Between Black's Beach on the south and Trestles Beach on the north, the shores of North County provide plentiful, diverse surf--from the crisp, clean tubes of Oceanside's sandy beach breaks, to the long, drawn-out walls of the rocky reef break at Swami's in Encinitas.
Spots like Black's, Swami's and Trestles are good places to go and watch surfing, but because of the crowds, and the strength of the waves and the currents, they are not good places to learn.
When learning to surf, look for a sandy beach with gently rolling breakers.
La Jolla Shores is an excellent place to learn, as are the beach breaks in Del Mar at 26th, 27th, 29th and 15th streets.
In Encinitas, one can get down to the beach at Beacon's or Stone Steps, then walk to the north or south to escape most of the crowds.