Aside from last week, I'd surfed in Southern California just once, in 2007, when Karissa and I drove from Seattle to San Diego, stopping along the way to watch waves and eat tasty tacos. And while I had heard of places like Huntington Beach and Malibu twelve-hundred times, I really had no idea where we should surf. Because picking the right place to paddle out is a lot like finding good food in an unknown area. There's all sorts of shit. Too many taco stands! And although it'd be a lot easier if someone showed you where to score a few slides; where's the fun in that?! So before we landed in the LBC, I Google'd every goddamn spot from upper LA to the southern part of San Diego, trying to find the best place to surf my new stick, a nine eight noserider.

So on Monday morning, after acquiescing a friend's automobile, we drove past the pier at Huntington, skipped San Clemente and went all the way down to Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a sleepy little section of the Coast Highway, just south of Encinitas. After picking up my new board from the boys at Bing, we settled on a spot that people call Pipes... I think. It was pretty small, but sunny. I only surfed for a few hours, as Karissa was without a wave riding apparatus, requiring us to share a stick. Apparently a squirrel broke into our bag while I was in the water, nibbling on a loaf of bread we'd just bought. Somehow Karissa managed to snap a photo of the salty Sciuridae shortly after he'd escaped with a slice.

We stayed in the area for a few days, surfing different spots along that same stretch of sand. It was alright, even when it got windy in the afternoon. Encinitas is quite cool, I might add, and the chile pineapple margaritas at Las Olas are to die for. But when that southwest swell showed up - something like two feet at twenty two seconds - it got a little bit big for my new board. We scurried south, searching for something a little smaller. No such luck. Everywhere we went was windy. So after exhausting our options, we decided to skip the surfing and spend some time at Trestles watching people ride walls of water.

Images courtesy of Karissa_Would.

Click here to see more from our surf sojourn to So-Cal.

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