Cardiff's Reef and Surf
The reef at Cardiff is
similar to the surrounding area's, such as Swami's and San
Elijo. It is consisted mainly of rocks that are grouped
together and the occasional sand spot. The beach itself is
consistent of small rocks that run up and down the
Under the main reef, the
rocks are usually not a problem as there tends to be a lot
of water on top of the reef but caution must be taken at low
tides. Most of the rocks are covered in grasses or moss but
occasionally some of the rocks will have barnacles on them
which can easily cut into your foot and cause some pain. An
easy solution is to watch where you are walking and just be
If you decide to head
North over to Suck Outs, TAKE EXTREME CAUTION! The reef is
usually right underneath the water and can easily ruin
somebody's day. I was out surfing on a low tide and I was
duck diving under a set wave and the shallow reef grabbed a
hold of one of my fins and took it off. I'm happy it wasn't
my foot or leg but it was still a bummer none the less.
Tide: Low to Medium tides are best. High tides cause the
wave to have trouble breaking and can be very mushy.
Swell Directing: West and Northwest swells give Cardiff
those awesome walls and even better shoulders.
Winds: No wind is best but if any, a East wind will do
Size: Anywhere from 2 - 8 feet. Cardiff can become
pretty hectic and scary once it gets larger than 8 feet, be
sure to take caution when paddling out.
Months to Catch it Going Off: From September to April
when the Northwest and West swells stop giving us waves!
The surf at Cardiff varies
greatly depending on the swell, size and conditions. In the
winter months, Cardiff can be one of the best waves along
the coast with it's long and pealing rights all the way into
While on smaller days,
Cardiff might be a predominant long boarding break, Cardiff
can still offer some amazing drops, walls and playful lips
for the short boarder group. There are actually a few
different waves to surf at Cardiff from the main point,
inside section and Suck Outs.
The main point is the main
break at Cardiff and is usually crowded on good days.
Although the crowd can be a challenge, this wave is truly
fun and has a lot to offer all of us surfers.
The inside section can be
tricky but is where I have most of the fun! On a good swell
with the right conditions, this inside section can wall up
for days it seems and provide enough speed to launch into
orbit! I have had some of the best walls of my life on this
inside section and would compare them to a Rincon style wall
where the only thing to do is to hold on and start pumping.
Suck Outs is located just
North of the main peak at Cardiff and can lead to some of
the best barrels in North County. The waves come out of the
deep blue, hit this very shallow, almost exposed reef and
just lurch over and continue to peal toward the beach. This
wave is not for beginning surfers and even experience
surfers should be cautious of the quickness and power that
this little wave can put out.
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