El Porto

Best Beach for New Surfers, August 2009
Wedged against the ominous Hyperion sewage treatment plant, with its tubes and domes and belching chimneys, El Porto will never be a glamour beach. A Chevron refinery looms nearby, and jets lift off from LAX, but the attractions here are the long, slow waves and the smooth, sandy bottom, features that have made this stretch of shoreline at the northern fringe of Manhattan Beach the ideal proving ground for novice surfers. Best reached from the 45th Street parking lot, El Porto is well established as a beginner’s haven, and the locals are generally as forgiving as the ocean. If you require a bit more coaching, several surf instructors use E.P. for their lessons, including Tommy Ostendorf, the onetime captain of Mira Costa High School’s surf team. » Manhattan Beach.