The Point is generally considered the “anchor” spot of Salt Creek beach. It is usually the most consistent, the most crowded, and it usually has better overall wave shape.
The Point is a left-hander that breaks off the pile of rocks along the south end of the beach. While it is called “The Point” it actually has a lot more in common with a reef break than an actual point break. The rocks that you see above the waterline and on the beach are actually just the base of a longer underwater rock shelf. Sand moving down the beach from the north has a tendency to get piled up next to those rocks and helps to extend the “point” further away from the shore and smooth off the transition from deep to shallow water.
If you have ever surfed The Point you know that the primary take-off section is pretty small…it is a section maybe about 10-15’ across…sometimes smaller or larger depending on how the tides, wind, and swell is affecting it. On most crowded days it can be a proper bitch to get set waves. There are a lot of guys that have got the Point dialed…they know how the wave is going to set up and have a good idea on how the tide is affecting the take-off, put 10 or 12 of those guys into a little box of a take-off zone and mix in an inconsistent southern hemi swell and you have a recipe for frustration. After a couple of sessions like that you will have a good idea why a lot of people head over to Middles.
On the right swell the left off The Point is a damn good wave…sometimes even worth the wait if it is crowded. The takeoff at the top of the point is fast but not hyper-critical so you have a good chance of making the drop. The wave does set up fast though and right after your bottom turn you hit a speedy section that has a tendency to barrel for a couple dozen yards. From there the wave slows down a touch but you do have to push through some racy sections on the inside. Eventually the wave does a semi-closeout as finally nears the beach…occasionally you will get a small shoulder that you can drift off and back into your paddle.
Check out this super old photo of the point…you can read a cool story about the Dana Point/Creek Surf scene that came with this photo here http://habig.com/fremember.html
Man I wish that the Coast still looked like this…
The best swell for the Point is generally a medium sized (5-7’ faces) long-period S-SW swell (180-210). It generally needs a medium-high tide to really get the wave to stand up but occasionally the sand will shift around and it can stay playful on the low-mid tide as well.
Rights off the Point
Occasionally, on large WNW-W swells, enough energy will push past the point and form a right-hander that breaks back toward Strands. It takes a lot of energy to actually make it break with any sort of shape but it is a good standby spot if other areas are having trouble with winds/weather. It is worth noting that Strands has a ton of randomly submerged rocks and can be pretty sketchy…it is one of those spots probably better left to experienced surfers.
Best swell direction: Healthy S-SW swells (180-210) and large W-WNW swells (270-280)
Best Wind: NE-E, light-moderate winds are the best. But it can handle light-moderate winds out of the S-SE
Sea Floor: Mostly rock-reef with some patches of sand and sea-grass. More sand as you get closer to the beach.
Best Season: Fall, Winter, Summer and sometimes Spring
Crowds: Generally mellow but it can get a little thick when the crowd at the point is overflowing.