This past weekend USA Surfing hosted a pre qualifications for the 2020 Jr Olympic Girls team and I was lucky to catch the tail end of the competition. If you surf and use a wetsuit, you should be familiar with Santa Cruz and the O’Neill brand. This shoot took place at the famous Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, CA.
Steamer Lane is world famous for its legendary surfing community and wetsuit innovator Jack O’Neill. Not only, it’s world class waves which have attracted surfers from all around the world. Steamer Lane is a special place where the waves are long and the sunsets alluring.
From San Francisco, Steamer Lane is approx. 1.5 hours away. Not the best place to surf, unless, you live there since it does get crowded and at times territorial. But if you’re visiting, be sure to stay a few nights and surf early morning.
If you’re in between sessions, you can hike, grab a drink or head to the wharf to get some clam chowder or the beach boardwalk with plenty of entertainment to keep you busy.
Remember, respect the locals and have a good time!
Point Reyes Station is a nice place to visit while traveling through to Point Reyes National Seashore. It was once a critical commercial district where goods passed through via the Pacific Coast Railroad in 1875-1933. The commercial line provided a connection to ferry lines to San Francisco, Sausalito, Tomales Bay and 30 miles north to Cazadero (Russian River).
As a child I found railroad stations exciting, mysterious, and even beautiful, as indeed they often were. Paul Johnson
Writing this blog, I finally understand the railroad tracks while camping in Guerneville and floating down the Russian River (Jazz & Blues Festival on the Russian River is a popular music festival in the summer amongst San Franciscans). I can now understand the connection between San Francisco and Guerneville amongst city dwellers moving to Sonoma County. Here’s 24 things you can do on the Russian River.
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The last surf break on my trip was a place I was warned not to go by numerous people. I’m happy I’m the type to hold no judgement until I experience it firsthand. Venice Beach was amazing.
Some of my best surfing happened at Venice Beach Pier. I was surprised at how strong the waves broke. I was expecting a very mellow break, but I had scouted Venice Beach Pier the day before and noticed there was a consistent 3-4 foot break right underneath the pier. I was even more surprised there were beginners there.
I wasn’t sure why a few of my good friends had warned me. Maybe they had bad experiences with the wrong crowd. But I was out surfing most of the guys there. I was in the zone.
I’m happy I’m the type to hold no judgement until I experience it firsthand. Venice Beach was amazing.
If you’re ever in Los Angeles, you should most certainly stop by Venice Beach. There’s so much to do. There’s definitely some riff raff, but it comes with the territory. As long as you’re not disrespecting anyone or being a total douche, you should be fine.
At Venice Beach Pier in the summer, you do not need a wetsuit. Underneath the pier there are two specific breaks. On the right of the pier, there’s a good consistent left, and on the other side there’s a good right. You can surf both of them, but just remember, this is a high tourist, high traffic area. Be mindful of etiquette. Know the rules and let others have the right of way, even if you’re a better surfer. Let others catch waves and respect the right of way.
In Los Angeles everyone’s a star. – Denzel Washington
Surfing a Venice Beach was so much fun. The sun was out. A ton of people were out. The waves broke consistently and had some power and the people were friendly. I love Los Angeles.
If you want to grab a beer and watch the sunset, check out the Irwin Hotel. This was where I hung out until the end of my trip. Great way to end an amazing Southern California surf experience.
- Go early and find parking on the street. This can save you $20.
- If you do not have a surfboard, you can rent one.
- No need for a wetsuit in the summer.
- Position close to the pier.
- Be mindful that this is a high tourist location and a lot more people in the water.
- Have fun and bring sun block.
- Avoid Santa Monica, way too touristy.
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