California has always been associated with being the home of surfing. From the early 1960s, a culture emerged where groups of people would tour around California in camper vans, trying to find beaches with waves that would be ideal for surfing.
The coastline of California is ideal for surfing as it faces the Pacific Ocean. This vast expanse of water has a huge fetch and winds are able to generate decent sized waves that crash onto the Californian shore line.
The southern part of the state has the better beaches as they are wider than the northern region and they consist of sand as opposed to pebbles and rocks. The decent beaches spread from Santa Barbara just to the north of Los Angeles right down to Scripps Beach which is just over 200 miles away in San Diego.
One of the most popular destinations is Malibu which is situated to the northern end of the area. The beach is located right next to the Pacific Coast Highway and is popular with some of the most affluent people in Los Angeles. The waves are consistent and many a surfer have enjoyed watching the sunset from restaurants, such as “Sunset’s”, that are located on the edge of the coast line.
Another famous surfing beach in Los Angeles is Venice Beach which is occupied by a community that see themselves as bohemian. Art, poetry and music play a major part in the culture of the neighborhood that spreads on to a beach that is a magnificent surfer’s paradise.
Along the beach there is an outdoor gym, a skate park, coffee shops and boutiques that are joined by Venice Boardwalk. There are many people who live in the area, they came to visit and then chose to never leave.
The region is renowned for beaches of varying degrees of surfing difficulty, and one beach that should only be frequented by experienced surfers is Zuma Beach. The beach is long and wide and is watched over by 14 lifeguard towers.
The beach is famous for its rip currents that flow between towers 8 and 9. The rip currents are so powerful that they are used by the Los Angeles Fire Department to demonstrate what a rip current is. The beach produces numerous great waves but the wild nature of the water makes it potentially a dangerous area for beginners.
Hermosa Beach is far more suited to those surfers with a wide range of abilities. The town to the south of Los Angeles has a wide beach that during the year hosts both beach volleyball and beach rugby 7s tournaments.
There is a party feel to the town, with surfing playing an important part of its culture. However, the visitors, aside from surfing, can also enjoy one of the town’s numerous parks and also enjoy many different types of outdoor sporting facilities.
The premier beach for surfing in California is Huntingdon Beach Surf City USA. Surfing is so important in the region that Huntingdon Beach changed its name in 1907, after a legal battle with Santa Cruz. The 10 miles of Sandy beaches host more than 50 surfing competitions each year.
It is home to the US Open of surfing and the area is home to the International Surfers Museum, the Surfers Hall of Fame and the Surfing Walk of Fame. This clearly demonstrates how seriously California takes its surfing.