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Where to Surf in Cannon Beach, Oregon

The Oregon surfing experience consists of raw coastline, cold water, and unconventional waves.

While still true for Cannon Beach, a surf culture unfamiliar to the Oregon Coast radiates from its beaches, resembling California more than the harsh PNW.

With on-duty lifeguards during the summer and crowded beaches, Cannon Beach is a soulful glimpse into the Oregon surf scene.

If you're keen on finding waves in Cannon Beach, you should take these spots into consideration. 

Where to Surf in Cannon Beach

Short Sands

Photo courtesy Elijah Austin

Oswald West State Park, known as Short Sands, radiates the Cannon Beach surf culture.

Shorties is accessible by a trailhead that leads into a small horseshoe cove, cluttered with driftwood, campfires, and chatty Portlandians.

A go-to destination for beginner surfers, Short Sands has wind and swell protection, sandy bottom, and impeccable scenery.

Looking for tube time or premier nose-riding? Short Sands won’t give you the time of day. But don’t let that discourage you. In May-October, you’ll find some half-decent waves, the view alone being worth your while. 

Ecola State Park

Photo courtesy Tim Peterson

Ecola State Park lies just north of Cannon Beach and could be the most picturesque beach on the entire coastline.

Like any other Oregon spot, quality waves are never promised, but Ecola possesses unimaginable scenery.

Even with subpar waves, a surf excursion to Ecola might be the most memorable surfing experience you’ll ever have.

Like the other spots on the list, spring to summer is going to be the most consistent, and always avoid the low tide. 

Seaside Cove

The Seaside Cove offers some of the most epic surfing in the entire state. In essence, Seaside boasts a legit point break.

Paired with excellent swell and wind protection, Seaside Cove puts up quality peeling rights year-round.

All that to say, Seaside isn’t for the faint of heart.

With an infamous localism factor, defecation on cars, slashed tires, and physical assault can be problems.

If you’ve got guts, and maybe a few friends, then be sure to check it out. 

When to Surf Cannon Beach

Although nothing spectacular, Cannon Beach itself offers fun beach breaks during the late spring and into the summer.

To dodge the lineups, scouring the four miles of open beach could pay off, but manage your expectations.

At high tide, expect crumbling a-frames that’ll offer short but sweet rides up and down the beach.

Wish for anything more, and you're setting yourself up for disappointment. 

The Bottom Line: Surfing in Cannon Beach

A trip to Cannon Beach won’t pay out in terms of grade-A waves, but for those looking to explore one of the most scenic stretches of the West Coast, Cannon Beach will surely suffice.

Cannon Beach resides at the heart of the Oregon Coast, and thus an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

From the golden cliffs of Ecola State Park to the splendor of Haystack Rock––harboring all sorts of wildlife––Cannon Beach promises a lovely adventure, perhaps offering some decent waves along the way.


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