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Anonymous surfer in south-west of France. Photo by C. Naslain, 2016.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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 San Clemente Pier

USA, California, Orange County

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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Precision: Approximate

GPS History (1)

Latitude: 33° 25.187' N
Longitude: 117° 37.289' W

User rating (25)


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 Access

Exit 5 Freeway 'San Clemente'
(Southbound, Ave Palizada; Nourtbound, Ave Presidio)

Make your way to Del Mar St, and follow it all the way down to the Pier. You can't miss it. Both Freeway exits have signs that say Pier and Beach... just follow the Arrows.

English (Translate this text in English): Exit 5 Freeway 'San Clemente'
(Southbound, Ave Palizada; Nourtbound, Ave Presidio)

Make your way to Del Mar St, and follow it all the way down to the Pier. You can't miss it. Both Freeway exits have signs that say Pier and Beach... just follow the Arrows.

English (Translate this text in English): Exit 5 Freeway 'San Clemente'
(Southbound, Ave Palizada; Nourtbound, Ave Presidio)

Make your way to Del Mar St, and follow it all the way down to the Pier. You can't miss it. Both Freeway exits have signs that say Pier and Beach... just follow the Arrows.

English (Translate this text in English): Exit 5 Freeway 'San Clemente'
(Southbound, Ave Palizada; Nourtbound, Ave Presidio)

Make your way to Del Mar St, and follow it all the way down to the Pier. You can't miss it. Both Freeway exits have signs that say Pier and Beach... just follow the Arrows.

DistanceIn the city

WalkInstant access (< 5min)

Easy to find?Easy to find

Public access?Public access

Special accessDon't know

 Surf Spot Characteristics

Surf Spot Quality

Wave qualityNormal

ExperienceAll surfers

FrequencyVery consistent (150 day/year)

Wave

TypeBeach-break

DirectionRight and left

BottomSandy

PowerFast, Powerful, Ordinary

Normal lengthShort (< 50m)

Good day lengthNormal (50 to 150m)

Tide, Swell and Wind

Good swell directionNorthWest, West, SouthWest, South, SouthEast

Good wind directionEast

Swell sizeStarts working at Less than 1m / 3ft and holds up to 2m+ / 6ft+

Best tide positionAll tides

Best tide movementFalling tide

More details

Week crowdCrowded

Week-end crowdCrowded

Webcam url 

Dangers

- Rips / undertow
- Man-made danger (buoys etc..)
- Localism
- Pollution

 Additional Information

There's lots of paid parking, it only fills up on busy summer weekends. If you're lucky, you can find free street parking in the neighborhoods ~ be respectful, we live here. Please Don't litter. Paid lots are free before 10am or after 5pm.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the only spot that isn't blackballed is the area north of the Pier. The rest of the year, you can surf on either side.

English (Translate this text in English): There's lots of paid parking, it only fills up on busy summer weekends. If you're lucky, you can find free street parking in the neighborhoods ~ be respectful, we live here. Please Don't litter. Paid lots are free before 10am or after 5pm.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the only spot that isn't blackballed is the area north of the Pier. The rest of the year, you can surf on either side.

English (Translate this text in English): There's lots of paid parking, it only fills up on busy summer weekends. If you're lucky, you can find free street parking in the neighborhoods ~ be respectful, we live here. Please Don't litter. Paid lots are free before 10am or after 5pm.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the only spot that isn't blackballed is the area north of the Pier. The rest of the year, you can surf on either side.

English (Translate this text in English): There's lots of paid parking, it only fills up on busy summer weekends. If you're lucky, you can find free street parking in the neighborhoods ~ be respectful, we live here. Please Don't litter. Paid lots are free before 10am or after 5pm.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the only spot that isn't blackballed is the area north of the Pier. The rest of the year, you can surf on either side.

Atmosphere

The most common spot to surf here is the north side of the pier. Due to ocean currents hitting the Pier Pilings, there is pretty much always a sandbar just north of the pier, and south swells will hit it and create excellent right-handers that will barrel easily.

You can get long rides here too, as long as they aren't too big. This place gets very heavy on large swells, and will close out and send you to the bottom, so be safe. If you go left, you can shoot the pier and get some cheers from the onlookers watching from the pier... listen closely and you'll hear their feet scurrying across the planks.
There are sometimes more peaks further north of the pier, and you will generally see a clump of people sitting straight out from the clocktower on the beach. It can get peaky here, but closeouts are common.

On a medium sized winter swell, the south side of the pier can produce excellent waves.

Ideal board size depends directly on swell size. If it's under 3 feet, bring your log and wait for a lower tide. Otherwise, you'll be wanting your shortboard.

For more information about San Clemente Pier: https://sanclemente.com/surfing-in-san-clemente/

English (Translate this text in English): The most common spot to surf here is the north side of the pier. Due to ocean currents hitting the Pier Pilings, there is pretty much always a sandbar just north of the pier, and south swells will hit it and create excellent right-handers that will barrel easily.

You can get long rides here too, as long as they aren't too big. This place gets very heavy on large swells, and will close out and send you to the bottom, so be safe. If you go left, you can shoot the pier and get some cheers from the onlookers watching from the pier... listen closely and you'll hear their feet scurrying across the planks.
There are sometimes more peaks further north of the pier, and you will generally see a clump of people sitting straight out from the clocktower on the beach. It can get peaky here, but closeouts are common.

On a medium sized winter swell, the south side of the pier can produce excellent waves.

Ideal board size depends directly on swell size. If it's under 3 feet, bring your log and wait for a lower tide. Otherwise, you'll be wanting your shortboard.

For more information about San Clemente Pier: https://sanclemente.com/surfing-in-san-clemente/

English (Translate this text in English): The most common spot to surf here is the north side of the pier. Due to ocean currents hitting the Pier Pilings, there is pretty much always a sandbar just north of the pier, and south swells will hit it and create excellent right-handers that will barrel easily.

You can get long rides here too, as long as they aren't too big. This place gets very heavy on large swells, and will close out and send you to the bottom, so be safe. If you go left, you can shoot the pier and get some cheers from the onlookers watching from the pier... listen closely and you'll hear their feet scurrying across the planks.
There are sometimes more peaks further north of the pier, and you will generally see a clump of people sitting straight out from the clocktower on the beach. It can get peaky here, but closeouts are common.

On a medium sized winter swell, the south side of the pier can produce excellent waves.

Ideal board size depends directly on swell size. If it's under 3 feet, bring your log and wait for a lower tide. Otherwise, you'll be wanting your shortboard.

For more information about San Clemente Pier: https://sanclemente.com/surfing-in-san-clemente/

English (Translate this text in English): The most common spot to surf here is the north side of the pier. Due to ocean currents hitting the Pier Pilings, there is pretty much always a sandbar just north of the pier, and south swells will hit it and create excellent right-handers that will barrel easily.

You can get long rides here too, as long as they aren't too big. This place gets very heavy on large swells, and will close out and send you to the bottom, so be safe. If you go left, you can shoot the pier and get some cheers from the onlookers watching from the pier... listen closely and you'll hear their feet scurrying across the planks.
There are sometimes more peaks further north of the pier, and you will generally see a clump of people sitting straight out from the clocktower on the beach. It can get peaky here, but closeouts are common.

On a medium sized winter swell, the south side of the pier can produce excellent waves.

Ideal board size depends directly on swell size. If it's under 3 feet, bring your log and wait for a lower tide. Otherwise, you'll be wanting your shortboard.

For more information about San Clemente Pier: https://sanclemente.com/surfing-in-san-clemente/

General

The wave quality here can range dramatically based on swell size and wind conditions, and it's very easy to get here. so that turns this spot into a melting pot of groms, newbies, and wannabe pros. You'll likely never see a pro here, however, because if it's excellent here it's gonna be better somewhere else in town.

There can be some very aggro local guys here that will run you over (I'm looking at you, blonde dreadlocks). Remember that most of the people here are just trying to squeeze in a surf and share some stoke.

This is a very popular spot for beginners, especially the spot in front of the clocktower. However, despite it's popularity, it is not necessarily an easy wave to learn on. The waves can be strong and powerful, and are very likely to close out everywhere except the right off the pier, and that right off the pier is usually being caught by a more skilled surfer.

If you're not surfing, this is a great spot to watch, whether its from the beach or the pier. don't throw things at the surfers (unless they're harassing groms)

English (Translate this text in English): The wave quality here can range dramatically based on swell size and wind conditions, and it's very easy to get here. so that turns this spot into a melting pot of groms, newbies, and wannabe pros. You'll likely never see a pro here, however, because if it's excellent here it's gonna be better somewhere else in town.

There can be some very aggro local guys here that will run you over (I'm looking at you, blonde dreadlocks). Remember that most of the people here are just trying to squeeze in a surf and share some stoke.

This is a very popular spot for beginners, especially the spot in front of the clocktower. However, despite it's popularity, it is not necessarily an easy wave to learn on. The waves can be strong and powerful, and are very likely to close out everywhere except the right off the pier, and that right off the pier is usually being caught by a more skilled surfer.

If you're not surfing, this is a great spot to watch, whether its from the beach or the pier. don't throw things at the surfers (unless they're harassing groms)

English (Translate this text in English): The wave quality here can range dramatically based on swell size and wind conditions, and it's very easy to get here. so that turns this spot into a melting pot of groms, newbies, and wannabe pros. You'll likely never see a pro here, however, because if it's excellent here it's gonna be better somewhere else in town.

There can be some very aggro local guys here that will run you over (I'm looking at you, blonde dreadlocks). Remember that most of the people here are just trying to squeeze in a surf and share some stoke.

This is a very popular spot for beginners, especially the spot in front of the clocktower. However, despite it's popularity, it is not necessarily an easy wave to learn on. The waves can be strong and powerful, and are very likely to close out everywhere except the right off the pier, and that right off the pier is usually being caught by a more skilled surfer.

If you're not surfing, this is a great spot to watch, whether its from the beach or the pier. don't throw things at the surfers (unless they're harassing groms)

English (Translate this text in English): The wave quality here can range dramatically based on swell size and wind conditions, and it's very easy to get here. so that turns this spot into a melting pot of groms, newbies, and wannabe pros. You'll likely never see a pro here, however, because if it's excellent here it's gonna be better somewhere else in town.

There can be some very aggro local guys here that will run you over (I'm looking at you, blonde dreadlocks). Remember that most of the people here are just trying to squeeze in a surf and share some stoke.

This is a very popular spot for beginners, especially the spot in front of the clocktower. However, despite it's popularity, it is not necessarily an easy wave to learn on. The waves can be strong and powerful, and are very likely to close out everywhere except the right off the pier, and that right off the pier is usually being caught by a more skilled surfer.

If you're not surfing, this is a great spot to watch, whether its from the beach or the pier. don't throw things at the surfers (unless they're harassing groms)

 Photos

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San clemente pier
United States of America

San clemente pier
United States of America

San clemente pier
United States of America

San clemente pier
United States of America

 Videos

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 Last surf sessions

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San Clemente Pier
By GromBomb
Aug 18, 2013
Fun - Well too small to shortboard, so I grabbed an old foamboard out of my garage and used that.  Really fun, vibe is great. Everyone is having a good time, no wave fighting, just good vibes.  Went surfing until 8 at night, best waves were at ni
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Pooface avatar
San Clemente Pier
By Pooface
Apr 6, 2007
Fun Nice Waves - Fun little contest, 7th overall bodyboarding, I don't know about surfing.
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San Clemente Pier
By Sponge bob
Jan 9, 2007
Interscholastic competition - I got there at about ten because the body board heats started late and i did my first heat at 10:45 and i got second in that so i moved on to the semifinals which i got third in.  I went and ate some lunch before the reprecharge (an extra heat i
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Pooface avatar
San Clemente Pier
By Pooface
Jan 6, 2007
Smaller than I thought it would be - Surfed a contest at the peir. The judges were high and gave me last.
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 Comments

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By Anonymous , 04-08-2009

PIER @ NIGHT - The SC pier is best hit at night like 1030-11pm at the end of a south swell. Nobody in the water and the waves on the N side rip lefts and are pretty well lit.

By Anonymous , 10-06-2009

It get good sometimes! - The Pier is often walled up. It really needs a combo swell to make it a peak and break good. Oh, I am one of the 204 Boys from the early 70's.

By Anonymous , 31-08-2008

pier - for the most part, the pier sucks. its usually small and mushy. that said, there are days when the pier can get really, really fun, but only like 7 days out of the year. if theres a solid sw swell (and you dont like trestles) then the pier may be the best option. and all the old time local guys are full of shit, trust me.

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