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!
It’s been about a year (one year and two months to be exact) since buying my last wetsuit, the Isurus 434 Elite. After using it for more than a year it finally gave in to wear and tear. The Isurus is a top of the line wetsuit, no doubt. It took on some heavy sessions and 8 months in normal use it finally started to show some tears. Overall, the Isurus 434 Elite is a great wetsuit. But, the Isurus falls short to the O’Neill Pyrotech.
A couple of things I noticed about the Isurus wetsuit and all of my other ones, even most wetsuits in the market. The neoprene, material and most importantly the stitching fall short vs the O’Neill Pyrotech.
One of the main reasons why I decided to jump back to O’Neill is because of the new Techno Butter technology. The O’Neill Pyrotech is a top of the line wetsuit for serious surfers. It’s on the top line because of the material and advanced construction of the wetsuit. It seriously feels like an extension to my skin. If you look closely, the wetsuit is constructed as a single suit, rather than being assembled and stitched together. The Pyrotech does not have external stitching exposed. This is huge since I noticed my Isurus showing tear beginning with it’s stitching. O’Neill designed the Pyrotech using neoprene as the main assembly method. It’s phenomenal.
The wetsuit is very comfortable and warm. The Techno Butter Air Firewall against your skin feels similar to a fleece. It’s very soft and stretchy. Surfing in San Francisco the water can get down to 41-51 degrees during winter and having a high quality wetsuit is critical.
The O’Neill 4/3 Pyrotech is worth every penny. If you’re looking for a good wetsuit this winter, you will not regret buying the Pyrotech. You’ll catch more waves and leave the beach with a smile every time.
Starting this blog I simply wanted to capture the daily surf lifestyle in the San Francisco Bay Area scene and thought it would be fun to document my experiences at different beach breaks. I never thought anyone would find it. Saying that, I never thought about being a photographer which is my 2nd passion after surfing, of course.
Reflecting back, this year was a well accomplished one, I have to admit. It was my best and biggest year yet, professionally and personally. I believe everything is based on timing. Like surfing, you have to wait for the best time to paddle out so you don’t needlessly exert energy or get caught on the inside where the sets are breaking.
I was at a cross roads on whether I wanted to continue blogging or documenting my experiences. But this is more than enough to tell me to keep going. Thank you again for following and your continued support and encouragement. I get so much joy from surfing and being in nature. I get even more joy paying it forward. Happy New Year!