Pleasure Point


by Garrett Wheeler

When Jack O'Neill chooses to live in a home overlooking Pleasure Point, it's a safe bet that the wave is a good one, and yeah, it ain't too shabby. Functioning as the surfing hub of Eastside Santa Cruz, the Point is second only to Steamer Lane as a Nor-Cal staple, with consistently fun waves breaking across several distinct patches of reef from Sewer Peak, a bowly short-board wave on the northern tip, down to 38th Avenue, a mellow, tapering right ideal for longboards.

In between Sewers and 38th Avenue, you've got a bag of coldwater goodies including First Peak, which functions as the takeoff spot for long, tapered right walls, and Second Peak, First Peak’s little brother. Although it's rare to see the point breaking in a way that resembles perfection, northerly winds blow offshore across the south-facing waves, and long period swells from the south and west really seem to hold up well, sometimes offering rides a few hundred yards long.

Because Pleasure Point is scattered across several lengthy portions of reef, even the normal heavy crowd is dispersed in a relatively tolerable manner—that is, of course, if it isn't a weekend summer south swell. If that's the case, hit it at dawn or you'll be battling it out with everyone from grizzled old longboarders to San Jose's finest weekend warriors to local pros for a slice of set wave pie.

Access and Parking

There is one parking lot at the end of East Cliff drive and 41st Avenue, but you'll likely end up finding a spot in the residential area near the Point. To access the break, use one of the staircases down to the water, with the main stairs located in front of the picnic tables on the north end. If the waves are flat or too crowded, grab some tacos or a sandwich at the nearby Point Market at East Cliff and 32nd Avenue.

East Cliff Dr and Pleasure Point Dr CA, 95060. 831.454.7956. Learn more at Pleasure Point Beach website.

Santa Cruz, CA
Phone: 831.454.7956
26th Avenue
Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Seacliff State Beach