Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Santa Cruz: Surf City USA

I had very high expectations for Santa Cruz and for the 30 hours that i've been here it has not disappointed. I left San Fran yesterday morning, it took me an extra hour to get here because i stopped at every parking lot and turn off to gaze at this amazing, very dynamic coastline. I took a hike onto the cliffs overlooking Maverick's. I could feel the energy in the ground and i envisioned the thunderous Ocean in all her ferocious glory. It is a gnarly place even without swell: jagged rocks, steep cliffs and exposed reef. Standing there was like meeting a hero.

Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay, dormant in the summer- a sleeping giant waiting for the first big North swell of the winter season.

I arrived in Santa Cruz and went directly to Lighthouse Point, home of world famous surf break, Steamer Lane. The south swell has begun to arrive, but the sets are atleast 20 minutes apart, so there is a lot of waiting. And considering that Santa Cruz has been "flat" for a month, the crowds are in full effect and frothing. I've done my absolute best not drop in on anybody or get in the way. Actually, i have probably been too passive. That will change as i continue to show up in the water around for, oh say the next 60 years.

I have surfed 4 different spots: The Hook, Sharks, Pleasure Point and Steamer Lane. I have ridden some of the best waves of my life. These waves are naturally longer than almost anything on the East Coast. The talent level of the average surfer out here is outstanding. I paddled out, (actually jumped off the cliff, with the help of friendly local, James) at Steamer Lane today. I was mostly a spectator, but even that was awesome. Everybody here rips. I can not wait until i rip. The average set wave height was chest high, but every 30 minutes or, an overhead clean up set would break way outside of the understood lineup. Sitting pretty much on the sidelines as i was, i was able to sneak my way onto the shoulder of one of these bombs! One of the bigger waves i have ever successfully ridden, i was going so fast, i think my smile reached my ears. I kicked out and felt the burning adrenaline head to toe. It is supposed to be even bigger tomorrow. I'll charge!

Steamer Lane

Martin's Beach, North of Santa Cruz

Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz

Pleasure Point- a total zoo with atleast 60 people scrapping for every ripple

The Hook

When i parked at The Hook yesterday i noticed Little T's cousin sitting there. Turns out, Keith the owner, lives out of his truck and surfs up and down the coast. He also just left Yosemite::: weird.

Happy Independence Day everybody. I have always gotten a kick out of the fact that we as citizens of the United States, celebrate our freedoms by blowing up as much stuff as possible. Kinda fitting. Enjoy.

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