I went on a surf trip with some buddies. It didn't go as planned.
Our trip started on a surprisingly beautiful day. Me and my 5 buddies piled inside the van that would be our home for the next 4 days, then headed up the coast from San Diego to try and score some waves.
Short story - we didn't.
Turns out there wasn't much surf to be had up the coast, so once darkness settled we ventured farther north into SLO to be tourists and hit my FAVORITE place to have dinner in central California: Firestone. Firestone is home to THE BEST tri tip sandwiches I’ve ever had and of the six of us, it was four of their first times. The consensus? I’m not a crazy man - their tri tips are in fact the bees knees.
We were then left to scramble for a place to stay for the night so we found a random RV park in Pismo with the intention of surfing the next morning. However, Pismo didn't decide to show up so we headed to surf Morro Bay instead.
I don't think Morro Bay likes me.
The reason I say that is because it damn near killed me. The swells were 10-15 ft. but looked manageable from afar so four of us paddled out. The paddle out was deceptive because it was actually super easy, but after about 15 minutes of trying to get into some waves, a clean up set rolls through (for those of you who don't know, that means an abnormally large set of waves rolls through and takes everyone by surprise, often dragging them towards shore) and of course I’m taken by it.This set was around 15 ft. and it didn’t take long before I was knocked off my board and being held beneath the waves for longer than I care to be at the mercy of the ocean. The worst part? It breaks my surfboard leash. So I now find myself with the wind knocked out of me in who-knows-how-deep water in shark county having to swim through these giant waves back to shore. A slight panic attack later I make it back on land and everything is fine.
Just the ocean reminding me what it could do if it wanted to.
Besides my little scare, everyone else had a good time and we fill our bellies with some brunch. After that, we’re off to Big Sur!
Big Sur is always magical.
Whenever I find myself on that stretch of coast, I can't tear my eyes away from it. Big Sur always seems to have super big surf, but my friends and I enjoy it so much because you can see the swell lines roll in from miles away. Just so much sheer force in those waves.
It's here we decide to stop a few times to take some pictures and venture over to Bixby Bridge for the sunset. Breathtaking as always.
After getting our fill of sight seeing we stop in Carmel for some dinner before heading back down to Morro Bay. Originally, our plan would have been to continue north to Santa Cruz since it's a mecca for surfing. However, it started raining (nay, POURING) for the time we would've been there and the surf was, again, terrible. Our trip would have then followed on to Yosemite, but with the storm and the government shutdown, it seemed best to surf back down south.
Next morning, we decide to head south and surf Ventura, C Street to be exact. We arrive at the street of C and OH MAN IS IT FIRING. After days of terrible surf, we eagerly hop in and surf our hearts out for about 4 hours enjoying fair/ good conditions. Here's some pics of not me surfing:
After that, we get more food (surprise) and try to figure out where to stay for the night. We can either stay in Ventura or venture a bit farther south in hopes LA has some decent surf. Unanimously we decide to stay in Ventura at Emma Woods right on the water, and surf C Street again in the morning.
Our campsite ended up having some breaks right in front of us. They weren't great, but that didn't stop the group from paddling out for a sunset sesh anyhow. We all finally settle in and have ourselves a proper camp dinner of hot dogs and beer. Simple, but the most satisfying meal of the trip for sure.
The next morning, we take our talents south since C Street decided to be a bit blown out. After a quick but great breakfast at Pete's Breakfast House (highly recommend) and a stint of rain we find ourselves milling about in San Clemente. Again, the surf isn't great but half the group goes out anyway. Another routine of dinner and camping, we stay in San Clemente with the intention of surfing Trestles the next morning, but of course, mother nature had other plans.
After a group vote, we head back home to far better surf in Cardiff and end our trip with a stellar 3 hour surf session. And that's it! Trips don't always go as planned, but with friends it always tends to end pretty darn well.
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