during winter, when NW swells wrap around the pier to create peaky rights.

If you've ever watched any of the thousands of surfing competitions here over the years, you known that the South Side can be less than ideal during summer. It blows out easily, with prevailing south or westerly winds arriving from 10am-1pm. The wave lacks gusto at high tide, producing the famous trench between the outside bar and the shorebreak that inspired the term, "Huntington Hop." And during larger swells, surfers are often dealing with a 200-yard-long closeout where they're lucky to squeeze in one or two maneuvers out the back. That said, with the right bars, the right winds, the right tide and the right swell, the South Side does get good.

Source: Huntington Pier Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Beginner to advanced, above average at the pier

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Can be heavy at the pier.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Zoo at the pier and Cliffs, everyone is spread out elsewhere.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Pierbowl is typically better than anything happening down the beach.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Pretty average most days, but can be brutal on a strong south or northwest swell with current.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Not great after a rain.

Additional Information


Locals at the pier, pier pilings, current.


Free parking on side streets and meters.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard, bodyboard



Best Season

January-December, but fall can be epic.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos