About Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach/Crystal Pier almost always has something to ride but is rarely truly good. It tends to close out on any longer period swell that creates surf in the overhead range, especially as you move away from the more defined sand bars of the pier. However, on the occasion that a combo of swells from the northwest and southwest is greeted by easterly wind (generally in the fall) fun peaks can be found up and down the beach. The other time this zones comes closest to shining is during short period northwest swells that most frequently happen in the spring.

Source: Pacific Beach Surf Guide

Ability Level

Beginner - intermediate

Beg Int Adv

Beginner and up.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating


Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Plenty of traffic.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Perfect for longboard cruising.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Easy peasy most of the time.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Typically ok but gets dicey after a rain.

Additional Information


Attempting to rip mush on a shortboard, getting hit by a loose 12 foot board.


Easy, find paid parking

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish, bodyboard, skimming, bodysurfing


Mostly sand but gets rockier closer to Tourmaline

Best Season

November-February, but it works year-round.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos