Northern California offers a balance between urban wilderness and scenic peaceful landscape. I’ve been showing you many parts of the natural landscape outside of the urban areas. San Francisco is a busy, bustling epicenter for business, innovation and liberal lifestyles. You can literally live any way you want without much judgement. As long as you’re not imposing your own lifestyle upon others.
I’ve always appreciated The Bay Area For it’s diversity and freedom to be who you are. There’s no right way or wrong way of living.
In this photo spread by Matt Morton, it captures the urban jungle. Getting lost in San Francisco is similar to disconnecting through surf.
Matt’s perspective and creativity provides so much of what I love about home. There’s always an opportunity for adventure.
Be sure to check out Matt’s IG profile and follow for more wonderful snap shots of San Francisco. Welcome home!
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.
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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Big Daisy, aka Big D, aka Big DD, aka Daisy Dukes, aka Daisy Bear. Daisy has been with me every surf trip I’ve taken last year. I remember going solo to LA for a weekend and while there, things just weren’t the same. I can’t live without 2 things, my surfboard and my Daisy.
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. Josh Billings
Here’s some memorable pictures of Daisy hanging loose on our surf trips.
My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet. Edith Wharton
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras
Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness? Jonathan Safran
A dog can’t think that much about what he’s doing, he just does what feels right. Barbara Kingsolver
Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished. Dean Koontz
Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen. Orban Pamuk
Dogs got personality. Personality goes a long way. Quentin Tarantino
If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience. Woodrow Wilson
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. Charles de Gaulle
You can bet on it, Daisy loves the ocean as much as I do. I enjoy watching her sit on he beach and taking all the sounds, smells and views in. She’s such a great side kick and I look forward to taking her on many more trips into the future.
She’ll be getting on a surfboard soon. So make sure you subscribe!
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.
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
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.
In all, Huntington Beach was another amazing experience. A different vibe, a friendly vibe and definitely memorable.
- 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!