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Isla Vista ratings
Quality on a good day: 3.0
Consistency of Surf: 2.5
Difficulty Level: 3.0
Wind and Kite Surfing: 3.0
Crowds: 2.0

Overall: 2.9

See all 18 ratings

Based on 3 votes. Vote


Surf Report Feed

Isla Vista Surf Guide

Isla Vista in Santa Barbara is a fairly exposed beach and reef break that has fairly consistent surf. Winter is the best time of year for surfing here. Works best in offshore winds from the northeast. Waves just as likely from local windswells as from distant groundswells and the best swell direction is from the west. The beach break offers both left and right hand waves. Best around low tide. Often Crowded. Submerged rocks are a hazard.

Isla Vista Spot Info

Type:Rating:
Icon beachBeach and reefIcon  s32.9
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
fairly consistent
12.7°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Isla Vista:

The best conditions reported for surf at Isla Vista occur when a West swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the Northeast.

Surf Forecasts:

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

januaryBest Season: winter
The best time of year for surfing Isla Vista with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Winter and most often the month of January. Clean surfable waves are typically found 25% of the time in January while 48% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 27% of the time it is considered too small by most surfers but may still be OK for beginners and groms at times.
clean
25%
Surfable waves that hold up well for longer rides in prevailing cross-offshore, offshore or light wind conditions.
blown out
48%
Surfable sized waves that are of poorer quality due to prevailing onshore, cross-onshore or windy conditions (may be preferable for kitesurfing).
too small
27%
Waves usually considered too small for good surf. Some wave-magnet breaks may still work though if conditions are right (on occasion).

Explore Isla Vista Location Map

Interactive Isla Vista 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 Isla Vista is Vandenberg Afb (Lompoc) Airport (VBG) in USA, 74 km (46 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Isla Vista is Point Mugu Nas Airport (NTD), also in USA, 76 km (47 miles) away.

Icon breakBreak
Icon legend buoysLive Wave Height (m)
Icon legend windLive Wind Speed (km/h)
Please note that some surf spot locations are approximate to protect their exact location while others are not shown at close zoom level.
Isla Vista Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Saturday, 10 April 2021, 21:18 Local Time
SatSun
8PM11PM2AM5AM
Wave (m) 2.1
WNW
1.7
WNW
1.2
WNW
1.1
WNW
Period (s) 6 6 10 10
Wind (km/h) 10
NNW 15
NNW 10
N 5
NNW
Wind State cross-
off
cross-
off
cross-
off
cross-
off

Swell History at Isla Vista

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

Wind History at Isla Vista

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

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Isla Vista. Click below to view there surf guides.

    • Icon beachBeach
    • Icon  s32.5
    Reliability: fairly consistent
    1km away
    • Icon reefReef and point
    • Icon  s22.4
    Reliability: fairly consistent
    1km away
    • Icon beachBeach
    • Icon  s32.5
    Reliability: fairly consistent
    1km away
    • Icon pointPoint
    • Icon  s32.8
    Reliability: fairly consistent
    2km away
    • Icon beachBeach and reef
    • Icon  s33.0
    Reliability: consistent
    2km away

Wave Buoys Nearest To Isla Vista:

We hope you find the new 12-day forecasts and additional details useful.

Kudos to everyone who helped us debug this over the past 3 months.

Be sure to click on the Advanced Surf option to see extra details about the sea-state. Look out for crossing swells and short period local wind swells and chop that will often spoil a groundswell even if the wind is perfect. As yet there is no allowance for this in the swell rating. This is something we are working on.