There is a reason why Southern California is depicted in the media as a sun-soaked, surf-obsessed culture: because it actually is. There are many places to catch waves around Los Angeles, such as Zuma and Surfrider Beach in Malibu and Huntington Beach, also known as ‘Surf City’. On any given morning, the Pacific Coast Highway is lined with pick-up trucks, cars with roof-racks, and surfers putting on their wetsuits for an early session. The water can be quite cold, even in the summer. There are plenty of places to rent boards and wet suits. Any surf shop in a beach city generally has equipment available, especially in areas that attract tourists like Santa Monica. For those just starting out, it is a good idea to start with a longer board, as these provide more stability when trying to stand up for the first time.
A great resource for newcomers to the Los Angeles area is This website features surfing videos and pictures, weather and condition updates and live webcam feeds of many of the area’s most popular surfing spots. If you want more formal training, there are several surf schools, such as Learn to Surf LA (, Surf Academy (, Aqua Surf School (, Corky Carroll’s Surf School ( and Blue Rider ( Each provides hands-on lessons for all ages and skill levels covering the basics – from surfing techniques to surfing etiquette. Private lessons for adults, community classes and intensive surf camps are available. Many of these schools also offer special surfing events for companies seeking a uniquely SoCal way to bond with their staff.

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