Surfing in Santa Cruz – …a solo break from the mountains

 “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

-Phil Edwards

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Santa Cruz Municipal Warf

Well, I had my first ski turns of the season and now the waiting game begins. Those first turns were not the usual going-through-the-motions type turns that early season skiing can be, these were powder turns! …and on Halloween no less! I knew that I would need a distraction from the return to fall weather and clear skies in Tahoe. The real skiing is still weeks away. What should I do to stay busy?

Surfing! I am a complete beginner surfing. I have spent a number of days over the years, particularly over the last 2 years, trying to learn to surf, but I am admittedly not very good. One thing that I do have going for me is…I am stubborn. I want to love surfing, so I keep trying. I really do love being out on the ocean, bobbing up and down with the roll of the horizon. I love the excitement of the unknown, the infinite possibility of whatever the vast ocean feels like sending your way. I love the sensation of speed and power that can come from the waves.

So I headed down to the beaches of Santa Cruz, the surf was all time and I was gonna really teach myself to surf this time…or at least take a few good pictures along the way…

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Santa Cruz sunset
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Cowell Beach
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Santa Cruz Municipal Warf
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A lone ‘janitor’ waiting for the wave…
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‘Kooks’ abound at Cowell Beach (I’m one of ’em!)
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Perfect spot to park the camper (during daylight hours only!)

During the daytime, great parking spots along the coast and near the surf were plentiful (especially earlier in the morning). Santa Cruz is ripe with transient people and surfers living in their vehicles so the overnight parking options are limited. The local law enforcement is privy to the sleep-in-vehicle strategy and seem to be out in force. Every place a vehicle can be parked has specifications as to what time of night you and your car had better be gone! Only a few parking places allow overnight stay, it seemed most required moving on between 11pm and 1am. I did find a few spots to stealth park the camper, then awoke as early as possible and moved over to prime beach-front parking. It was kind of like day-camping on the ocean and pulling back into side streets to briefly sleep.

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Ocean cliff dweller
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Steamer Lane
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Steamer Lane
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Steamer Lane
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Steamer Lane
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Steamer Lane, looking back towards the Warf and Cowell Beach
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A surfer and a whale!
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Steamer Lane
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Steamer Lane
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Access to the surf via a jump from the rocks
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Big waves at Steamer Lane
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Just barely staying dry above the spray of the surf
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Steamer Lane access near the Santa Cruz Surf Museum
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38th Ave at Pleasure Point
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The Hook at Pleasure Point
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The Hook at Pleasure Point
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The Hook at Pleasure Point
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A lone surfer making his way back towards the line up
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East Cliff Drive at Pleasure Point
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The Hook
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Sun setting on the Pacific
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Sunset at Cowell Beach
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West Cliff Drive sunset
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Seagull
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…boom…
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…bigger sets coming in off of Steamer Lane
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Sea-buddy checking me out…
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Amazing  sunset looking out over the ocean with big waves rolling in… it’s a good life.

 

3 Comments

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  1. Some beautiful pics! What do you shoot with?

    Like

  2. I’m a kayak surfer in the U.K. You have some stunning images there, love the last one of the waves breaking

    Liked by 1 person

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