TRAVEL USA 09
“CALIFORNIA IS AT THE PARTY”
After closing the school on December 1, we escaped to the Canary Islands (Tenerife), where we were surfing all month and hooked some good sessions all over the island. We returned home to spend Christmas with the family and after loading the batteries, we flew from Madrid, on January 8, to Los Angeles (LA), where we waited Ramón Pérez, a Galician surfer, who is triumphing in the cinema United States, great friend and an excellent person. We were at his house in LA, along with another artist, Tony Ribas, a person’s rush, with whom we hope to keep in touch. We arrived in LA just for Ramon’s birthday, so the best way to celebrate it was to go together to the Las Vegas (LV) porn festival. All a crazy weekend, very fun and unforgettable. Many laughs, but as they say, “what happens in LV stays in LV”
Around Las Vegas, we began searching all over the Southern California coast, based at the Moncho & Toni home in Topanga. California is a surfing paradise, with lots and lots of good waves all over the coast, like Australia, and where the only but, is the cold in the water (4/3) and how crowded are all the waves. Even so, in time they catch very good waves, especially when this big, because the longboarders disappear and people if you see that you are very respectful. Like so many other places, California is a mecca of surfing and respect in the water is breathed. It is one of the strongest places in the surfing industry. There are a lot of adult people in the water, kids, girls … you breathe surfing and people live it. The level is often not very high (less than what you expect upon arrival) so if you go in shape, you will laminate your waves … next to seals, dolphins … and of course, sharks. 5 attacks last year, many of the sites breathe the atmosphere of the film shark. But with the amount of people in all the places, you have to be “a black cloud”, so that the Chinese touch you.
We were traveling Alejandra, my brother Nachete & I, who had been in California for years, and especially on the north coast, with my cousin Raul and our good friend Rubén (in charge of Richard Smith’s school in Santa Cruz). This time we decided to focus the trip in the south coast, more concretely of Santa Bárbara-San Diego and avoid Tijuana and the Mexican border, things are quite complicated.
When you arrive in California, you understand why so many fires; The climate is dry and hard, which makes even greater contrast with water. The traffic is crazy (especially on Highway 405) and the proximity of many cities makes the water more crowded. Localism, like everywhere, looks more fierce than it actually is. Anyone who knows how to surf, know how to be and behave in the water, will not have problems.
SANTA BARBARA is one of the epicenters of the Californian surf, with predominance of beaches, has also some good points of rights, perhaps the best known is the Ranch (only by boat), one of the most legendary sites. Other good waves are El Refugio and El Capitan. Further south there are good rights such as Sandspit (Tubazos), Hammonds Reef & Miramar … Santa Barbara has a lot of nightlife and shops, the most mythical is Channel Islands, Al’Merick, a store-museum, where the tables hang from their walls Of the best shaper riders in the last years, from the classic Tom Curren of Huntington, the Taylor Knox with the graffiti of Captain America, The Hendrix and the targets of Machado … and like not those of Kelly Slater, models of the Black & White & the girls … among others; Magic boards, lots of history and illustrate part of the recent history of American surfing.
From Santa Barbara to Ventura, you will find many of the best waves. Good point right breaks (California is a paradise for regulars) and where RINCON POINT takes the palm. A classic derechón, which has made famous mythical sessions like those of Tom Curren, Machado and certainly Bobby Martinez lately, crossing the train tracks, to reach this magic wave, where despite the number of people in the water , We were lucky enough to catch the wave 4 days, with a meter and a half and the sea pumping. A hilarious wave that gives a lot of game, tubes, floaters, cutbacks … very long, powerful and with a last section type Noosa (Australia) where you go cruising until you reach the shore, to walk back and enter the quiet, to put you back in peak. A wave that deserves its fame more. Highly Recommended. When passing this tip by highway 101 to the south, there are many other points similar to Rincon, although not as high quality, as La Conchita, Little Corner (the name says it all), Hobsons, Faria, Pitas Point, Solimar, Ventura Overhead (great wave) and California Street (classic right that ends in the pier and where the longboarders, if this little one, can despair to you). It is one of the waves that we have surfed the most, because of the proximity to the house, very fun. From the highway you will see the waves and you will make your decision.
South of Ventura, towards Oxnard, there are good waves, but they are mostly beachbreaks (San Bentura, Ormond …), although there are some potential rivermouths like Santa Clara.
Near Los Angeles (LA) there are very good waves, but of course they are more crowded. Los Angeles is a must-see, as is San Francisco or San Diego if you visit California. It is not a very complicated city and although it has skyscrapers, it is not of the cities + crazy of States, as far as life, that if in lifestyle. “California is at the party …”. A must-see for Hollywood Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Venice … we were even lucky enough to buy tickets to see an NBA game. Many important groups like Sublime, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Cypress Hill … and like not rappers like 2Pac, Snoop, Dr Dre … The truth that of all the cities where I have been in the States, is the one that I liked. Losing yourself through the streets and downtown is a must.
Around Los Angeles, there are some of the mythical + waves, like Secos, Topanga, Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica and especially Malibu, with its mythical wall and its right which are a candy, you will feel like Matt Johnson. They are waves that are very crowded, but at the same time they are fun. Idyllic for longboarders. Pacific Highway 1 is the best road to watch the waves, as is 101 + to the north. Towards the Surf of Santa Monica is the pier and many beaches like those of Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo, are fun beach waves. Further south through the Palos Verdes and Long Beach area there are fun beaches (Seal Beach) and some good right spots. Seal Beach has several good peaks, as does Sunset Beach, but the 2 + fame waves are surely Huntington Beach, with good waves on both sides of the pier (Huntington Championships mythical place) and Newport Beach (high level). Two incredible sites, especially Huntington, with shops and lots of potholing around the streets (Tuesday market).
Further south, in Orange County, there are good waves like Morro Beach, Laguna Beach (tourist site, very nice beach), Salt Creek (olon), Doheny and especially San Clemente, on the pier and train tracks traversing The town, gives an air to Rincon. Mythical surfing site, a pretty village with many renowned surf shops, like Rainbow, T. Patterson, Hobbie … T-Street and good beaches.
Towards South x highway 5 there are good waves, with less people, although classic days like all of California are full. TRESTLES is a must stop and one of the best waves in all of California. With Cottons, Uppers, Middles, Lowers & Church Point. Stop of the WCT, one of those magical places, not only by the waves, but by the surroundings; With good lefts, but above all infinite rights, which breaks upon callaos and sand. There are many tracks that lead to the wave, but from San Onofre State Beach you can follow the path until you see the sign that explains your situation and how the waves are. The best of the trip.
Continuing south and before arriving at Solana Beach, there is a very good right named Cardiff. Driving along the old highway 101, you come to Del Mar; One of the most beautiful villages in Southern California, where we visited a good friend who is recording skate videos, Álvaro Molina. It is an area with a lot of good waves, but the palm is Blacks (brutal road), The Cove and the area of La Jolla, where with a good sea, you will be impressed by the amount of good reefs. San Diego is a quiet, beautiful city and a must-see.
After surfing along the south coast of California and having hooked two good swells and very good sessions, especially in Rincon, C-Street and San Diego area; Having visited very good friends (Ramón, Toni, Alvarito …) and above all enjoyed the Californian surf culture and the beauty of all its coast … we started the trip to HAWAII.
PHOTOS & TEXT: SURF CANTABRA SCHOOL
VERY SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: RAMÓN PEREZ & TONI RIBAS