LATE ADDITION: I was working on a door on a second story deck when someone started yelling at me from the street. I ignored it for a moment, then turned, stood up. It was Shortboard Aaron, stopped on the street. So, of course, I yelled back. Shortly after he drove on, the client ran out and asked if I was all right. “Yes.” I told Stephen Davis about it a bit later. “O,” he said, “A drive by shouting.”
Adam “Wipeout” was heading to Legoland. Carlsbad, California. He was pretty frothed-up at the surf forecast for Southern California and San Diego’s North County when he called me a few days before he and his family were to board the big airliner. “It looks… si-iiii-ckkkkkk!” is pretty much an exact quote. Yeah, Adam is frequently frothing when discussing surfing. Yeah, so am I.
“Where do you think I should go?” Um. “Have you heard of Grandview?” Yeah, that was my spot. “I thought Swamis was your spot.” It was. They were all my spots.
I felt compelled to give Adam a list: TAMARACK was my spot, where I started board surfing; then GRANDVIEW because that’s where, when I was a freshman at Fallbrook High, the older surfers went; then OCEANSIDE (pier, harbor jetties, any peak that was working) because I worked in Oceanside; then PACIFIC BEACH (and the adjacent beaches- Mission Beach, Tourmaline, Windansea, Sunset Cliffs) because I lived in PB; then LA JOLLA SHORES (and adjacent beaches) because I lived in University City, just across I-5; then any spots in the ENCINITAS area because I lived in Encinitas (albeit east of I-5); but TRESTLES because I worked just up the hill from, and with a killer view of LOWERS for ten months, and was able (not actually authorized) to park on the beach; then OCEAN BEACH because we moved to Mission Hills, just up from Old Town San Diego and OB was the closest beach, and it was a pain in the ass to go anywhere farther.
I must add that I did a lot of surfing at SAN ONOFRE when I was in High School. Never after. The go-to spot, with my inland surfer friends, was probably the beach breaks between Swamis and Pipes, not capitalized because I don’t want to blow up the spot. I did surf, on return trips to San Diego, some Swamis, most notably two times on New Year’s day, dawn patrol, not too crowded, some Sunset Cliffs while working for the Navy on the other side of Point Loma, and a few sessions at Pipes and Grandview, with my old friend Ray Hicks. Oh, and one session at La Jolla Shores with my nephew, Trisha’s brother’s son, Dylan Scott.
All of that is past tense. Long past. For the last forty-plus years I’ve been way west of I-5, trekking to a variety of spots, most of them kind of known, all of them extremely fickle, and none of them spots I would like to see become more crowded.
There are some places I have surfed that I will almost certainly never visit again. Lupe’s Left Loopers in Mazatlan, a super rare inside-the-harbor spot down by where my father once lived (with Adam Wipeout on that one). I still might cruise down to Short Sands or Seaside, stay at my brother’s (once my father’s), piss off a few regulars.
Swamis? I would love to. SO, when Adam got down to San Diego and the waves were uncrowded and chopped up by the old south wind, and he asked me where he might surf…