Fourteen people + 4 cars + 65 degree weather + 2 feet swells + 5 surfboards = all adventure! Last weekend, we took a surfing trip to La Jolla Beach in San Diego.

More than half of us were surfing virgins and a select few were afraid of the ocean. Some of us aren’t the best swimmers (me being one of them!), some were scared of shark attacks *cough*PJ*cough*, etc. Those who were scared hogged the surfboards and stayed in the ocean the longest! If you want your friends to get over their fear or if you want to get over a phobia yourself, grab a board and hit the beach!

Before you do so, we have some tips for you from our La Jolla trip. Read on and don’t make the same mistakes we did!

Tips for Surfing in San Diego

1. Check the weather – If you’ve never been to California, don’t assume the weather is going to be toasty in June or July. Make sure to check the weather so you can pack accordingly.

2. Rise and shine – If you have a large group of people renting surfboards, make sure you get to the beach early enough to find parking and to find enough surfboards to rent. We didn’t have much of a problem last weekend finding these, but if you happen to find yourself at the beach during a holiday weekend, make sure you set ample time for parking.

Epoxy Short Surfboard
Foam Long Surfboard
Foam Long Surfboards
3. BoardsLa Jolla Surf Systems have soft boards for beginners. Let’s admit it. As a beginner, you’re probably gonna crash a lot in the water. If the board hits you, these soft boards are not gonna do much damage. They also rent out epoxy boards that can maneuver through the waves better, making you less tired when you’re trying to paddle your way into the ocean. Also, longboards are easier to learn on and shortboards are more for competition style surfing. Choose your battle. To read more on how to get a surfboard, read How to Buy a Surfboard on eHow.

4. Rental – Plan to rent one surfboard per two people. Surfing can get tiring. People are gonna stop to rest and surfboards are gonna lie around the beach doing nothing unless someone picks it up. Have people take turns! This is better for your wallet and better for your stamina. After all that surfing, you’re gonna have to carry all those surfboards all the way back to the rental shop; each surfboard might need the help of two people.

Getting into the Wetsuit

5. Suit up! – Plainly stated, California beaches are always freezing. If you want to be comfortable for your first time, invest in a wetsuit. Wetsuits block the ocean breeze and protect you from scratches from a surfboard. If you don’t want to spend money renting or buying a wetsuit, wear a shirt! Not only is the California water freezing, you’re gonna need protection. Ladies, while you’re busy fighting the waves with your surfboard, the waves are gettin’ busy with your swimsuit tops. Unless you want the adventure to become a peepshow, grab your boy’s t-shirt for a surf cover up. Gentlemen, if you don’t want your nipples to burn, protect them! They tend to rub up against the surfboards which can cause redness and irritation. There were plenty of guys rubbing their nips after fighting the waves. Do you wanna be THAT guy?


6. Limber up – You will be sore the next day. Stretch those arms and legs before going out there! A battle with the ocean using a board as your weapon isn’t easy.

7. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock! – It doesn’t matter if it looks gloomy outside and that San Diego only got a bout two hours of direct sunlight each day, you will get burnt! Fortunately for me, my nose is the only thing that is sunburned. Unfortunately, red-nosed Alexis isn’t a flattering look. Protect your skin! Sun causes wrinkles! You can still get a nice tan with sunblock.

8. Get Healthy – Just a bonus! Brian brought sliced mangoes to the beach. Who knew fruits and the beach go together like peanut butter and jelly? Maybe that’s why the best fruits grow in tropical areas. Bring fruits for downtime that you have at the beach. Cover them up though if you don’t want to chew on sand. You’ll need water, too after all that surfing!

This was one of the most fun trips we have planned for a big group! The beach is always gonna be fun, but trying something new makes it better! Even shark-phobic PJ said, “It was pretty addicting.”

If you want to read up on actual surfing, read How to Learn to Surf a Longboard. For the more experienced boarder, read How to Learn to Surf a Shortboard.

These are just the basics I learned from bringing a big group of friends to surf in La Jolla. If you have other advice, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

For more pictures, check out our Photo Gallery:

Surf Season Begins! Photo Set 1 of 2 – San Diego, CA

Surf Season Begins! Photo Set 2 of 2 – San Diego, CA

Date of Adventure: June 26, 2010

Location: La Jolla Beach, San Diego, California

Life Experience: Surfing

Where to Rent: La Jolla Surf Systems

Where to Stay: Good Nite Inn – 7 miles from the beach

Suggested Restaurant: Jose’s Courtroom (Mexican food) and The Spot (seafood)

Music for the Soul: Amber by 311 kept me at peace after a long day of surfing

2 thoughts on “Sandy Mangoes and Sore Nipples: How to Survive Your 1st Surf Trip – San Diego, California

  1. Hand’s down the best group trip we’ve ever planned. Thanks everyone for makin’ it out and goin’ all out with us!

  2. Loved every minute of it – surfing and hanging out with the group! GREAT tips for beginners or riders of all experience levels.

    If you guys plan on heading back around September, let me know:)

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