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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Surf Spot Exploration | Use a Bad Surf Day To Discover a New Break

By Rick Bickerstaff

I found a new spot today.

No, it wasn't some 20-foot break 3 miles off the coast of California that can only be reached by hovercraft and has never been seen by human eyes, except for mine and Google Earth's. My new spot has been ridden by countless surfers. It's even so well-known that it has it's own Surfline report. But to me, this is a new spot. A new break with unknown dangers and glories ahead. And I'm excited!

My friend and I planned on a Tuesday surf, but when I walked out of my apartment, the wind almost blew me over -- gnarly off-shore gusts that kicked up all kinds of choppiness for our session. When we got to the beach, it was a big mess. We watched a surfer duck-dive about 25 times in 2 minutes, and every time we thought about suiting up to paddle with him, an icy-cold breeze would permeate our bodies.

So we kept driving south. I had always wanted to this cove at the tip of a peninsula that juts out just south of Los Angeles, but never knew how to get there. I knew people surfed there though, although I had heard it was pretty localized. Still, with nothing to lose on a bad surf day, we drove.

Well, we found it -- two surfers in a cove breaking deep enough over small rocks to ride smooth and long. The peninsula blocked some of the wind, which made the paddle out easier than anywhere else in town. But was it surfable? Were there unseen dangers we knew nothing about? We watched as the surfers caught lefts -- totally surfable! Let's go!!

We suited up and ran down the hill, jumping into the water and finding ourselves in chest-to-head-high waves that kicked you up into them before evening out into long rides. It was still rough, and the other surfers had left, leaving a bit of an uneasy feeling while sitting in the unfamiliar terrain. But I'm fairly certain that on this windblown, stormy day, we found one of the best spots in town.

So why am I writing this? Because I found something good, and you tell people when you find something worth sharing! I also wanted to urge you...go exploring! Is there a break you've been meaning to try, but an old familiar spot keeps you from going? There's nothing wrong with old faithful, but don't wait for a bad day to travel new roads. Sometimes, they may just lead you home.