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Imperial Beach break guidePhoto by: Carol Gavan

Imperial Beach Surf Guide

Imperial Beach in San Diego County is an exposed beach break that has consistent surf. Winter is the favoured time of year for surfing here. Works best in offshore winds from the east. Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the best swell direction is from the southwest. The beach breaks offer lefts and rights. Unlikely to be too crowded, even when the surf is up. Hazards include rips and pollution.

Imperial Beach Spot Info

Icon beach  redBeachIcon  s43.7
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
19.5°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Imperial Beach:

The best conditions reported for surf at Imperial Beach occur when a Southwest swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the East.

Surf Forecasts:

What's the best time of year to surf Imperial Beach (for consistent clean waves)?

octoberBest Season: autumn
The best time of year for surfing Imperial Beach with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Autumn and most often the month of October. Clean surfable waves are typically found 34% of the time in October while 60% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 6% of the time it is considered too small by most surfers but may still be OK for beginners and groms at times.
Surfable waves that hold up well for longer rides in prevailing cross-offshore, offshore or light wind conditions.
blown out
Surfable sized waves that are of poorer quality due to prevailing onshore, cross-onshore or windy conditions (may be preferable for kitesurfing).
too small
Waves usually considered too small for good surf. Some wave-magnet breaks may still work though if conditions are right (on occasion).

Explore Imperial Beach Location Map

Interactive Imperial Beach surf break location map. View information about nearby surf breaks, their wave consistency and rating compared to other spots in the region. Current swell conditions from local buoys are shown along with live wind speed and direction from nearby weather stations. Click icons on the map for more detail. The closest passenger airport to Imperial Beach is North Island Nas (San Diego) Airport (NZY) in USA, 15 km (9 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Imperial Beach is General Abelardo L Rodriguez International (Tijuana) Airport (TIJ) in Mexico, 16 km (10 miles) away.

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Icon legend buoysLive Wave Height (m)
Icon legend windLive Wind Speed (km/h)
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Please note that some surf spot locations are approximate to protect their exact location while others are not shown at close zoom level.
Imperial Beach Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Friday, 1 July 2022, 16:54 Local Time
Friday 01
Wave (m)
Period (s) 15 15 14 14
Wind (km/h)
Wind State on cross-

Swell History at Imperial Beach

Surf stats for Imperial Beach, see the swell variation by month or season on the history page here.

Wind History at Imperial Beach

Wind stats for Imperial Beach, see the variation in direction and stength by month or season on the history page here.

Imperial Beach Reviews:

Interactive Porthcawl Point location map. View nearby buoy information, live wind conditions and surrounding roads, paths and locations to help find new breaks. Click the buoys or wind icon to view more information.

Based on 9 votes.
  • Overall:Icon  s43.7
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s43.6
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s43.9
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s33.2
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s43.8
  • Crowds:Icon  s43.9
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
Icon avatar
KristinaB from United States
“I love IB! I was raised here, and it is a great place to live, work, and play. It has a small town vibe and everyone knows each other. The atmosphere is laid back and chilled. Imperial Beach is not a crowded beach, except for once a year during Sand Castles. Sand Castles is a competition held each year during July. It brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and lasts for 3 days. If you love the ocean, love community, and like to live a relaxed lifestyle, IB is for you. The water's great, come on in! There is no place like this little jewel in the most southwest point of the United States. Few people live here, less than 50,000, and the weather is perfect. The locals are friendly, so come on out!”

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Imperial Beach. Click below to view there surf guides.

Wave Buoys Nearest To Imperial Beach: