Just got back from 5 days in San Diego for the first winter swell of the year. I would much rather live here and surf overhead heaving barrels on pea island than surf overhead blacks with 350 of your best friends. Most of the spots I saw out there were soft and didn't barrel anything like it does here. Yea, Baja Malibu was sick, but I was worried I was either going to get robbed, shot, or both.
This place rules. Period. There are a few other places out there that rival living in the Outer Banks, such as Margaret River Australia, but this is my favorite place. I moved here from Virginia Beach and I made the drive down whenever we got significant swells.....but, that's nothing like actually living here..
It's certainly not for everyone though.
It's tough to make it here year round, esp now with "the economy". It is not as consistent as the west coast, it gets wayyyy colder and less populated in the winter, and has significantly less business opportunities than the rest of the mid-atlantic region and east coast. But, that's what makes it so special to live here.
Yea we get flat spells, but take a quick and cheap trip down to the Carib or Central America if you have to. We've had quite a few fun days of surf in the last month or two, while everyone else is complaining about the flatness. I surfed waist to head high barreling frisco yesterday afternoon and I think I had more fun than when I surfed blacks. Yea it was cold, but I surfed with 3 friends..
So yea, I'm more of a fan of the Right coast. It's all personal preference.
The west coasters can stay over there :)
again, thank u all very much.
yeah, this winter in sd has been slow. but the beauty of living here is that, every single day of the year, no matter the season, there is a wavw. yeah, sometimes I have to longboard in july, but even when its "flat" its at least 2 ft at every beach break.
trust me, from what I've seen in photos of hatteras, the place gets heavy.
but again. 3 days ago I surf 5 foot blacks and tucked into a barrel that you could fit a small car in. and stayed shack for quite a while. in socal, there are no shifting sand bars. blacks fires the exact same way on almost any swell. and at the end of my street there are 3 reefs and a point break. and these outer reefs hold 30 foot surf when it happens. I mean, with all the points and reefs out here, it has surf for anyone. if u like barrels, surf a heavy sand point. if u like long rides, there are 10 200 plus yards reef breaks just in my neighborhood.
so, like I said, im not tryin to spark the whole east west thing. I moved from the east coast to here for one reason. year round surf. every day, all year. and there is almost no where else on earth u can do that comfortably.
but, I surf the heaviest surf socal has ever offered, and shots of hatteras on a doh day scare the **** outta me.
when it gets that big in cali, no one surf the beach break I mean no one does, cause there are prettier options. I mean, all winter I watch doh closeout barrels come smashing down on my beach break, but who wants to get one barrel and 30 closeouts on the head when there are 300 yard 20 foot reef breaking waves a mile a way.
so trust me, everyone in cali respects obx. u dudes got sharks, cold water and heavy heavy barrels. something most guys out here don't want much of.
I have a few questions for Zach:
I am almost finished with college and want to go into law enforcement which should not be a problem finding a job. I am a east coast surfer as well, but I always thought of heading west and having my career as well as consistent surf. The real question that I have for you is how was the actual move out there from maryland? Did you just get up and go? How did you manage to find a job, place to live, and manage financially? My sister just moved out to SD but for grad school but also has a boyfriend out there that makes 80k per year. Also, when you first moved out there, I hear that the local factor is a total *****. How did you manage around that?
I was in the same situation about five years ago, man I hated leaving SD. So I moved back to SJ where I am from but moved to Margate which is on the island next to Atlantic City. If you work in the service industry you have unlimited opportunities, AC is always growing. I went to college in Wilmington and besides the warm water NJ wave quality and consistence aren't even on the same page as Willmewood. On top of that Philly is a hour away NY a hour and half, your close to lots of major airports. Its all there except the sharks, been surfing here for 20 years I've never seen one. The Banks on the other hand people from time to time lose a leg and or fataly get attacked. Great surf but your in the middle of nowhere. And my 2cents says a good day at Black's out classes any wave on the Banks.
well, when I moved out here, my girlfriend and I saved up about 4000 dollars (which we used up fast). I called every staffing agency in san diego before I got here and within about 10 days my girlfriend and I both had jobs.
the initial financial struggle is what kills everyone that comes here. prepare to live off ramen noodles for a while.
but after 6 months of living check to check, we got a cheaper beach apartment and got dialed in. so since san diego is the 6th largest city in the country, jobs r not an issue at all.
for law enforcement, we have a real lack of qualified cops out here. and the mexico next door the border patrol is always hiring. its a good gig too.
as for the locals, yes, they are bad. really bad. it just takes time. and I moved to ocean beach, the second most localized beach town in all of southern cali. every guy in the lineup grew up together. if u weren't born here, u aren't local. period.
and another thing is that in socal, talk is cheap. everybody surfs. and the worst part is;half the people all rip.
so, what I did, is started surfing with my shaper, who is a local pro and surfng with a few other pros. and all u have to do then is surf well. I mean, I've been surfing the ob pier for seven straight years and on a good swell;im about 8th in the lineup with 7 local pros aheah of me. half the time when your out, there are swimming photogs from surf shot and surfer mag.
so its basically a huge cluster **** of really good locals. but what makes that all ok is a lot of times, I will go to surfshot.com or a loal photog website and I am published there. I've been featured in surfshot mag and I didn't even know it. people are always watching.
so after 7 years of showing these guys that I will pull into the barrels, I will punt an air and generally make the best of the wave, now I finally get respect. locals will take off on any good wave if they think u r soft or they think they are better than u.
so my advice is to just get ur surfing game tight and come on out. cause once u break in with the locals, its money. I get barrels all thye time. I even get good spots in the lineups down on the cliffs. south garbage. chasms. all that. cause I've been out there on 20 foot days and I take off on the set waves. they all remember that.
so the second u hesitate or don't pull into the barrel or pull off a massive set wave, u might as well paddle back in.
so like I said. competition out here is crazy. everyone surfs. everyone out here can hit an air. the key is doing a really unique air. a revere or a cool grab. otherwise ur just another guy.
but because of all this, I've gotten better and better each day and u pick **** up fast. cause ur always surfing. if u want to learn a new air grab, u can try it at the same brea everday for a week until u dial it in. and surfing with pros everywhere really helps improve your skills. I've learned a ton. a ton!
so come on out. for surfing cali is thee place. id say the coolest place in the world. some places get better surf sometimes;but those are all 3rd world crazy off the patyh countries
Zach, I probably saw you out at blacks. I literally surfed it everyday during the late morning from 2002-2005. I used to live in La Jolla with Matt Murphy(he runs surfinside.com), i think he's still riding interface boards out of Huntington. He got me hooked up with craig gonzalez with interface and craig made me a really nice big guy fish. I'm 6'3 and 210 at the time and he hooked me up with a 6'4 that actually floated me! I wasn't a ripper or anything but still caught my share of waves. This doesn't have anything to do with anything, I'm just thinking of my good times in SD. Anyway good luck with your move. The east coast is less of a scene, as you know, and I would rather have a good time in small crappy waves than paddle out with 200 hundred of my closest "bros."
Wow, this is like being in a time warp. Listening to myself still living in a wave rich paradise, kicking around the idea of moving back east, and here I am....
And look how innocent SI used to be. Micah chiming in, kicking knowledge to me. Before all the mods and the rules. Just dudes talking surf.
So, are you moving to VB?
So how has the move back east treated ya? You still happy about going south instead of staying up with us starvin delmarvins? Has the trade off for smaller crowds but lesser quality waves been worth it in your mind?
I am happy for sure. I miss Delmarva though. My dad still lives up there. Even when I was in CA, and would go back to OC MD, I just felt at home.
Originally Posted by rippinNtearin
The trade off for me, was more the weather than the lesser quality waves down here. Spending a decade in SD really "changes your blood" as it were. I became a cold water and cold weather vagina. I trunk it down here from April until Thanksgiving, which is insane. 86 degree water. Also, I have NEVER surfed with a cooler group of people than the ones down here. It's so family and everyone is so nice. Stranger hooting you in. I mean, it is the most "aloha" vibe I have ever seen and been a part of. For instance, on the day Arthur hit us, I was out with pretty much everyone, we were sharing waves, barrels, having a blast. Some older guy, probably pushing 60 was on a longboard. He and I just kept ending up next to each other. I was on a SB, so I was sitting about 10 yards inside of him. He took off on a set wave, indicating that he was going left, so I paddled behind him towards the right side. All the sudden, he cut his line back towards me, locked it in and he was going right at me. I saw him with the deer in headlights look, and luckily my duck diving skills are still on point, because I had to go real deep and I could feel the water from his center fins about an inch from my back.... I popped up and was like, damn man, WTF? Couple other guys were like, dude, what was he thinking. So, he paddled all the way back over to me, got off his board, swam over with his hand out. Introduced himself, shook my hand and said, Dude, I am SOOOOO sorry about that. I said, no worries, I got under you and technically I was in your way, even though you call out going left. He said, no man, that was my bad and I am really sorry....
That is the kind of vibe down here. Yeah, the flat spells suck, we don't get as big and hollow as delmarva on a good swell, but we get it plenty good when its on. Its warm. Usually get nice offshores....
So, all in all, yeah I am pleased. I was able to buy a home when I got here, something I wouldn't have been able to do out west. The wife is happy. My daughter is happy. My wife's parents just bought the house in my neighborhood three doors down from us. (Luckily they are cool). But now my daughter will grow up with her cousins, and grandparents and family.
The waves aren't always great here, but that can be said for everywhere on the east coast. I still get bummed every now and again when I walked through my garage and see 10 boards collecting dust. I miss the waves of San Diego for sure. But I think as far as life and happiness, I am in a better place.
Now I know what you guys meant for all those years out there. I truly appreciate surfing now. It is like a holiday to get good waves. And the rest of my life is more balances and I am not surf crazed every day of my life.
So yeah, less crowded and lesser quality waves are okay with me now. Who knows though, 10 years from now, I may go into mid life crisis and start freaking out and move to Hawaii. But right here, right now. I truly feel that I made the right decision...
My wife followed me 3,000 miles and left her family for a decade, just so I could surf every day. She learned to love it there, and she probably misses "city life" more than I do.... But I owed it to her.
I told her: I will go anywhere you want, just PLEASE, PLEASE make sure it's on the ocean. Any ocean... And a little warm weather would be nice.... So, she did just that. It just so happened her family, all non-surfers decided they were fed up with Baltimore and DC and they all started flocking down here.