Otter Rock Spot Guide

About Otter Rock

It’s argued that more people learn to surf at Otter Rock than anywhere else in Oregon. A user-friendly setup featuring several beachbreak peaks, it’s generally mushy and accessible for those with less experience. Best on a small W swell, there can be rips and strong currents around the rocks during the winter and spring months. Otter Rock will also break on small S swells in the summer months, but those aren’t as consistent. The area does enjoy some protection from the regular summer NW winds thanks to the appropriately named Cape Foulweather. Otter Rock does get crowded when the weather’s nice, as it’s not only popular with surfers but a variety of ocean lovers and those looking to escape to the Oregon coast. Beware of dangerous rip tides, especially in winter.

Source: Otter Rock Surf Guide

Ability Level

Beginner - intermediate

Beg Int Adv

Sometimes referred to as the OId Man’s or Waikiki of Oregon, that should tell you all you need to know about the accessibility. Popular with beginners, although beware of dangerous conditions -- especially in the winter.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

A friendly spot that’s not all that competitive due to the amount of beginners that test the waters here.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

A well-utilized spot, days with warm weather and blue skies can be especially busy.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

One of the most popular places to learn to surf in Oregon, it’s a user-friendly, inviting surf spot that can be fun when it reaches its optimum size. Be cautious of dangerous rip tides in the winter.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Long paddles with some duck-diving required, but by no means a pounding beachbreak.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

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

Additional Information


Cold water, sharks, rip tides.


Located at Devil’s Punch Bowl State Park, there’s a parking lot at Otter Rock with restrooms, but it often fills up. Access the beach by a long stairway.

Bring Your



Sand-covered rocks help make Otter Rock a reliable spot on the Oregon coast.

Best Season

Best on a small to mid-sized W swell, and early-season swells in the Autumn can offer clean conditions with more accommodating weather and temps, but don’t discount January.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos