Tales from the Trails: Finding that secret spot.

posted by / News / April 19, 2007


Last week all of California was blessed with the best South swell in a long time, and Northern California was no different. Trekking way off the beaten path, I dodged agitated locals, poison oak, and possibly being attacked by a Mountain Lion to surf a rare secret spot way up north of the Golden Gate bridge. When I got there, I didn’t see any locals, but I did find waves that were more intimidating than any local. No one was out, but Santa Cruz surfer Wayne Kelly was there at the end of the trail trying to talk an unidentified surfer into paddling out. Wayne didnt seem too concerned about locals… he deals with plenty of deviance working as a Bouncer at a nightclub in Santa Cruz. The waves looked 6 feet, until Wayne had his way and the two paddled out. When they got to the peak, I could see that I seriously underestimated the wave size.

The wave was wrapping around the jagged reef, and with the water color and power, it almost resembled a 48 degree version of Pipeline. Wayne paddled out to the inside reef and immediately caught a few really good waves. The unidentified surfer wanted nothing to do with it. Sets were pouring in. I could see Wayne bolting outside to the second reef. A few minutes later I watched him ride the biggest wave I had seen from the outside and right over the cauldron of the inside bowl. When it hit the inside, the wave doubled up so hard, I could barey stop shaking. This spot was way more than I bargained for.


I was happy just to witness this secret spot in its glory. The beauty of it was I now believed the hype, and I was not intimidated by the trail, the travel to get there, or the horror stories, but by the wave itself. That perfect wave you dream about may be more real than you think. Take it from me, when you travel for surf… be careful for what you wish. You might get more than you bargained for.

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