Saturday, March 1, 2008

Surf Break Map: Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside, San Diego, California

Oceanside Harbor is probably the most consistent surf area along the public beaches of Oceanside. The break is located just south of the harbor entrance and stretches to the southern jetty that stabilizes the mouth of the San Luis Rey River. (Though a lot of people consider the sandbar at the river to be part of the break as well).

Because the of the positioning of the harbor jetties to the north you don’t get a lot of sand being pushed down the beach…the sand between the entrance and the south jetty stays pretty consistent and when a good sand bar forms it has a tendency to last for a while. There always seems to be a lot of sand around the south jetty, thanks mostly to the river dumping out sand during heavy rains and runoff. It doesn’t make for the cleanest water but it does make for some decent shaped waves.

These sandbars help to keep Oceanside Harbor in consistently rideable surf…even when we get the single (and mostly walled out) swells. While it doesn’t do quite as good as DMJs on the S-SW swells it does have some pretty makeable sections and if the sand is right it can get very good. One thing to note though…there is a little shadowing of NW swells for the north end of the beach because of the harbor jetties…you will still get some swell through that area but it is usually bigger as you move south into a more exposed area.

The best swell for the Harbor is the combo swell mix…usually when you get a bigger S-SW swell and a smaller W swell (or W windswell) to help break it up. Shape gets very peaky, and the crowd can spread out. With the right tides and winds it can get fun, workable, and sometimes hollow corners.

Spot details:
Best swell direction: S through WNW (180-285), but it really like the combo swells.
Best Wind: N through E winds or light and variable winds
Sea Floor: Sand
Best Season: Breaks year round but is best late Spring through late Fall.
Crowds: It can get crowded, parking can be a pain in the butt, but there are a lot of days where you can score a few waves without many people in the water. Summer weekends are the worst but any weekends or big swell seem to help clog up the line-up.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

south side of the south jetti is actually really good in the winter with a peaky north west swell or in the summer with a northwest ground swell (some call that the bone yard), and the north side is better on south swells. The beach break between south and north jettis is best on combo swells. North jetti is kind of funky, but can get good and likes south swells.