About Tarpits/Carpinteria State Beach

In an area known for its world-class point breaks, Carpinteria State Beach is one of Santa Barbara's less-glamorous options, which helps it fly beneath the radar and keeps the crowds pretty mellow. The beach break is peaky and fun, and tends to have less people than the reef to the south. Tarpits holds good shape, but gets a bit busier and can be backwashy at high tide.

Source: Tarpits/Carpinteria State Beach Surf Guide

Ability Level

Beginner - intermediate

Beg Int Adv

A variety of reef and beach break peaks that accommodate all levels.

Local Vibe

Doable

Welcoming Intimidating

While Tarpits gets a bit eggy, the beach break is pretty mellow.

Crowd Factor

Mellow

Mellow Heavy

There are a lot of better-known waves in the area, so it doesn't get too crazy here.

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

Fun, consistent waves, but nowhere as good as the various points in the region.

Shoulder Burn

Light

Light Exhausting

Relatively easy lineup to navigate.

Water Quality

Fair

Clean Dirty

Stays pretty clean until it rains, then you can get polluted runoff out of Carpinteria Creek.

Additional Information

Hazards

Rocks, boils, backwash, pollution after rains.

Access

There is ample parking in front of the beach.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish, bodyboard

Seabed

Sand, rock.

Best Season

Summer and autumn have the best conditions and most consistent swells.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos