Best North American Beginner Surf Spots Cowell's Beach—Santa Cruz. Waist-high sets that break 200 yards from shore; Packed with locals, but the most welcoming spot in Santa Cruz. Linda Mar Beach. One-mile-long beach that picks up swell from every corner of the Pacific. It always has something to ride. Scene: Packed every weekend but there is more than enough room from the Boat Dock break on the south end to the Round House break on the north end.