Last September I finished a climbing trip in the Cascades with 2 days of surfing in Westport, WA. The surfing was really good to say the least, and the place very picturesque. You could even camp out on the beach and make a fire. Even though this was the weekend and there were quite a few surfers out in the water, it didn't feel crowded at all. There's not much going on in Westport, which is both good and bad. The surfers out there keep pretty much to themselves and there's not much of a local vibe or surf culture. The town is very close to Aberdeen, Kurt Cobain's hometown, which is a total sh*thole, so I can't guarantee much as to the long-term effects of the place ...
But Wesport is only about 2 hours away from Seattle, which I think is the greatest place to live in the Lower 48's that offers you a healthy ratio of ocean and mountains. And if by "going there for the mountains" you mean climbing, then you're in great luck! Some of the best crags and alpine playgrounds will be at your fingertips (Leavenworth, Index, the Northern Cascades, just to name a few). Seattle is also close to Squamish in BC, Whistler for skiing/riding in the winter, and withing a days drive from world-class skiing in Revelstoke & Kicking Horse, Rogers pass, etc, and world-class ice climbing (Banff & Canmore). You can also add mountain biking and whitewater kayaking to the list ...
You get the picture. I've been traveling to this part of the country for over 10 years now and I'm wondering how come I don't live there... Good luck!
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Thread: Moving to the Pacific NW
Jul 9, 2013, 10:52 PM #11Junior Member
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- Jul 2013
Jul 9, 2013, 11:25 PM #12
Jul 9, 2013, 11:39 PM #13Senior Member
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- Apr 2013
Thanks for the input guys. I want the mountains mainly for climbing and hiking, though snowboarding is a definite plus. If there is surf as decent as here, that's all I need; I just don't want to have to give up surfing entirely again.
I've spent several vacations out that way in the past ten years, and every single time I fall in love all over again.
And Paddington Jetty Bear, that was hilarious and helpful, though I'm not sure what parts were serious and which ones were jokes.
Last edited by mattybrews; Jul 9, 2013 at 11:49 PM.
Jul 10, 2013, 12:08 AM #14Member
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- Jul 2010
AtlanticO summed it up the NW is for a select few for sure VERY WET AND WINDY OH AND A LOTTA PUSH. Its (only) for surf fiends and NWERS. If you ski or snowboard or mountain bike you'll be sooooooo pumped. Those that haven't diversified their addiction really struggle. So Norcal can give you more quality surf but less **** face factor as socoool! Its a personal pursuit, just like every swell so just go.
Jul 10, 2013, 01:12 AM #15Senior Member
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- Jun 2013
hell, i spent a long time in Alaska too and would definitely suggest that over either if you want to climb and surf. nothing can top AK mountains. the surf can be fun. hard to access though. and heavy weather for sure. i've seen macho NE dudes tuck tail and run for their life. but the adventure aspect cannot be matched. good paying jobs too. awesome place.
bottom line, the NW (seattle area) is a good place to move to if you want to paint your nails black, hangout in a coffee shop discussing politics while exploring your 'emotions'.... but for what your looking for... weak.
and westport is 3.5 hrs from seattle. minimum. anyone claiming westport is good is either cooking meth, or a coffee shop, emo dork who doesn't actually/or just learned surf. . its just the closet spot. thats all it is. have fun paddling non stop. good luck.
**** all advice though. go for a visit first. figure it out for yourself. better that way.
Last edited by AtanticO; Jul 10, 2013 at 01:02 PM.
Jul 10, 2013, 02:18 AM #16Senior Member
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- Aug 2010
Wow, some pretty strong opinions from a few blow-in's.
I lived in WA for over 10 years, and still have a home on the other side of Gray's Harbor across from Westport. PJB is a bit cryptic about some of the spots, but seems to be about the most accurate...without giving away too much info. Cool.
Yes, most of WA is big, cold, drizzly and blown out. The funny thing about it though, is that there's a lot of spots that not everybody knows about that point in funky directions. If you get the place wired, you'll usually find some kind of surf. Show some respect in the lineup and share a bowl of sticky dank with the right guy, and you can get hooked up sick.
Westport is the "hub" of WA surfing, and is probably the most consistent spot(s). It can be really bad, or really epic. As with most surf spots, you just gotta get it wired. La Push is also popular, pretty much average beach break. Between Westport and La Push are many hidden coves and reefs that very few know about, and access is a royal PITA. There are also some darn good breaks around La Push...seek and ye shall find.
Then there's the Strait (not "straight", nor "straights"). Believe me, there is more than one "dam" surf spot there. But getting to most of these spots is like going total commando. A couple people up here use zodiacs to get to the primo spots. Sure, a couple of spots are "novelty" spots...but there's not too many places where you can surf nice glassy 2-4 foot peaks over 60 miles away from the coast. The locals have it dialed.
During long period SW groundswells, you can take a ferry (expensive) over to Vancouver Island. Some excellent right points, guarded by territorial Canucks. But a little respect goes a long way over there.
Generally, the surf in Oregon is considerably better and more consistent. The best spots seem to be controlled by aggro tweaker locals, or gigantic whiteys.
Seattle's not "emo hipsters". There's actually quite a bit of culture. Check it out for yourself, and form your own opinion.
Jul 10, 2013, 12:02 PM #17Senior Member
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- Jun 2013
i served in the coast guard at several stations in the PNW for 12yrs. i know most of the 'original locals' out there. i know that area quite well in fact. i have an inflatable stashed at a buddies house in neah bay. friends at taholah which allows me to go where white people can't/aren't allowed. i have access to private land at some of the points east of port angeles, via the 'locals'. i have seen that entire coast as much as anybody. day in day out. waste of time mostly. too tidal dependent and narrow a swell window. if you can actually surf (i assume kidrock is a funboarder or something) you'd see what i mean. weak, weak , weak as waves up there.
besides the 1 consistently good spot out by neah, there is only novelty spots that break for 1 hr on the right tide and a huge swell. the expection being just west of PA. it actually has a little power. look at a topography map of the west coast and you'll see. oh, and sharks don't turn around at the state line. there is a big rookery between la push and neah they love it! besides, they go everywhere. in the 80's a 20ft white washed up in tacoma. yes tacoma.
seattle is full of emo hipsters. more psych meds prescribed per capita than anywhere else in the US. psychologists dream city. portland is better and only 1 hr from the best wave in north america...but you ain't getting that action. seaside boys have that on lock! try it...you'll see.
im just saying you should plan on giving up surfing at some point (or loooong stretches) if you move there. like i said, stoked at first, then you'll regret it. don't do it. the east coast is better. lotsa tubes when it goes.
Last edited by AtanticO; Jul 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM.
There are a lot of you misguided confused souls that by into this, " THE WEST COAST HAS NO GOOD BEACH BREAK" thang. ARE YOU NUTS ??
The west coast has great beach breaks from Mayhego all the way through Canada. Let's see Puerto Escondidio is pretty good, as long with numerous other beachies south of the border. Better than the east coast and most Mexican beachies snap harder than Deal, NJ.
California's surf media focuses on the cobblestone points, but they have miles of beachbreak thta can get real good. Can anywhere on the east coast ever touch the size, power and class of Black's Beach? Can any east coast beachie handle a 10 foot, long period swell like Ocean Beach(SF)? Hey, Moss Landing is pretty good too. Ventura........Oxnard.....
Shucks, Newport Beach outclasses east coast beachbreaks. The east coast is on par with the red headed step child breaks like El Porto. Dude, if you looked you'll find plenty of good peaks in the Pacific Northwest.
Anyways, just the whole surfing experience is more raw and authentic in the Pacific Northwest. Hiking through redwood forrests to get to spots untouched by man and surfing in a natural unspoiled environment awakens the senses. Not like some dull session in front of condos and hotels in VA Beach. Man, you feel like you are on Deadliest Catch when you surf in the Pacific Northwest.
Santa Cruz is a GREAT place......except that it is completely overrun. Too crowded, with friction from the generational hotshot locals, UCSC students and dudes from Victorville(could be a wrong inland town reference but hey I went for it).
Oh yeah, let me add..........I rather deal with emo hipsters and some comical meth stars than the thugs and heroin addicts in New Jersey. People get shot around here all of the time. It's very scary. And everybody is on heroin. Really, everybody is. Just go to any train station that leads into Camden or Newark and you'll see them all just standing there........OMG I just shruddered at the thought.
Some people might bag on the Pacific Northwest because it's just not their bag, man. Rainy, foggy, desolate, sharky........it scares people, just like those thugs in New Jersey. Oh, the red triangle ceases well below Washington state and sharks do know not to cross any borders(hain't been no atttacks there)...kind of like when Roscoe P. Coltrane would chase the Duke boys and would have to stop at the end of Hazzard County. Oh man, remember Sherriff Little over in Chickasaw County. Wow, he was a mean one. Thems were good times.
Anyways Matty, it sounds like surfing isn't main priority so, if it sucks as bad as Atlantic0 says, you can do your other thangs and then hit it when it's on. Word. Hey can I come with you, man?