The Ultimate Guide to Surfing in Newport Beach
Southern California’s coast is known for having many cities with some of the most abundant surf spots.
Newport Beach is no exception, and attracts many surfers and tourists throughout the year to witness the beauty.
About 4 years ago, I moved to Newport Beach and was exposed to this new surf culture. A different break at almost every street and a community based almost fully around the surf industry.
It was practically impossible to live here and not be involved in the surf culture that Newport had to offer.
Here are the ins and outs of surfing in Newport Beach, from the waves, to the culture, and more.
What’s So Special About Surfing in Newport Beach?
Across Newport Beach’s 10 miles of coastline, it has a variety of surf breaks that are perfect for all types of surfing.
At the end of the peninsula, The Wedge is set up for surfers who want to test out their limits.
In the middle of the 10 miles, is Blackies, where beginners and longboarders can dip their feet in the water.
Finally, further north are the jetties which are the shortboarders hub.
All these breaks work best throughout different times of the year, so if the wind allows for it, you are guaranteed to find at least one spot working, all year round.
The Surf Culture
All of Newport Beach is based on its surf culture — from the overall vibe of the town, to the businesses located all around, the surf industry surrounds it.
While surfing here, you may find that certain spots seem localized by the surfers that are there every morning, but if you stay out of their way and let them have their pick of waves, you will be just fine.
If you are trying to steer away from localized breaks, there are other options, such as Blackies, that are pretty much free from any localization.
The 5 Best Surf Spots In Newport Beach
54th & 56th Street
Newport Beach has a long line of jetties that provides new surf breaks along every other street, and the two most commonly known and surfed amongst short boarders are 54th and 56th street.
Since the jetty breaks up the flow of the sand of a regular surf break, the waves peak for faster speed surfing.
Within 54th street, there are three peaks that work during both north and south swells, meaning it is relatively consistent all year round.
If you surf goofy and love lefts, move over to 56th street, where you can find perfect, fast peeling lefts during a south swell.
One thing to look out for before surfing this break is the crowd. Since this break is pretty well known, the crowd tends to be on the heavier side and you have to work a little harder for your waves.
If you move down south of the jetties, you will find yourself at the infamous beach break, Blackies.
Known for its community of longboarders, Blackies is a positive and easy-going environment that is welcoming to all.
This wave works best on south and west swells, and primarily during the winter. During this time, the waves can range from high speed, lefts off the pier, to slow rolling waves for longboarders to dance upon.
If you are looking for a place to learn how to surf, this is the place. Regardless of your skill level, Blackies could be the perfect place for you!
36th street is another one of those jetty waves that provides clean lefts that gain some speed during south swells and in wintertime.
This part of the beach points westward, so there is a little extra protection from the wind, that keeps the surface of the waves cleaner than many other places during midday, or sunset time.
Since Newport Beach is a popular place among many surfers in the nearby cities, locals of this break are used to seeing new faces in the lineup.
If you are planning on paddling out to 36th street, always check the size of the waves first, but most likely bet on bringing a shortboard.
The Wedge is one of the waves that puts Newport Beach on the map.
Known for its massive waves and potential for insane wipeouts, The Wedge is a true sight to see.
This wave is placed to the right of a harbor jetty and doubles up as south swells hit the harbor. However, make sure to stay on your toes, if the Wedge is ever working and you are not experienced, steer clear, but watch from the shore.
This wave bounces off the jetty and doubles the size of the wave to form up to a 30 ft massive set of water.
It has the ability to throw you up in the air and slam you down to the sand, so only try this wave if you are very experienced and up to the risk.
One break that isn’t commonly talked about is Newport Point. This is because this specific wave breaks very rarely and usually locals are the only ones that score it when it is good.
Surprisingly, this hidden gem can form peeling left barrels that are said to bring Pipeline right into Newport Beach.
For this to happen, conditions have to be practically perfect. Newport Point requires a hurricane swell which tends to come very rarely.
Although Newport Point may stay relatively quiet throughout the year, you can still find small novelty waves that can be surfed by intermediate surfers.
The Bottom Line: Newport Beach Surfing
Whether you are a beginner or experienced surfer, Newport Beach has many different breaks that are fit for each level of surfing.
This city is visited by many tourists all throughout the year, and the beauty and excitement of the waves is one reason people keep coming back.
So, if you get a chance, drive your car down to Newport Beach and try out one of these spots that is most suitable for your abilities!