About Capitola

A soft, gentle, right-hand reef/point that is popular with beginners and longboarders, Capitola is a staple of the Santa Cruz surf scene, and has the crowds to prove it (especially in summer). There is also a shorter, slightly more powerful left off the back of the right.

Source: Capitola Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Great option for beginners, but still fun for proficient longboarders; can get hairy (like anywhere) when big.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

This is essentially a beginner spot when it's small, so the crowd is one big party -- however, standard surf etiquette should still be adhered to. Beginners should be careful when it's big.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Super crowded in summer; moderately crowded in autumn.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Far from the best wave in Santa Cruz, unless you are a beginner (in which case this is where you should surf).

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Easy spot to surf, which is why so many beginners are here.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Less clean than other spots in Santa Cruz (especially after a rain).

Additional Information


Rocks, beginners, errant longboards.


Parking is available throughout Santa Cruz, although it tends to fill up fast, especially in summer.

Bring Your

Funboard, longboard


Rocky reef and sand.

Best Season

Gets swell year round, but summer and Autumn tend to be best.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos