SeaVenture Blog

Surfing Wind and Waves in Pismo

Surfing is in the lifeblood of California culture, and in the bloodstream of a lot of CA citizens.

Pismo Beach surfing class.

From Beginners to Pros

Seems like California kids (boys and girls) get on a surfboard from the moment they can do the breaststroke, and stay at it until the knees totally quit (I mean, there are some really old surfers who are committed to it!). Surfing is not just a sport – it’s a way of life. Here on the coast, surfing is a permanent fixture in everyone’s world, whether they surf or not.

Surfing the Pismo Beach pier.

Surfing the Pier

Pismo Beach offers a lot of surfing options for experts and beginners alike. One of the most common sights around here is surfers off the pier, in close. Lots of them are pretty new, paddling out a bit to sit for a while in the swell before trying to get back to the beach on their board. But every now and then there’s a more seasoned vet who gives the folks on the pier a show.

Throughout the year there are a lot of events in town about surfing and surfers, from Wine, Waves & Beyond celebration to straight-up surfing competitions.   The Western Surfing Association (established 1961) is a prime incubator of youth surfing, with training, standards and competition for young surfers who will become the next generation of people in the lifestyle forever. The WSA is holding a Championship Tour Event at Pismo pier November 14 and 15 for boys and girls from 9 to 18, great for watching and even better for the competitors.

But most of the surfing that gets done is just ordinary people

Windsurfing Off the Beach

Windsurfing Off the Beach

taking the board off the roof or bed of the truck, slipping into a wetsuit, and heading out into the surf. You can just take your chances, and usually find a steady set, or use one of the many surf report websites to get a better prediction of surf conditions. Pismo Beach is one of the targets of most surf reporting sites, like surfline or windfinder.

Speaking of wind, more and more these days, you’ll see a sprinkling of people on wind surfers or kites, adding the pressure of the wind to the force of the waves. Windsurfing is a perfect fit for the Pismo coast, with the reliable (sometimes even predictable!) coastal winds, compliant waves, and even smooth sandy bottoms for less experienced windsurfers (it’s good to avoid rocks when you’re windsurfing).

Whatever kind of surfing you enjoy, please bring your board next time you visit Pismo. You’ll always find company on the waves, and a great town for the end of the day. And of course, you can rent any kind of equipment or even get lessons if you want them.

Surfing is the heart and soul of Pismo. You’ll like it.


Lauren is a lover of events, the great outdoors, wine, food, friends, and family. With 12 years of wedding experience, she offers helpful insights and pointers for weddings and special events. As a San Luis Obispo local, her tips come from first-hand experience of the beautiful Central Coast.

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