Black’s Beach: La Jolla, California
The Spot: Black’s Beach, a sand-bottom beach break in La Jolla, California
Why It Matters: Black's Beach is at its best when the winter swells hurtle down from the North Pacific. A deep-water canyon formed by the Rose Canyon earthquake fault intensifies the swell energy and bends the waves into a perfect, hollow left. In the fall, warm Santa Ana winds blow offshore and transform Black’s into a perfectly groomed playground.
Unlike many beach breaks, Black’s holds its shape up to 15 feet or so. Beware of the “canyon sets” — these inconsistent, bigger sets have a sneaky habit of coming out of nowhere and catching even the most experienced locals inside. If you’re into rhino-chasing and you like to go left, Black’s is your kind of place.
Until the late 1970s, Blacks was a nude beach, and even now, the northern end of the beach is clothing-optional.