California Cliché

posted by / Photos / March 8, 2013

“Devil winds screech through Santa Maria’s cemetery as I round the corner heading east of Goleta.” “Ocean Beach, the new miracle mile, the new Baja Malibu, the new Pipeline…” “Surfline ruined everything!” “California Über Alles!” “San Clemente is the new surfing talent hotbed.” Oh man, what to say about California that hasn’t already been said a billion times. We’re not reinventing the wheel here. But one interesting topic is the psychology of the Californian surfer, specifically the misconceptions that we’re a nomadic bunch — that we carelessly wander the Californian coastline looking for some sort of forbidden fruit.

This winter, I think we realized that we’re all quite fine settling with surfing triple digit crowds at waves like Rincon, Lowers and Blacks. We’re better family men and women now. We’ve been given time slots of 30-45 minutes to jump in the water before picking up little Johnny from school or getting back to the office. Gone are the days of pissing off the wife and hopping in a friend’s van, joint and a beer in hand as the crusty van peels off the lawn, tires smoking with the reckless intention of Baja or bust. Nowadays, it seems as though responsibility has won.

Groms don’t even have the slightest conception of traveling outside of their little surf bubbles, which leaves us only with the old. We pity the old. We paddle around them like sharks circling a dying blue whale. So, for our California Issue, this winter we went with a little old and a little new. We revisited some old familiar faces and we met some new ones along the way. This photo post is a little teaser of what’s to come. —Peter Taras

Kyle Buthman

Kyle Buthman

Brett Barley, Central California.

Brett Barley, Central California.

Cardiff.

Cardiff.

Central California.

Central California.

Dane Reynolds, Ventura.

Dane Reynolds, Ventura.

 Devil's Slide.

 Devil's Slide.

 Devil's Slide.

 Devil's Slide.

Damien Fahrenfort, Ocean Beach.

Damien Fahrenfort, Ocean Beach.

Joel Tudor, La Jolla.

Joel Tudor, La Jolla.

Jojo Roper, La Jolla.

Jojo Roper, La Jolla.

Josh Kerr, Ocean Beach.

Josh Kerr, Ocean Beach.

Kyle Buthman, Northern California.

Kyle Buthman, Northern California.

Logan Rohut.

Logan Rohut.

Nat Young, Northern California.

Nat Young, Northern California.

Nat Young, Santa Cruz.

Nat Young, Santa Cruz.

Northern California.

Northern California.

Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach.

Ocean Beach.

Oceanside.

Oceanside.

Pacifica.

Pacifica.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Ocean Beach, San Francisco.

Ratboy, Santa Cruz.

Ratboy, Santa Cruz.

Robin Caddell.

Robin Caddell.

Sterling Spencer, Scripps Pier.

Sterling Spencer, Scripps Pier.

Geoff Brack, Salt Creek.

Geoff Brack, Salt Creek.

Griffin Colapinto, Salt Creek.

Griffin Colapinto, Salt Creek.

Jeremy Carter, San Clemente.

Jeremy Carter, San Clemente.

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  • Patrick

    Some of those pictures kind of suck. In fact the whole pice kind of sucked

  • Sliding Sense

    I’m sure people up north are thrilled with this photo essay.

  • mysto

    those central cal shots look an awful lot like fullers.

  • BVBVBVBVB

    The vibe at OB has changed dramatically in a short few months – lots of confrontations happening in the water. It’s pretty much the same as surfing blacks or the lane.

  • Josh Kerr

    The Beach actually only gets like that for five or six days a year. Kooks.

  • Aloha

    Guys, out of basic respect for the spot, can you please stop with the hit you placed on OB?

  • Miromar Klipkitch

    That was the best OB in over ten years. It gets somewhat close maybe two or three times a year, but that weekend was an entirely different creature from what could be said to be your average epic winter day.
    Let them come, let them be sorely disappointed.
    That’s the guarantee for people thinking they’ll hook some of this on a little jaunt north.
    Long timers waited over ten years for that

  • John Maher

    Great shots.

  • gern blanston

    Regardless of how many nice photos “exploit” California, it has not prevented me from SCORING a shit load of waves in the last few weeks with just a few of us in the water…somewhere in the northland. Josh Kerr,that’s funny.

  • Norcal

    Kinda not cool taking some pictures of those spots, boys…those photographers almost got their asses kicked on one of those shoots, if I recall the story right. Be careful gentlemen, it’s a small town.

  • northern

    Alright, alright, we get it, the beach turned on for a few weeks this winter. I’m sick of how many people have been blowing it up like it’s Lowers or something. It’s not fair to the local guys who have been waiting the entire year to finally get some good surf to blow up their spot, sending hundreds of kooks and photog’s flocking to the city from down south. It’s been a zoo there lately! Yes, the beach regulates itself by being one of the heaviest waves on the coast and almost unrideable 90% of the time, and yeah it is cool to see a photo or 2 each year from when it’s good. But please, have some respect and don’t post photos every single week of a spot that rarely got attention before the Rip Curl contest. If you really feel like you have to post the photos, at least don’t put a caption saying exactly where it is. We liked it better that way. Thank you.

  • northern

    That comment I left above isn’t just talking about surfing mag, but all the websites that have been relentlessly blowing it up. There are some awesome photos in here, but I hope you understand where I’m coming from.

  • SLO Barrels

    HA! Hilarious how many people are coming up here now looking for epic OB sessions and being let down. I wait all year and even the days that are forecast to be good usually suck.

  • Ryan Moss

    Epic write article Pete. As for everyone chiming in with their two cents, get over yourselves. Who cares how good spots get and how often they are like that. I can promise you this…. You have missed more perfect waves and blown more perfect waves in your lifetime at your home break, than you have surfed perfectly. Just appreciate the moments that were captured in these few frames and be lucky to consider yourself someone who gets to enjoy these moments more often than others.

  • Fuck Off

    Cunts, Stope shilling these spots. Please go away and die a slow death.

  • declin

    Maybe Pete grew up now that the shackles came on, but not everyone else. Adventure died with children and sex with the same person into eternity. The rest of us are screeching off, tires ablazin’. Adventure time. Hope you find yours.

  • comingforyou

    please run more photos of secret spots where the locals are assholes. they deserve it. they really do. freak ‘em out with their own made-up paranoia of the invasion that will never happen. it’s so fun to watch those guys squirm. i love it. nice shots of brett barley at Fullers. (go find it. ain’t that hard). i miss the old days of seeing weird, norcal semi-secret spots like Big Flat in the mag. (go find that one too, boys). or double point. (in marin). also, i’d just like to say fuck off, entitled whiteguy locals. you’ll always suck at surfing, because you always do, and you’re all the same. you’re a sad bunch.

  • Jared

    Thanks for the call-out on that one Pete. Dig it.

  • G

    There’s so many fun “secret” spots around Santa Cruz and Marin. I’ve scored so many fun days at points, beaches, and reefs over the past two months. Conditions and swell are always lining up somewhere. In Norcal it’s all so accessible too with just a little effort and less than an hour drive in any direction. I can’t wait to ruin all of the spoiled Capitola/Bolinas boys’ fun. They really know how to make these places look great ;) ;)! Good luck making a living off of all of your shitty surfing. The rest of us who have earned the right to take off from work whenever will surf your spots whenever we feel like it.

  • Scotty B.

    That ain’t Fullers…You’re right, though. It’s not hard to find. It’s great with 40-knot south winds and pumping northwest swell. Come on down…We’ll be rolling out the red carpet for ya!

  • Craig

    Do you have any good recommendations to surf novels?

  • broit’sme!

    hey, scotty b! it’s ruffo, man. how’s pacific grove? how’s the meth? still good? fahhk, you guys make some good shit, man. we gotta hook up, dude. can you hook me up? you still kneeboard, right? that’s sick. hey, let’s go surf FULLERS on one of those SOUTHS with some WEST in it. yeah, man. i love that place. maybe we’ll surf RAINBOWS, too. sickie, bruddah. check ya later!

  • Donkey

    I surfed north bolsa chica three days last week all by myself ! All of these anger comments are pretty funny, as one of the others already said, get over yourselves and just go surfing, if you need to post comments on how badass your local scene is, you’re probably not very badass and you probably can’t surf on anything smaller than a 9’6″. Haha !

  • Donkey

    In regards to comment #15, by using the word CUNT and SHILLING we will assume that you are from across the pond, do California a favor and GO HOME !

    Thank you

  • DryBarrels

    Waves break at OB like this 30-50 days a year. 99% of the time the short interval make for a brutal 45 minute paddle. Trouble is you won’t be able to make out through the shore pound. If you do make it out, to your disbelief there will be these guys on SUPs.

    The SUP guys will be all kooky, weird and crazy looking. They’ll be wearing impact vests and camelbacks, beards, dry hair and strange leashes. Every time you paddle for a set wave one of these kooks on a SUP will back paddle you and call you off. They’ll throw up 30 waves to your 2. By the end of the session your head will be spinning like that chick in the exorcist.

  • shoulderhopper

    anyone who thinks those brett barley/cen cal shots are from fullers is an idiot who clearly has never been there before.

  • freeadvice

    hey surfing mag editors. see the number of comments to this article? 27. that’s 26 more than you guys usually get for an entire month’s worth of web content. moral of the story: run more stuff of the secret cali spots. fuck the locals. it’s 2013. time for us to grow up as a culture and stop acting like paranoid, selfish assholes. expose, expose, expose.

  • CCoastNativ

    WOW!
    I’ve pandered through a few comments here and there through the years, but after reading each wonderfully written, hate impregnated statement, there’s now enough bad juju in the air till my last wave. I’ve either become older than I realized or I’m back in the early ’80′s. ie: Valleys, Punk Surfers, lots of great punch-outs!
    Thanks Donkey and “get over yourselves dude.” I don’t feel so quite alone just N of Rincon.( Hint to assholes! Don’t come here!)

  • YOU are a kook

    All you middle age, old kooks who just surf ‘to have fun’ and ‘look like a surfer’ you suck and are lame and know it. All you old school over the hill kooks with a wack style who can’t do an air reverse need to get over yourselves. You ain’t special and you don’t even represent surfing. Surfing is a youth sport for the hot young cats who can bust tha moves. You just pollute and taint the sport and make the real rippers look bad. So quit telling everyone ‘i surf’ because you don’t.

  • Scotty B.

    @broit’sme!

    You must be one of those anonymous wannasurf.com bloggers trying to sell out the last sacred spot we wave. Meth? Kneeboarding? What planet are you from? And why drag Ruffo into this…He’s doing his time and has paid his dues many times over. Enough respect! Hiding behind the cloak of anonymity isn’t doing you any favors, “bro.” Reveal your identity or admit you’re a kook who doesn’t have the balls to come down the trail on a good day.

  • CCoastNativ

    Hey: Brainless with a mouth, AKA: YOU are a kooj.
    At 46 I am in better shape than your “hotcat” insecure little skeleton will EVER be.
    As far as surfing goes, I have 3 very prominent scars on my body as results of getting the shit kicked out of me in my early teens at “secret place” called, I think it’s called North Shore. U grew up in LaJolla just down from Bird Rock on the water where my dad first taught me how to surf at age 5. My 6 uncles were on those and every other from OB in its glory days to CC. (That’s Cresent City in case I got you lost) years before me.
    What surfing is to me, and most of my bros, you will never know!
    By the way, I invite you to San Onofre one morning during the week. There is a guy there that is approaching 90 that is there almost every day of the week and has been for years. In case you didn’t know, and I doubt you do, the first so-called surf club started at S.O. And he’s been a loyal member since day one. He on his old woody has more guts than you could, well it’s not nice to make fun of people that can’t read write or count so ill stop there. I live in Montecito and am at Rincon quite often. My truck has a sticker on the back window that says: Welcome to California. Now get the fuck out! Words for an shit like you to ponder!

  • CCoastNativ

    Hey: Brainless with a mouth, AKA: YOU are a kooj.
    At 46 I am in better shape than your “hotcat” insecure little skeleton will EVER be.
    As far as surfing goes, I have 3 very prominent scars on my body as results of getting the shit kicked out of me in my early teens at “secret place” called, I think it’s called North Shore. I grew up in LaJolla just down from Bird Rock on the water where my dad first taught me how to surf at age 5. My 6 uncles were on those and every other from OB in its glory days to CC. (That’s Cresent City in case I got you lost) years before me.
    What surfing is to me, and most of my bros, you will never know!
    By the way, I invite you to San Onofre one morning during the week. There is a guy there that is approaching 90 that is there almost every day of the week and has been for years. In case you didn’t know, and I doubt you do, the first so-called surf club started at S.O. And he’s been a loyal member since day one. He on his old woody has more guts than you could, well it’s not nice to make fun of people that can’t read write or count so ill stop there. I live in Montecito and am at Rincon quite often. My truck has a sticker on the back window that says: Welcome to California. Now get the fuck out! Words for an shit like you to ponder!