"I Prefer Surfing with Sharks than People" - Day 4 San Onofre, California
Surfing is more popular than ever before, especially as we are still in the summer season. So how does one get uncrowded waves these days?
I was having this conversation with a friend a while back and we concluded that the only way to get uncrowded waves is to surf somewhere cold or dangerous. When I say cold I mean really cold. Thanks, to the advancement of wetsuit technology, today even moderately shitty climates have crowds, so option one will require somewhere like Iceland or beyond. This can be pricey if, like me you live in California.
Option two requires a lot of travel also. When I say dangerous, I am talking political instability and civil war type danger. If you have the courage and sense of adventure then there are definitely uncrowded waves waiting for you out there.
But this wasn't about a far off surf trip. This was day 4 of my 10 day surf challenge. The first Sunday of a 10 day test to surf everyday no matter the conditions. Why? To help combat my complacency for surfing. When I was younger living in England I would surf anything on offer, these days in Southern California I am picky and choosy. As an intermediate level surfer, I have no right to be picky or choosy. I need to be out there having fun and progressing every chance I get. It also gives me a chance to put together an unbiased guide to Southern California for other intermediate surfers while having a lot of fun.
So what do I have in the way of options for cold or dangerous locales in Orange County in August? Funnily enough, not much. Everywhere is rammed, safe and warm. So this Sunday would be like all the rest. Pay the meter and paddle out with the rest of the committed masses. Or would it?
We settled on a spot in San Onofre. It's a very well known spot but it holds way smaller crowds in comparison to the other spots in the area. Why? As far as I am aware, the uncrowded line up at this particular surf spot is due to three main reasons.
Reason one, "the wave is shit". Well, I'm not too bothered about that because I am not that good anyways.
Reason two, "you have to hike twenty minutes to get there". That's also fine with me as I enjoy a bit of adventure. I'll take a beautiful hike over metered parking any day.
Reason three, "it's sharky as hell". Ok this one bothers me a little. It's a shark hotspot for some reason. While it's mainly juvenile Great Whites, tell that to the lady who was attacked in the area last year. Still, somehow, our good friends Chris and Uyen persuaded Steph and I to paddle out with them.
We ended up surfing for three hours in high tide, bumpy and waist high waves. We soon forgot about the baby sharks.
Check out Day 4 above and please like and subscribe to the YouTube channel.