A Guide to Black’s Beach

November 30, 2022
Blacks Beach San Diego

San Diego is a city of beaches, made up of 70 miles of diverse coastline. The people here live by the rhythm of the tide. They stroll the beach at sunset, hand in hand with their lovers, and gather around bonfires at night. Many are just as comfortable on the sand as they are at sea, maneuvering the waves like dolphins skimming the water.

Some are born with boards in their hands. They’ll learn to balance from an early age. They pop up as easily as they stand up, and they swim with the fervor of sharks, paddling as seamlessly as they can walk. They’re part of an intergenerational culture of surfers, many of whom prefer flip-flops over closed-toe shoes, and dawn shirts only when absolutely necessary.

They have their havens, their quiet places, their getaways, and secret wave breaks. They can navigate cliffside trails, climb ropes down onto the beach, and follow secret paths known only to those initiated into the local mysteries.

Their secrets have been kept for decades, shared only with those capable of managing choppy waters. But they are starting to come to light. The world has learned the pleasures of surfing, and everyone wants to know where to find the perfect wave, especially now with the prevalence of semi-private surf lessons in San Diego. 

Black’s Beach is one of those hallowed lands, where riptides pull surfers under, and the artificial reef has been known to slice through the skin. It’s for those who respect the waves, the daring young men and women who have surfed the coast and spent years paddling out day after day, seeking quiet solace and well-earned thrills.

Those who would like to savor Black’s need practice, patience, and most of all instruction. We can teach you about the land, and help you understand the water, but if you want to know how to ride this legendary break, you will need someone to show you how to surf. Before you paddle out, try semi-private surf lessons in San Diego, somewhere safe like La Jolla or Pacific Beach, where you can go from foam to waves, and begin to understand what it takes to be among the best.

Horizonte na Praia

sdpitbull / Flickr

The Trail to Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach has long been considered a secret beach. It’s mostly accessible from a heavily eroded trail that leads down the Torrey Pine Bluffs. There’s a barrage of signs warning would-be hikers, who typically ignore them. Many poor souls have died there due to the eroding sandstone, along with the accompanying falling rocks. But that hasn’t stopped people from taking the well-worn path.

Semi-private surf lessons in San Diego usually come along with instructions about how to navigate the sea’s hazards, but they don’t prepare people for the hazards on land. If you plan on visiting the beach, try to find another way down. This might be the most popular route, but it’s not the safest. The cliffs themselves are more than 300 feet high.

Some prefer hang gliders. It’s one of the most thrilling ways down–highly recommended. You can also reach the beach through an entrance near the university, and when the tide is low it’s possible to cross from La Jolla Shores, but it’s important to be cautious.

Blacks Beach San Diego

Tony Webster / Flickr

Letting it All Hang Loose

Know to expect a bit of eccentricity once you do make it down to the sand. Black’s Beach is a favorite for illegal nudists. Local authorities have been trying to crack down on the practice for years, and they have been known to run sporadic campaigns, but they haven’t had much luck. As soon as they clear everyone out, they start coming back again.

It’s become so established that the powers that be have created a literal line in the sand. The nudists take up the northern portion of the beach, while the surfers own the south. It’s probably for the better. They’re mostly middle-aged men. Stick to the south. Take some semi-private surf lessons in San Diego, then head on down to ride the waves.

Locals Only

You might encounter some trouble at Black’s Beach if you’re not careful. Every once in a while a group of locals get it in their head that they own the water. If they don’t like you, they’ll rush the waves, push you off your board, drop in on you or herd you towards the rocks. It’s definitely a problem, but at some point there’s not much they can do. When there’s a swell, Black’s can get crowded. When that happens, it’s every man for himself.

If you really want to protect yourself, take some semi-private surf lessons in San Diego. Prove your worth to the locals, show them that you know how to ride, and practice your heart out. It can take years to get to the point where you can surf Black’s safely anyway. Once you’re ready, and you’ve truly mastered the waves, they can’t say a word. They might even let you go before they do.

You might also want to try getting to know the locals and having a quick chat. Once they’re more at ease with you, you’ll have an easier time on the water. They’ll be less likely to drop in, and they probably won’t herd you into the rocks. Also, know your etiquette. Learn how to handle the lineup, and be careful where you ride. Don’t put anyone else in danger over sloppy practices.

Mushroom House

Robert Gourley / Flickr

Mushroom House

Black’s Beach is home to an architectural marvel–an icon, really–called the Mushroom House. The gate, the concrete, and the shielded design were all built to ward off natural disasters, like rock slides and hurricanes. It seems to have worked. It’s been several decades, and it hasn’t been destroyed yet.

Semi-private Surf Lessons

The waters near Black’s Beach are choppy, unpredictable, and very difficult for beginners to navigate. In truth, you’re not likely to make it on this beach without some serious training. San Diego Surf Lessons offers some of the best semi-private surf lessons in San Diego. If you want to make it on Black’s, contact them and setup an appointment.