The Traveler Guide to Riding Waves; Part 3.2 Surfing Santa Cruz, CA: Pleasure Point

The Traveler Guide to Riding Waves; Part 3.2 Surfing Santa Cruz, CA: Pleasure Point

Santa Cruz

The East Side of Santa Cruz is an incredibly wave-rich area of the Monterey Bay and provides fun, and sometimes giant, waves year round.

This area is nestled in a community, so locals can be fierce and as always surfers should give respect to gain respect and keep up good surf etiquette.

  • Pleasure Point: Well known for it’s year- round frothy waves, the name Pleasure Point actually stems from the 1920’s when a prohibition-era speakeasy was secretly located on the cliffs above the break. Nowadays the zone is best regarded for the flowing surf that bends around the coastline in long, right-handed peelers. Pleasure Point hosts a lot of take off spots between 1st peak to Jack’s, but is most distinctly sectioned into 1st Peak and 2nd Peak.
  • 1st Peak: As swell rolls around ‘The Point’ it hits a narrow portion of reef that pitches the wave into a steep A-frame. Due to the angle of the underlying ocean topography, the momentum of the wave rolls west resulting in a long right hander that can connect into 2nd Peak. The left quickly fizzles out into a channel after a steep and often reef exposing drop. 1st Peak is primarily populated by shortboarders, and is rated as an advanced to expert level surf spot.
  • 2nd Peak: Just south of the reef at 1st Peak is the 2nd Peak reef, primarily dominated by those riding longboards. 2nd peak has long been a training ground for some of the most talented surfers taking up the classic style of cross-stepping and noseriding on the longer, softer section of the wave, that on the right swell can peel all the way to Jacks. On big days 2nd peak is an advanced surf break, however on smaller days 2nd peak offers fun and friendly waves for intermediate level surfers.
  • Jack’: If there was ever a place to be grateful for the warmth that your wetsuit provides--this is the place. Formally known as 38th, Jack’s was renamed in honor of Jack O’Neill--local and worldwide ocean legend and inventor of the neoprene wetsuit. Jack’s is one of the best beginner breaks in Santa Cruz. The wave breaks in front of Jack’s green house, mostly as a long and mellow right hander, but also offers a fun little left which is a rarity for Santa Cruz.


Ready to Get Wet?  Book a lesson with us HERE

Want all this knowledge in one place? Snap up a copy of our handy Beginners Surf Guide Book!