Cape Kiwanda Spot Guide

About Cape Kiwanda

Surfing in Oregon is all about finding spots that offer some protection from the elements and break up the large NW groundswells of winter — and Cape Kiwanda and Pacific City are two spots that do exactly that. Working on big, clean W and W-NW swells during the autumn and winter months, the beachbreak on the inside offers some shelter from the N and NW winds that blow regularly along this part of the Oregon coast. There’s also an exposed reefbreak that has potential when the winds are either calm or blowing out of the E. Boats are allowed to launch from the beach here, so things can get a little chaotic when the weather’s nice and conditions are calm. This area also has its fair share of sharks, so keep your head on a swivel.

Source: Cape Kiwanda Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate - advanced

Beg Int Adv

Cold water, big swells and strong currents are part of surfing in Oregon. Experience counts.

Local Vibe

Doable

Welcoming Intimidating

It’s a small community and all the locals know each other.

Crowd Factor

Mellow

Mellow Heavy

It’s gotten increasingly more crowded as the surfer population in Oregon grows, but it’s not crazy yet. Find a corner, be cool and enjoy.

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

Playful when it’s small, challenging when it’s big. Dealing with the elements is as much of a challenge as getting Cape Kiwanda good.

Shoulder Burn

Exhausting

Light Exhausting

Paddling in a 5-mil wetsuit is never easy, especially at a pumping beachbreak where you have to duck-dive over and over again.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

Generally pretty clean in this part of the world, but exercise caution when paddling out after periods of heavy rain.

Additional Information

Hazards

Cold water, strong currents, big sharks.

Access

Park in the state park, where there are limited spaces so expect it to fill up, especially on weekends with nice weather.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, funboard, longboard

Seabed

There’s a user-friendly beachbreak on the inside that enjoys some shelter from the NW winds with a reef setup further outside.

Best Season

There’s no shortage of swell in these waters during the winter months. The trick is being there when it’s clean enough to surf.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos