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Santa Cruz Surf Guide

With so many surf breaks blessed by swell and offshore wind, Santa Cruz is a surfing paradise, and it's best enjoyed when you know exactly where to go and what boards to bring.

In this Santa Cruz Surf Guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about catching the best waves in this Northern California town.

Santa Cruz Surf Guide

Gear You'll Need to Surf in Santa Cruz

Because Santa Cruz is located in Northern California, you'll need a wetsuit to surf – while surf hoods and surf gloves can be optional in some seasons, they're needed in the cold winter months.

As far as a board, feel free to ride whatever suits you and the wave of your choosing.

Where to Surf in Santa Cruz

Pleasure Point

With multiple takeoff points, Pleasure Point is a go-to wave in Santa Cruz that can unravel endlessly and give surfers a ride of a lifetime — as long as the crowd doesn't become too much of a factor.


One of the most accessible beaches in the area, Cowell’s is the best beginner wave in Santa Cruz.

Steamer Lane

With three take-off points — the Slot, Middle Peak and Indicators, Steamer Lane is the gem of Santa Cruz, giving surfers barrels and open faces for carves.

The Bottom Line: Santa Cruz Surf Guide

Surfing in Santa Cruz can be a surfer's dream, as long as you know where to go. Use this Santa Cruz surf guide to help you score on your next venture to Northern California.

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