Venice Beach, Los Angeles

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.

No wetsuit.

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.

After surfing throughout Souther California, my confidence was up.

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.

img_7472
My cutbacks and consistency was above average, even with my hat. I wasn’t afraid.

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.

I surfed and caught the sunset. A great way to end my trip.

Recommendations

  • 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.

If you want to follow my blog or just check out my pictures hit the follow on Instagram below. Thanks for visiting, feel free to comment, like, share or follow. Thanks again!

Surf City, Huntington Beach Pier

After having an epic surf session at San Onofre Beach, I couldn’t resist stopping by Surf City, USA. Huntington Beach Pier was definitely one of the top destinations on this trip. I made it a goal specifically to surf here.

Driving from San Onofre and crashing in Orange County for a night, I woke up early and took time to scope out Huntington Beach. It was my first time visiting and I was amazed by what I saw. It looked a lot like Hawaii. On the main corridor of PCH, palm trees lined up adjacent to the highway with expensive looking newly built malls. I wasn’t able to find street parking and so I paid the $15 to park inside Huntington Beach’s parking lot.

Huntington Beach reminds me a lot of Waikiki

Checking out the pier, I was surprised I didn’t see too many surfers, but a lot of beach goers and a huge youth’s life guard training program. There were children ages 7-16 year olds excited to be apart of the program. That’s one thing about Southern California that I do not see very much in Northern California, lifeguards are plentiful.

Checking out the surf, I see a nice break closer to the pier. No wind and 3-4 ft. The weather was nice and hot and I couldn’t wait to get into the water. I decide to suit up.

I was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. I was very athletic, playing volleyball and softball. I did gymnastics for about ten years, too. Jasmine Tookes

img_7451
Working on my cutbacks was so much fun.

The water was a dark blue and at this point in the trip, I knew no wetsuit was needed. The paddle out was easy. It was a great feeling. I was already riding my stoke from San Onofre and my game was beginning to tighten up. I was consistent with every wave and my cutbacks were improving. There were a couple of surfers in the line up and there was plenty of space. I took a few lefts and a right. While in the water, I appreciated the coast guard. They were swinging by every 15 minutes driving past us, stopping to say hello and creating swell. It was great.

img_7450
Fun waves in Huntington Beach.

In all, Huntington Beach was another amazing experience. A different vibe, a friendly vibe and definitely memorable.

Recommendations

  • Pay $15 for parking, there are showers, clean and new bathrooms
  • There is a cafe alongside the parking lot and close to the showers. It serves burgers, smoothies and coffee. Nice outdoor seating.
  • Bring a tent if you plan to beach bum. Prepare to hang out the entire day.
  • Definitely family friendly, but expect to pay a lot more for a hotel. Very commercial with high end stores.
  • Beach vibes, many tourists, but there’s also that cool kid scene in the inner city.
  • Check out Sanchos Tacos close by. Amazing fish tacos!
  • Bring sun screen and a towel.
  • In the summer, bring a hybrid surfboard. I was riding my 6’6″ Lost Lazy Toy with board shorts and a shirt.

Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope you enjoyed the write up about my experience. Feel free to like, comment, follow, share or subscribe on YouTube or Instagram. Remember to follow your stoke and make every day count!

Bird Rock, La Jolla

After my experience surfing Black’s Beach, I had ventured off into San Diego’s coastline driving from Torrey Pines along PCH all the way down Sunset Cliffs. One of the most family friendly beaches in San Diego, La Jolla’s Bird Rock.

This place rocks! Great for children and families especially on a holiday weekend. Make sure you bring food, water, towels, umbrellas and sunblock. Expect to be hanging out for the entire day.

Here’s the cam from Surfline.com of Bird Rock.

This break is very pleasant and you’ll love the scenery, views, water temperature and the way the wave breaks.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0006.JPG
Nice break in the middle of the beach.

The only drawback is that it may get crowded if you go too late in the afternoon or during a holiday. Close to Bird Rock, there’s shopping and restaurants on the main corridor. You can also check out Bird Rock Surf Shop if you need wax, sunscreen or equipment.

amazon prime

It’s definitely worth taking a look and jumping in the water. But if you plan to surf, go early since it’s a very popular beach. If not to surf, definitely a great time with friends and family.

img_7288
Party wave at Bird Rock Beach
DCIM100MEDIADJI_0016.JPG
Fun in the water at Bird Rock Beach
After surfing Black’s at Torrey Pines, it was time to let go of the wetsuit

amazon prime

The water felt so good.
The sun felt amazing bouncing off my back while riding one down.

If you like my blog make sure you like, comment, share and follow. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the write up.

The Colt, El Porto Beach 

Los Angeles, CA is home to some wonderful beaches, I had to check out El Porto. Watching videos on YouTube, El Porto during the winter can be pretty epic with its barrels. I’ll have to visit again.

As for summer, El Porto was pretty chill. However, I’d rank the experience in difficuly to be in between Topanga and Zuma this far into the trip.

Shop Amazon Devices – Introducing All-New Kindle Travel Bundles, starting at $199

Key Observations

  • The paddle out was easy
  • 2-3ft waves – temp 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit
  • There’s North El Porto close to the jetty
  • Waves were break in between a gap of 30 ft apart – pretty much between street blocks i.e. 44th St and 43rd St.
  • Surfers positioned themselves 20 ft from shore
  • Loud noises from airplanes flying above (LAX’s runway is directly behind the beach)
  • Toxicity in the water – I could taste it
  • Sand break
  • I felt sewage pipes and also saw them while surfing – pretty much runoffs from LAX

Shop Amazon Devices – Introducing All-New Kindle Travel Bundles, starting at $199

Recommendations

  • Bring a hybrid board I was riding my 6’6″ Lost Lazy Toy
  • Wear a wetsuit if not, board shorts and a jacket is okay
  • Park on the shoulder of the street
  • You can explore the break by driving down from North El Porto to El Segundo
  • There are showers, sandals could be useful for the walk down to the beach
  • Go early in the morning, this place can get packed
  • Noisey from the planes and may not be the best beach to relax and meditate
  • Toxicity is a concern be sure to take a nice thorough shower to wash yourself clean of the runoff

Zuma Beach, Malibu

After surfing Topanga Beach, I heard about the northern most beach from research and friends that grew up in SoCal named, Zuma Beach. Zuma has a 4-mile stretch of beach with plenty of space for volleyball and other beach activities. You can check out California’s Best Beaches for detailed information on the layout and what to expect here.

After arriving, I noticed some of the locals parked on the shoulder of highway. There was plenty of parking on the shoulder that gave you easy access to the beach, no need to pay parking. From what I’ve heard, Zuma Beach could be crowded. I surf in the mornings to avoid the heavy traffic and crowds in the line up. After I arrived at 8:00, there were only a handful of surfers out. It seemed like a pretty chill, but the real differences in comparison to other beaches I noticed took place in the water.

O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 3/2mm Reactor Full Suit, Black, X-Large

Observing the break and the current while also meditating.
Nice bit of aqua in the water.
4 mile stretch of beach.
North side of Zuma Beach

At first glance, Zuma Beach seemed to be pretty small with wave breaks of 2-3 ft. However, once I paddled out the waves appeared to be much bigger. The water crashes on sand break and in shallow water. If you time it correctly, you can duck dive past the wave, but if you don’t time it correctly you can get drilled.

O’Neill Wetsuits UV Sun Protection Mens Basic Skins Long Sleeve Crew Sun Shirt Rash Guard, Black, Large

The current was strong and I constantly kept paddling south. Zuma Beach reminds me a lot of Ocean Beach in San Francisco. There is a lot of open water and a strong rip current. You really have to pay close attention to your land markers just in case you get pulled out to sea. Since it’s open water along 4 miles of beach, you also have to pay close attention to the waves that come in.

O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 2 mm Hammer Short Sleeve Spring Wetsuit, Black, Large Short

Zuma Beach was the most difficult beach I surfed in Southern California for its large exposure to the sea and its stronger rip currents.
Recommendation:

  • Zuma Beach is a bit cooler a wetsuit is recommended 3/2mm
  • There is a strong rip current that will push you north
  • The waves crash closer to shore and bigger sets come in unexpectedly
  • Pay close attention to land markers

oneill_wetsuit

O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 3/2 mm Superfreak F.U.Z.E. Zip Full Suit, Black/Bright Blue, Large

Topanga Beach, Malibu

After driving more than 6 hours from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I had one thing in mind. Check out the surf at my first stop, Topanga Beach in Malibu, California.

Great to see the reservoir filled to the brim in Bakersfield on Interstate 5.

Leaving on Saturday (07/03/2016) morning at 6:00AM PST, I arrived in Los Angeles around 2:00PM. However, the weather wasn’t as sunny as I’d expected. There was a brush fire and a gray overcast.

Taking Interstate 5 was the fastest way to get into the water. I had 8 days to complete my trip and to essentially do a tour along Southern California’s coastline.

My trip depended on available accommodations via Airbnb. Not too many were available that would accept pets since I had Daisy with me. Thing’s didn’t go as planned, however, I got lucky and booked some awesome Airbnb’s.

Once I arrived at Topanga Beach, I was a bit disappointed to see such small waves (1-3ft). But I was still excited to be in Los Angeles. I took a look around and surprisingly there was a huge brush fire happening in the hills overlooking the beach. Helicopters were flying in and out pouring flame retardant to contain the fire. People didn’t seem to be to alarmed and beachgoers acted like nothing was happening and continued enjoying their holiday weekend.

Observing from my car, the weather was still warm.

SAT 7/1

The water read 68-70 degrees! (surfline.com) I wasn’t too familiar with water temperatures in Southern California. A few friends suggested I would be very warm in a 3/2, but at that moment I decided to suit up. This was the beginning of my surf trip and as I surf throughout my trip, I become more comfortable with my own skin. It’s much better to surf with no wetsuit.

priverevaux banner

img_7089
Not as crowded as I’d expected and a nice right break.
img_7096
The overcast and the smoke from the fire.
img_7088
Catching my first wave at Topanga Beach.
DCIM100MEDIADJI_0006.JPG
A small group of surfers riding longboards positioning directly in front of the T.
DCIM100MEDIADJI_0020.JPG
It was a fun right break. Super chill.

Recommendations

  • Park on the street level since you have to pay for parking at the main entrance.
  • You do not need a wetsuit with temperatures from 66-70 degrees fahrenheit
  • Position yourself on the outside, surfers tend to group together on the inside
  • There’s a great seafood restaurant diner right across the street, check out Moonshadow’s.

8f4b1a2e4337056429f1347535685917O’Neill Wetsuits Mens 2/1 mm O’Riginal Jacket, Black, Medium