THE REEF WITH NO NAME

posted by / Magazine / March 24, 2004

What you’re about to read is entirely true, although we’ve blurred the details to protect the adventurous. No Photoshop trickery or surf-mag mirages going on here; over the next 12 pages you’ll witness a real lefthander, located somewhere along the West Coast that breaks like Pipeline or G-Land or some Hawaiian Outer Reef depending on the tide and — up until this winter — had only been cautiously surfed by a small group of hard-core chargers. These guys knew they were sitting on something special, a wave that starts spitting at 8 feet and gets rounder, taller and deadlier with each incremental hike in swell size. A wave that’s relatively close to a couple of California’s most congested metropolises, yet still so out of reach. And a wave that was just begging to be ridden by a trusted group of trained professionals. So, over the summer, this small pack of hard-core chargers talked it over decided on a crew they knew would never break a promise. When the first solid winter lines started lighting up the 46006 buoy, they gave their chosen ones a call. “Hey, guys,” they said. “You know all these crazy rights you’ve been surfing up and down the coast the past few years? Well, what if we told you there was a West Coast wave — just as crazy — going the other way?”

One thing is for sure: this new left is about as far away from Todos Santos Island as you can get. During the same weekend the Malloy brothers, Mike Todd, Mike Parsons and Brad Gerlach used their PWCs the PC way (at an isolated, uncharted wave with no one else around), the conflict between towers and paddlers hit its low point at Killers. As reported in our SURFING’s last issue (See “Throttled,” March ’04), paddle-surfer Keith Head took some serious lumps after he cut the anchor line to a group of tow surfers’ support boat. Head’s defense? They wouldn’t listen when he asked them not to tow through the already crowded lineup. The ordeal resulted in a black eye for Head and a blacker eye for tow surfing, but according to one of the strapped surfers involved, Adam Cohen, the ongoing tension at Todos is due to a lack of big-wave playing fields along the West Coast. “I’ve paddled in at Todos for 14 years,” said Cohen. “And I just can’t do it anymore. It’s boring. I’m {{{100}}}-percent into towing now, so where else can we go?” The answer to that question, of course, is all in the imagination . . .Evan Slater

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