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Northern Ventura County Beach Activities

Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.

Northern Ventura County
Beach Activities

Surfing Rincon Point

By far the most popular beach activity along the northern coast of Ventura County is surfing, with Rincon Point at the epicenter. Known around the world, the waves at Rincon Point roll in consistently all the way from the river mouth to the highway. The point is best in the winter when the swell comes in from the west or northwest. Swells hit the shallows by the point and break off into evenly spaces waves. Low tides are known to produce the best hollow sections.

Three areas along the point draw the most attention. Most popular is the Cove, which begins part way out the point and then narrows as it approaches shore and waiting rocks. Farther out the point is Rivermouth and beyond that, the Indicator. There are times when all three connect, making for fabulously long rides.

Rincon Point, Ventura County, CA

Locals know to avoid the river mouth after heavy rains when sewage is swept down Rincon Creek into the ocean. If the surf is good, expect Rincon to be crowded.

Rincon Surfing Classic

Every spring the Rincon Surfing Classic is held at Rincon Point. Beginning in January organizers wait for the optimal conditions before announcing the date. In 2013 the competition was held in March, while in 2014 and 2015 competition took place in January. The 2018 waiting period begins February 10 and 11. Awards are given in categories ranging from the 11-years-old-and-younger Gremlins up through a Professional Division.
Rincon Surfing Classic

surfer, CA

Surfing Down the Coast

La Conchita area is frequented mostly by beginning surfers. The beach break produces moderate waves.

Mussel Shoals is often referred to as Little Rincon because of its point break near the pier. When the swells are right surfers can ride more than a hundred yards.

The area around Hobson Beach draws a fair number of surfers. Some reefs can produce a good break, especially in the winter. The rest of the year it is mostly beginning surfers enjoying moderate waves. To the north offshore is Seacliff Reef, a place where experienced surfers hang out.

Pitas Point and Faria Beach are known for the wildly long break that starts near the campground and rolls all the way to Mondos Beach, a cove south of the point. Many beginning and intermediate surfers gather at Mondos.

Ventura Makos Surf Camp

Surf camps, private lessons, after school program.
(805) 312-0713   Ventura Makos Surf Camp

Mary Osborne Surf Camp

Kids summer surf camps for all ages
Mary Osborne Surf Camp


If you are planning to picnic, bring your blanket and a basket of sandwiches. Picnic tables and BBQs at both Faria and Hobson beach parks are reserved for those with camping spots. The only established picnic area is north across the Santa Barbara County line at Rincon Beach County Park. With a great view, restrooms close at hand, and a beach nearby, Rincon Beach County Park is the best choice.

Beach Combing

Early morning low tides bring a scattered number of beach combers to the beaches along northern Ventura County's coast.

A variety of interesting shells can be spotted exposed in the sand where the highest tongues of surf brush over them. Among shell lovers' favorites are the sand dollar, limpets, California mussels, common Washing clams, pink barnacles, and all kinds of bivalves.
Ventura Tide Chart

Local Surf Shops

Ventura Surf Shop
88 East Thompson Blvd., Ventura, CA
Sales and rentals
(805) 643-1062   Ventura Surf Shop

Rincon Designs
657 Linden Avenue, Carpinteria, CA
Rentals, custom surfboards, wetsuits, clothing
(805) 684-2413   Rincon Designs

Seaward Surf & Sport
1082 South Seaward Avenue, Ventura, CA
Rentals, sales, lessons
(805) 648-4742   Seaward Surf & Sport

Nearby Activities and Events

Ventura to Ojai Bike Trail

Parallels Highway 33
A 15-mile paved walking, biking, jogging trail
1000 feet vertical climb to Ojai
Ventura to Ojai Bike Trail

Mission San Buenaventura

211 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA
Self-guided tours, open every day except major holidays.
Small admission fee
Mission San Buenaventura

Lake Casitas

Highway 150, 17 miles east of Carpinteria
Boating, fishing, camping
Lake Casitas

Carpinteria Triathlon

Carpinteria Beach
Carpinteria, CA
September 30, 2018
Olympic distances or sprint distances
Carpinteria Triathlon

Have Fun on the Beach

Ocean Safety

California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at
CA State Parks: Ocean Safety

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Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. Also, check with lifeguards that conditions at the beach are safe for your planned activities.

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