Surfing at El Martillo west of Ensenada
Photo by Walt Peterson
With almost 1,100 miles of shoreline along its Pacific coast line and with its varied geography, the peninsula has some outstanding surfing. There are two basic surfing regions. The first, between Tijuana and Ensenada, is essentially an extension of Southern California conditions. The weather, water, beach litter, and most of the people are the same, and San Miguel, just north of Ensenada, is as well-known to generations of Southern California surfers as Rincón. There are a number of good RV parks along the Tijuana-Ensenada Toll Road, and a few days spent surfing these locations would be an enjoyable part of any trip. However, for those looking for something a little less tame and familiar, there is a world-class location just west of Ensenada. Located at the Islas de Todos Santos, this place ably lives up to its name, "El Martillo" (The Hammer), and is rated by many to be on a par with such locations as Waimea Bay in Hawaii and Mavericks in California. El Martillo often has 10- or 12-foot faces.

The second region, the coastline from Ensenada to the Cape, has almost every conceivable kind of surfing condition. Prevailing winter northwesterlies produce a succession of highly reliable point breaks on the many capes dangling south from the Pacific coast like icicles. Stretches of beach sweeping between them may work well only a few days or weeks a year, but so many miles are involved, with so many combinations of exposure, bottom terrain, beach curvature and angle to the swell, that there is usually little difficulty in finding something that is working well. With the coming of summer, south winds and waves from tropical storms produce a far greater variety of conditions and enough lefts to keep an army of goofy-foots happy, and opening up locations that work best in south waves like the Cape region.

by:Walt Peterson ©

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