Most of the year Bolsa Chica is a longboard break and decent beginner spot. Now I know that most of the Bolsa warriors don’t really want a bunch of brand-new surfers spastically paddling around and getting in everyone’s way any more than guys at other spots do…but you have to admit that the slow rolling shape, generally short paddle, and mostly wide open beach is a great place to learn.
Bolsa generally works best on a combo of both S swell (170-195) and WNW swell (270-280). It does work with just one swell or with a combo of windswell and a longer period swell but it seems to pack the most bang for your buck when you get the 2 (or more) long-period swells.
A couple of years ago they successfully built the Bolsa Chica outflow, which finally connected the Bolsa marshes with the ocean. In the process they dropped a couple of large jetties to stabilize the out-flow. The combination of these jetties and more sand being pushed out of the out-flow has started to create better wave shape at the south end of the state beach area. Beginners will probably want to avoid this spot…the waves are faster, sometimes more hollow, and it is generally more crowded with good surfers.
Best swell direction: Combo of S swell (170-195) and WNW swell (270-280).
Best Wind: N-NE-E, light-moderate Santa Ana winds are the best.
Sea Floor: Sand
Best Season: Late summer through Fall, with biggest waves in the Winter.
Crowds: It gets crowded near the out-flow almost every morning…more so when there is swell. Expect a lot of surfers in the summer with all of the surf camps. Weekends can be a joke.