Secrets Hiding in Plain Sight
People involved in every manner of sport search for untapped resources and locations. Skiers scour for remote or unridden lines, true mountaineers seek the same. Surfers, of course, are no exception. Originally we unearthed spots through word of mouth and hard overland meanderings, now we find new spots via emerging technology that did not exist even 15 years ago. Spots like Uluwatu were a result of the former and Skeleton Bay, for example, a result of the latter.
Residing in Southern California, we routinely book trips to far flung places to satisfy our wanderlust, quality surf fix and innate sense of adventure. Indeed, anyone who has traveled knows that this endeavor is worth its weight in the purest gold. However, often we only need to walk out our front door to find the same adventure and exhilaration as traveling to the remotest South Pacific atolls. Our recent run of south swells has put this notion in sharp relief.
There are spots within a 15 mile stretch (maybe more maybe less but will leave for you to find out) from my perch in Newport that are occasionally photographed, but rarely if ever namechecked. When a decent south pulses there are high- quality waves close at hand that the surf media, bless their souls, still term “Orange County secret spots.” One in particular could not be more in plain sight, but has rarely been crowded when I have surfed it lately overhead and hollow. Nearby is a left point break style wave that will give you a 100 yard plus ride under the right conditions, albeit off a tight take off zone.
We should not be surprised how much tunnel vision the surf community engages in. We are as peripatetic a crew that exists, but many of us still stick to the confines of our HB Piers or El Portos. Honestly, half the pros that came to surf the massive south swell last summer at Newport Point had to be told how to get to 18th Street. Simply enough, what we are seeking often does not require a $2,000 Singapore Air flight but actually being present and seeing what has been in front of us this whole time.