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.
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 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."