Swami’s, also known as “Swami’s Reef'” and “Swamis”, is an internationally known surfing spot, a point break located in Encinitas, San Diego County, California. Swami’s was named after Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, because the grounds and hermitage of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram, built in 1937, overlook this reef point.
Originally, “Swami’s” was an unofficial nickname that surfers gave to the break here, but the name was eventually adopted officially, and became the name of the cliff top park, which was previously known as “Seacliff Roadside Park”.
Swami’s is a major surfing destination, especially during good swells in the winter months, because of its standout right point break, as well as fun reef breaks, and beach breaks. The number of surfers out can be very considerable when conditions are good. Surfing at this location is ideal with a low to mid tide, W or NW swell direction, and calm or East wind.
Swami’s allows all level of surfers, but is well known as a high-performance wave for both longboard and shortboard surfers. Bodysurfing and bodyboarding are a rarity due to the highly competitive nature of the crowd to catch and ride the limited number of waves that come in sets every few minutes.
Swami’s is also known as challenging spot to paddle, requiring a level of fitness above what other breaks demand. This is primarily due to the distance from the beach to the main peak several hundred yards from shore. As the waves become larger this distance increases, and after long rides the paddle back to the main peak can take several minutes. For this reason many surfers will choose to end their rides before the wave reaches the beach.
There are primarily two ways in which surfers initially paddle out to the main peak. The most common way is to approach from south of the break (directly in front of the lifeguard tower) and paddle around the break through the deep water (known as the channel). The other method of paddling out is to walk north two hundred yards and approach the main peak by means of a rougher, more turbulent shortcut. While riskier (due to the rough nature of the waves in this zone), it can be a significantly quicker route to the main peak. This is often known as “paddling out through the back door.” Most novice surfers will avoid this method as it requires greater skill and fitness.