Black's Beach

Lyn Siem and Lisa Carulli
  • Lyn Siem and Lisa Carulli

Name: Lyn Siem and Lisa Carulli

Live: Ocean Beach

Surfing: Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach, famous for being “clothing optional,” is also a favorite of surfers because of its ability to hold a large swell. While a high tide of seven feet might make for waves in the ankle- to knee-high range at some beaches, Black’s can have surf that’s chest to shoulder high.

“When it’s not great, like today, [waves are] a foot [high at some breaks]; here [at Black’s] it’ll be two feet, three feet,” says Lisa Carulli. She says that the waves are larger because, “It’s an uninterrupted wave; there’s a submarine canyon below the surf, so there’s nothing to stop the swell. It’s not a gentle rising of sand toward the beach; it’s a canyon that doesn’t interfere with the swell.”

Black’s Beach is officially known as Torrey Pines State Beach and sits below the glider port in La Jolla. Access to Black’s from the glider port parking lot is via a 300-foot hike down a steep cliff. Because of its difficult access and larger waves, Black’s can seem prohibitive to new surfers, but, Lisa says, “It’s not local-y,” meaning all are welcome.

“It’s not really a group here,” says Lyn. “Other spots have tighter groups, but there are a lot of good people here. You’ll run into the same ones and get to know them.”

Lisa has been surfing for 27 years, and Lyn has surfed for 18 years.

“We’re ex-pros!” says Lisa. “We actually met at a competition — what was that, ten years ago? We’re the two best women surfers in San Diego,” she states confidently and shares a laugh with Lyn. “No, really. It’s true.”

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