Beginner's Guide to Surfing in Isla Vista

by Sivan Buchris March 11, 2024 3 min read

Welcome to Isla Vista, a vibrant beach community that is known for its beautiful coastline and amazing surfing opportunities! Whether you're a total beginner or an advanced surfer looking to catch some waves in a new spot, Isla Vista has something for every level of surfing. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to get started with surfing in Isla Vista, including finding the right surf spot, basic techniques, and a look into the local surf culture. 

Finding the Right Surf Spot 

Isla Vista offers several surf spots suitable for all levels of experience. Here are a few popular spots to check out: 

Campus Point: Located right next to the UC Santa Barbara campus, Campus Point is a great spot for beginners. The waves here are usually mellow and consistent which makes it perfect for practicing your skills. 

Sands Beach: Another beginner-friendly spot! Sands Beach is known for its gentle waves and sandy bottom. It's a great place to learn the basics without worrying too much about crowds. 

Devereux Point: For more experienced surfers, Devereux Point has larger waves and a more challenging lineup. It's also less crowded than some of the other spots, making it a great location for those looking to escape the crowds. 

Coal Oil Point: Also known as "Depressions," this spot is popular for intermediate and advanced surfers. The waves can get powerful here, especially during the winter, so be sure to be cautious! 

Before heading out, it's always a good idea to check the surf forecast and current weather conditions. Websites and apps like Surfline or Magicseaweed have up-to-date information on wave height, wind direction, and tide times. 

Basic Surfing Techniques 

Now that you've found the perfect spot for you, let's go over some basic surfing techniques to help you get started: 

Paddling: Before you can catch a wave, you need to paddle out to the lineup. Lie on your surfboard with your chest near the center and paddle using your arms in a freestyle motion. 

Popping Up: Once you've paddled into position and spotted a wave that you want to catch, it's time to pop up to your feet. Place your hands flat on the board, under your

shoulders, and push yourself up in one motion, bringing your feet underneath you into a stable stance. 

Stance: Finding the right stance is very important for staying balanced and controlled while riding a wave. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent and your weight centered over the board. 

Turning: To steer your surfboard, shift your weight slightly to one side and use your arms to guide your movements. Practice turns by leaning into the wave and using your body to initiate the turn. 

Exiting: When you're ready to come back to shore, paddle towards the shore and look for a lull in the waves. Once you're in the clear, ride towards the beach and hop off your board before it reaches shallow water. 

Isla Vista Surf Culture 

Isla Vista has a surf culture that reflects the laid-back vibe of the community. Surfers of all ages and backgrounds come together to enjoy the ocean and share their passion for riding waves. 

Isla Vista's surf culture is also deeply mixed in with the spirit of environmentalism and conservation. Many surfers take a big role in protecting the ocean and coastline through beach cleanups, advocacy campaigns, and participation in local conservations. 

Whether you're a pro or a first-time surfer, Isla Vista offers an inviting and inclusive surf scene that will bring joy of riding waves and connecting with nature. So grab your board, wax up your surfboard, and get ready to experience the thrill of surfing in Isla Vista!

Sivan Buchris
Sivan Buchris

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blog & Events

Wearing the Hat w/ Marketing Manager Melany Mihai
Wearing the Hat w/ Marketing Manager Melany Mihai

by Bella Taylor May 07, 2024 13 min read

Read More
Embracing the Magic of UCSB
Embracing the Magic of UCSB

by Sivan Buchris May 07, 2024 2 min read

Read More
The History of Earth Day in Santa Barbara
The History of Earth Day in Santa Barbara

by Bella Taylor April 17, 2024 3 min read

Read More