Posted 02 May 2010   California, Santa Barbara, Spots, USA

I think this spot is fantastic- at least if you catch it right. Like most spots on the central coast it is best as the swell is rising after a long flat spell. If you make it there on a high tide in these conditions, you may be surprised that you’re in SB county. I’ve found the evening highs to be best, as any breeze tends to be heading offshore. The break is usually best towards the point, where you’ll find a steep beach and a pounding shore break with some glassy 1-3 foot barrels within skim range. You really need to go on the right conditions to make this spot worthwhile. The beach is always crowded with kids and drunken fishermen at mid-day on summer weekends, so don’t go expecting the place to yourself.

Refugio (Locals call it Re-fu-fi-o) is one of the few spots in the SB area that can actually be good from late spring to mid fall. Like all places around here, rocks are a problem during most of the other months. The north end of the beach can have some fun shore break, and the south can have a little whitewash push. It is a local campground area, so the only traffic you might run into would be little kids that think they can watch from right where the best waves are breaking. The only other problem with Refugio is that sometimes the sand flattens out and causes the break to be unreachable. If you go there, count on a good time, but bring both boards!

North on 101 from Santa Barbara, exit for Refugio State Beach

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