Rip Curl Search No Further

posted by / Blogs, Editorial / May 4, 2011

Out of Office Reply is Associate Editor Taylor Paul’s column on surf travel, big waves, and other manly bits

The Search has found: Rip Curl is taking the World Tour to San Francisco this November. Photo: Nate Lawrence


Out of Office Reply

The sun will shine brightly (if from behind clouds). The wind will be offshore (unless it’s side- or onshore). And the waves will be big (assuming they’re not massive). The Rip Curl Search, stop No. 10 on this year’s ASP World Tour, is going to Ocean Beach, San Francisco from November 1-11, and I am floored for the following reasons:

  • San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the world
  • Ocean Beach is one of my favorite waves in the world
  • Fall is my favorite season in the world
  • The city will at that time be buzzing from the Giants’ second consecutive World Series win
  • The Golden Gate Bridge

The who’s who will arrive to Central California in mid-October to simultaneously train for the Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane and Rip Curl’s Ocean Beach event. They’ll bring their winter coats and 6mm wetsuits with built-in hoods, only to find that it’s 4/3-able and 70 degrees outside. Indian Summer temps. Offshore winds. They’ll surf up and down the coast and even give Maverick’s a try when a long-period swell collides with a glassy day. Guys will get comfy. But all the while Central California will be drumming her fingers (“Muahahaha”), luring the surfers into thinking that the reputed raw weather and unruly waves are merely a hoax. And then: Cold snap. Southwest winds. Hail. Everyone will dive for their coats and six-mils, only to find that by the time they fetch them it’s beautiful once more.



Of course, Rip Curl still has some kinks to work out. As of now there is no Jet Ski assist, and that presents a problem because this isn’t a paddling competition. I surfed OB last Saturday about as small as it gets (well overhead) and was battling shifting peaks and currents for 10 to 20 minutes at a time between waves. And if it’s big, damn near every heat will be restarted because nobody will catch waves in the first 10 minutes (as per the ASP rule).

And then there’s speculation that the locals are upset about the contest. Surely some of the salty old dogs are a bit sour on the circus coming to town, but the most visible locals, the Kelly’s Cove Local Boys (AKA the San Franpsychos) aren’t upset. They’re in the thick of it, meeting with Rip Curl and likely making some plans of their own. Because this crew, despite their silly monikers, are clever entrepreneurs. When big events come to their city they’re on hand to make a quick buck. Need a ride home after Outside Lands or Bay to Breakers? That’s a KCLB driving that rented 12-passenger van ready to take you where you need to go — for $10 a head. That warehouse party on Halloween? A San Franpsycho production. And now that there’s the opportunity to exploit an event that exploits their city that exploits their wave, they’d be San Franstupid not to present a skyward palm to every visitor entering the City by the Bay this fall.

And we should all be visitors! Pay whoever the hell asks us for money. It will be worth it. Because The City (that’s what people in Central California call San Francisco) and the waves (cold and difficult and barreling) and the vibe (friendly and pretentious and gay) and the San Francisco Giants (World Champs and black and orange) and the Golden Gate Bridge (just orange) await us all. The biggest problem facing Rip Curl with this contest is the question: when you’ve found the perfect place, is there a reason to keep searching? —Taylor Paul


Note: Rumor has it that Rip Curl is in talks with Palos Verdes locals for the 2012 Rip Curl Search Los Angeles. Don’t know…just a rumor.

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  • jon crotch

    SF and NY…

    These events should be interesting.
    Not the warm perfect expected tube, but more variables come into play. I think this years’ tour winner may actually be deemed the best surfer in the world based on the challenge of each event. Just my opinion, I suppose.

  • yes

    finally, someone speaks the truth about San Francisco. Keep bitchin’, wide world of surfing… Ocean Beach will keep on thumping and The Greatest City in California will keep on spinning

    Hallelujah, Taylor

  • Kaipo Gomes

    Holy Crap!!!! Bring it on. Rip Curl tooled the shit out of the quiet little town with a flawless, secret right named Barra de la Cruz. They scored the best swell in 10 years and it all went out “Live” to the world and look what happened to Barra now. Please go to Lunada Bay in Palos Verdes and have the local Police as a sponsor. I will drive or fly to go watch the shit go down. How epic would that be for all the spoon fed trust funders to see their spot invaded by Rip Curl and the World Tour circus. What a great idea and let’s hope it happens. Karma to you Lunada Bay locals.

  • Ben

    SF locals are nonexistent. I have surfed OB for the past 7 years and never been vibed once. Mostly I’m stoked to see others out.

  • tity

    make those world tour flockers surf mavs.

  • matty

    The ASP probably guaranteed that Slater will do another entire season. I bet he’lll want to be in the running for a world title when the tour comes to NY, Trestles, and SF.

  • Claude

    Having OB locals plan your afterparty is a great way to guarantee really crappy local reggae and even crappier local beer. And I think by “clever entrepreneurs” you mean “otherwise jobless thugs using intimidation to get work.”

    @Kaipo – Dude, I am PRETTY sure that last line was a joke. You see, Rip Curl would never have an event there because…nevermind.

  • The King

    Finally an event to show how many pro surfers can only surf small surf and do crappy airs…can’t wait to see some pros get slaughtered by the Nor Cal surf!

  • chokemoke

    lumpings by da ocean. no jetski? fah they use those things at 2 foot bells, but not at arguable the hardest paddle out spot? also, why not mobile? when the winds switch there are plenty options, locals should be stoked to see how talent surfs their breaks, mite learn something. and finally, if there is a huge swell… ho this could get nuts!

  • The one son

    I heard the trophy for the event is a pink vibrator.

  • twon

    hahahaha taylor you wish the giants will win a second world series

  • the truth

    no, its a rainbow surfboard with gavin newsom in a speedo

  • Jay

    I like speedos, for athletic suppport, but then again I shave my sack too. Hey , lmao, the ladies love it.

  • CharlieD123

    Not stoked on San Fransisco as an event. Like the idea of the nrothwest, lot’s of surf, power, colod, but Mission Beach isn’t a very good spot compared to so many that exist in the area. It’s sort of like having the search at Salt Creek and not trestles. It’s a lame place to have this contest.

  • chokemoke

    agree brah, they should just do a mobile northwest event. not like anybody is gonna make a surf trip there and make it all crowded in the future. great whites always keep the crowds away and seperate the true surfers

  • Dickson Cider

    It HAS to be about money. P=Pass has been called “cartoonish” because it so so perfect it doesn’t seem real. Why not make the Caroline Islands P=Pass the Search wave? It doesn’t get any better. Also, why not Soup Bowls in Barbados? They did Reunion and Middles so it’s not like the rules are for only undiscovered breaks. Lastly, staying in this Hemisphere, how about Santa Catalina or other Panamanian breaks? That recent Air and tube contest covered on Surfline was some of the hottest surf I’ve ever seen during a contest and they did both the East and West coasts. Fags don’t care about suring contests, they care about DWTS and Paul Mitchell, and fancy restaurants. The crowd will consist of 5 dedicated fags, 30 local dudes in Flannel, and 5 member of the Westboro Baptist Church protesting surfin a well known haven for sodomites. Marketing FAIL! (by the way, this was meant to be humorous, not a slant against gays as we all know surfing is NOT the last bastion of hetero sport)….or is it?

  • surfnewps

    I hope they make the next one in Palos Verdes. That would be amazing!

  • JJ

    I predict that some of the pros may protest if it’s onshore slop or outside burgers which is quite possible. They can look at double overhead A frame pictures all they want but it’s pretty rare to see that. Kudos that they have to paddle out. The article was pretty funny but no one I know wears 6mm at OB.