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Turtles to Swami's

Roger hard right Review & Photos by Bill Polick

Coastal cliffs along northern San Diego County's shoreline offer awesome vistas and great surf the year round.  San Elijo is one of the best breaks in California.   From Swami's and Pipes at the north end to Cardiff Reef and Seaside Reef at the south, the surf breaks on almost any swell from northwest to southwest.

At extreme low tide you can see why: a nearly-smooth rock reef extends 70-80 yards out from the cliffs.  When ground swells hit, they stand up fast creating a quick, hollow left or right.  Steep drops and fast turns get you to the shoulder and you zip a long way.  With the right tide, even smaller wind swells can kick up decent 1-2 foot waves.  


Swami's and Cardiff Reef tend to get a bit "local" but the breaks inside the San Elijo State Beach are friendly to both short- and long boarders.  But, as at any break in the world, respect is required!

Parking in the area is plentiful, but much of it is along the very busy Pacific Coast highway.  Parking is available at the State Park for a fee.

These breaks are well worth the trip from wherever you are!

San Elijo web site

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