Friday, March 14, 2014

Santa Barbara Surfari: A Travelogue

I haven't had the greatest success with surf trips. Even if it's a one day trip, say to Moss Landing or Stinson Beach. I've tried timing swells and I've tried blind luck. Usually I just strike out. It can be a very frustrating experience.

Recently, I joined my fellow club members from the Pedro Point Surf Club on an annual trip to Santa Barbara. The club scored great surf last year and I figured it couldn't happen two years in a row. In fact, I was just looking to get away for a few days. An excuse to camp, drink beer and hang out at the beach with some friends, all under the premise of a surf trip, seemed like a pretty good idea. My expectations for (good) surf were low, particularly because surf is hard to come by in Santa Barbara as the Channel Islands seems to block all but the steepest angled swells. Nevertheless, the California coast had enjoyed a surf-rich winter up to this point and there were rumors of an incoming swell that would light up the Ventura / Santa Barbara region. Let's just say I was cautiously optimistic.

I wasn't disappointed. The surf, ranging from chest high to head high, only improved as the long weekend progressed. I surfed several days in a row and for hours at a time, both firsts for me in a very long time. To round out the experience, the weather was unseasonably fantastic, the beer was splendidly delicious, and the campfire was peacefully delightful.

I suppose the lesson I learned is to plan for the worst, hope for the best, keep an open mind and enjoy yourself regardless. And maybe say a prayer, bring a rabbit's foot, or cash in a couple of karma chips.

I don't own a GoPro so most of the photos I took (on my new camera phone) were coastal- rather than surf-focused. Regardless, I hope you enjoy them.

Sunset at Carpinteria State Beach
C Street, Ventura peeler
Oil, Santa Barbara's other industry
Seepage Art
Black Gold
To Roger Dean: need inspiration for your next Yes album cover?
Another Yes album concept for Roger Dean
For the Geology Dorks
Te Quiero Santa Barbara

Until next time, may your waves be head high and glassy.