Posted Apr 16, 2018 | By Visit Oxnard

Surfer's Paradise: Oxnard's Favorite Places to Catch a Wave

The beaches in Oxnard have some of the most consistently great surf compared to anywhere else in Southern California.

With year-round perfect weather, uncrowded beaches and a robust culture surrounding the sport, Oxnard is an experience that any avid surfer wants to add to their list. So, grab your board, lather on some sunscreen and experience the surfer’s paradise hidden in the Oxnard shores.

Surf Breaks by Experience Level

Surf breaks are seasonal in Oxnard. Beginner-level waves (soft-breaking) are found to the north of Oxnard; two beaches ideal for newbies are Ventura’s Mondos along Pacific Coast Highway or the beach at Ventura Harbor.

For intermediate-level waves throughout the year, head to Mandalay State Beach/Oxnard Shores, where the waves are easiest to tame in the summertime as swells bypass Oxnard’s beaches through the Santa Barbara Channel.

If you’re ready for the big surf, chase powerful, expert-level waves at Silver Strand Beach, a world-class surfer’s paradise. In the winter, intense swells produce breaks like the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii that are perfect for tube riding. Catch a barrel at one of the surfing world’s best-kept secrets.

The Local’s Choice

One of the favorite spots for locals and a regional classic is Silver Strand Beach. This mile-long beach is split into three distinct sections: The Jetty, The Bowl and La Jenelle. The areas to the side (The Jetty and La Jenelle) have smaller waves that are more suited for swimming, boogie boarding or those new to surfing, with swells that typically stay around 3-5 feet, while the middle section has much harder sand-bar waves.

While you can find locals out catching waves on any given day, the best time to visit is right after the winter rainstorms that cause a nearby berm to break, causing swells to almost double in size. There is some truth to legends of localism at this mile-long stretch of beach, so please be respectful.

The Hidden Gem

Hollywood Beach is another favorite in Oxnard for its expansive white sand beach and relatively unpopulated nature. Considered another ‘world class’ surf spot, Hollywood beach is worth the mile-long trek to the water. With beach-break waves that get over 16 feet high, this spot is ideal for experienced surfers that enjoy a challenge.

Photo by Dave Castro

The Shores

Oxnard Shores is a fairly exposed beach break that has reasonably consistent surf and can work any time of the year. The beach tends to receive distant groundswells, and waves are typically head high to over head and, when timed right, can be super glassy without a drop of water out of place. Halfway through 2013, surf logger ‘Surfing Ruined My Life‘ said it was probably one of the best sessions he’d had all year.

Photo by Dave Castro

Tips for Having a Great Surf Experience

  • If you are new to water life, try one of Oxnard’s surf and paddle board schools at Momentum Ride Shop or Silver Strand Surf School.
  • If you are visiting and couldn’t bring your own gear, we’ve got you covered! Rent wet suits, boards and anything else you might need at Anacapa Surf N Sport!
  • Be respectful: Everyone is trying to catch a wave. Wait your turn, and don’t forget to have fun!

Conclusion

Since Oxnard’s surf breaks are not viewable directly from Pacific Coast Highway, it takes a little more planning to access our beaches when the waves are really pumping. Check the surf forecast ahead of time. There is plenty of coastline to the neighboring south and north with countless varieties of point and beach breaks. But, if you want some of the most consistent and challenging waves on the planet, Oxnard is your best bet.


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