Adam Wright
(Saturday) 6.12.10

Oceanside Pier, Oceanside

Oceanside Pier is a decent surf spot…not quite as good as Oceanside Harbor or DMJs…but the pier does help to pile up some sand so it can get a decent sandbar going.

Most times, it seems, that the pier area and all the way down to South Oceanside you only really see local Oceanside surfers in the water. Not really from any sort of localism or anything like that…it is more “hey there is surf right out in front of my house (or street)…I might as well just go out there because it only takes me like 2 minutes rather than the 30 minutes it would take to get over to the harbor”. If I lived there I would probably feel the same way.

The wave at the pier is pretty much your standard beach break with a pier…nothing super exciting. It gets closed out when you get a single big swell (either from the WNW or the S) but it is usually a bit more makeable than the other areas.

Again, like most of Oceanside, it shines on the combo swells. The extra sand and the pier itself helps set up peaky crossed-up shape…and the occasional hollow corner.

Spot details:
Best swell direction: S through WNW (180-285), but it really like the combo swells.
Best Wind: NE through E winds or light and variable winds
Sea Floor: Sand
Best Season: Mostly Fall and Spring but can get good anytime you have a mix of swells.
Crowds: Generally not too bad…it does attract more guys than an open beach break would, just because people sort of gravitate to the pier structure. Weekends and summer can get frustrating occasionally.




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  • http://www.oceansideoceanswimclub.com Chris

    I swim the Oceanside Pier regularly and would like to ask about surfer vs. swimmer etiquette. I thank the 90% of you surfers who accommodate a tired, foggy-goggled swimmer as I exit the beach through the surf zone and, mostly, return to the sand through the surf zone. I appreciate your friendly nods and space as I return tired to shore. I try not to get in your way. About one year ago I had one male surfer try and almost succeed in running his surfboard over my head, which would have hurt me badly had I not caught sight of him and ducked under instantly. He was the exception. However, since then I swim wide around the pier to avoid you surfers in the best line-up just south or north of the pier. Any feedback?

    • http://surf.solspot.com adam wright

      Chris…I generally think that swimmers and surfers get along pretty well. In fact I would probably say that many surfers sort of keep an eye on swimmers in the water and try and keep track of their relative position. I know I have had to make a few impromptu swims to the beach thanks to a snapped leash, or broken board and know how treacherous the ocean’s near-shore currents and riptides can get. I would like to think that all of us would try to help someone struggling to shore…of course we all want to avoid collisions that would cause an increase in blackballing hardboards from the water.

      The fuzzy area is when the surfing and swimming intersect in the actual wave breaking zone. If you are out to bodysurf, rather than just swim in deeper water, then trying to think/behave like other wave-riders is the way to go…don’t drop in on someone coming down the line, or crowd other board-riders into being out of position basically boxing someone into a situation where somebody could get hurt. Of course it helps that most good bodysurfing waves aren’t the best board-surfing waves…so there isn’t as much interaction as there might be if Socal’s beach setup was different.

  • http://www.oceansideoceanswimclub.com Chris

    I just now saw the reply. Thanks for the input.

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