0 comments / Posted on by K. Cameron Lau

The Evil Within:

Before we get to the virtues of Los Angeles surfing, we have a few questions for you. Do you party a lot? Sleep around? Binge drink? Smoke a little too much of that ultra potent cannabinoid chimera legally purchased at the neighborhood dispensary? Are you cheating on your significant other? Have you cheated in the past? According to a recent 'special report', 1 in 4 Americans do not think that a one night stand is cheating. That's a whole lot of not so much cheating, if not just straight cheating.

Are you a road rager? A parental overlord with a heavy hand? A domestic abuser? A racist? A zealot? Need some anger management? Or maybe trouble with law...or just your in laws? Do you find yourself dazed in front of the television mindlessly rooting for more egregious civic spending and perpetual unrest as 6.5 trillion goes missing while the world inches closer and closer to WW3?

Do you indulge too much on the finer, delectable goodies the world has to offer? Or maybe deny yourself obsessively due to an uncontrollable urge to look your 'best' or be ‘healthy’? How about gossip? Might that be an activity that titillates you? Schadenfreude? Would that be a highlight of your day?

We've all got stuff going on. Issues to confront...or unfailingly ignore. Attitudes, belief systems or even perceived ideals that don't quite hit the mark or scream infallible virtue. Thus is the nature of life, reflections of that inner darkness…those glowing embers of rebellion. You may be thinking, nah…”that ain’t me,” but it most likely is. There’s an inner demon(s) lurking in there somewhere.

Maybe you see it, maybe you don’t, some people take action, others don’t. Most of us just keep on keepin’ on. This obviously isn’t news.

To those of you shaking your heads with lives moving along swimmingly, squinting your eyes at this like ‘wtf’, wondering what the heck the point of this intro is… It’s this:

We exist in an evil world because it’s in us (and around us), albeit to varying degrees. You may think you’re free and in the clear, but you’re not. You can’t be. It’s what it is to be breathing. Accept it, understand it, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be answered, shop Evilkind®…AND…take up SURFING, dude.

The Science of Surfing:

IT IS SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN THAT SURFING IS LINKED TO HAPPINESS, or at least some momentary inner peace and positive well being. And we’re talking on a physiological level and here’s why:

Crashing waves release negatively charged ions, a process involving all the ingredients at hand: the ocean, sunlight, natural environmental radiation and moving air and water. When these ions enter your system the flow of oxygen increases to your brain, which raises alertness and stimulates cognitive function. These ions are also believed to produce biochemical reactions that boost serotonin levels, which subsequently lower levels of stress, depression and sluggishness.

Vitamin D exposure is all good and vital to healthy bones and vibrant skin. Your time in the sun helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorous in your system as well as regulate the growth of skin cells.

Surfing is also an intensely aerobic activity involving copious amounts of paddling. A person around 180 lbs, surfing for about an hour, can burn up to 260 calories. Regular cardiovascular exercise produces endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever, leading to that euphoric feeling, the runner’s high as they call it on land, or the “stoke” as it’s known to brahs and Bettys alike. Over time surfing builds strength and stamina while toning you up in the process. Surfing clearly improves balance and flexibility, builds muscle and relieves stress. All great for fostering healthy self esteem and perspective.

As surfing is not an easy sport to pick up, the rewards of catching that wave, especially the first one, can be extremely gratifying. More recently surfing has even been used to treat PTSD sufferers as a form of therapy. And as the surfing culture can be very conducive to a sense of community, good vibes and a laid back easygoingness amongst friends, the sport is just as enjoyable and gratifying on a solitary level, when it’s just you and the ocean.

A final point that can't be emphasized enough is that surfing is not solely for the young. This is an all ages activity, and it is never too late to start. I have seen shredders and leisure surfers of all ages, shapes and sizes. Surfing ultimately is about passion and that bug can bite at anytime.

And Now to the Point:

With all that being said, it’s time to get down to the meat of this blog post. We’ve established that you need some surfing in your life, some time in the sun, some exposure to negatively charged particles, some hardcore cardio and some metaphysical release from whatever it is afflicting your sojourn on this plane.

Los Angeles. Love it or hate it, you can surf here. So here are 10 chill surf spots that can help you find your peace.

County Line

County Line Beach
Pacific Coast Hwy @Yerba Buena
California 90265

Wave Quality: 3/5

Wave Type: Reef Break | Right & Left

Bottom: Boulders

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

As the name implies, right on the line between LA County and Malibu, this beach is a popular scenic spot offering consistent surf that can work all year round. There are two surfable areas, the north end, also called The Point, serving up more rights than lefts and more groundswells than windswells. Pretty fun surf that usually gets crowded. The south end is a good spot for shortboarders. Beach break, with various peaks lined up on outer reefs, it can get steep, hollow and punchy. Fun all around and best at mid-tide.

If your soul is pleading for a break from the monotony of life, this could be it.

El Porto - Manhattan Beach 

El Porto
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Wave Quality: 4/5

Wave Type: Beach Break | Right & Left

Bottom: Sand

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

If you're looking for the quintessential SoCal beach, welcome to Manhattan Beach. White sands, sun, surf, skate, volleyball, the whole nine...it's here. Not only that, but some say it's probably one of the best beach breaks in the entire LA area. With the right conditions, you will be barreling tubes. Summer's known to be better for beginners, while fall and winter feature bigger, more consistent swells rolling in from the northwest.

If you're California dreaming through a nightmare that is your life, you should wake up here.

Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach
California 90254

Wave Quality: 3/5

Wave Type: Breakwater / Groyne | Right & Left

Bottom: Sand

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

Hermosa is a really cool place. A vibrant, hip community with chill people, restaurants, coffee shops and bars, all lining the 22-mile waterfront promenade, known as The Strand. Locals boast some of the best waves in LA, and it can definitely be a bit more challenging, steeper and faster than most piers. The water also runs a bit cooler at this beach calling for a reliable wetsuit, and the best break is during low tide through fall and winter, but the overall package makes this a great surf spot especially for first timers.

If you're looking for more than just wave therapy and seeking some cool community, Hermosa is definitely your spot.

Leo Carrillo

Leo Carrillo State Beach
35000 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

Wave Quality: 3/5

Wave Type: Reef Break | Right

Bottom: Boulders

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

If you're looking for the Point Break beach, you found it. Other films that have featured this spot's picturesque, cinematic landscape include Gidget, Grease, The Karate Kid, The Craft, The Usual Suspects and Inception. With a state park and campsite nearby, this beach provides a family friendly environment with showers and fire rings onsite along with biking and hiking trails nearby. Surfwise, Leo Carrillo is also known to be novice friendly, so definitely a plus for beginner level newcomers to Southern California looking for a full on outdoor experience.

If you've been cooped up in front of a computer screen day in and day out, it may be time for you to reconnect with nature here.

Ocean Park / Bay Street

Ocean Park / Bay Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Wave Quality: 3/5

Wave Type: Beach Break | Right & Left

Bottom: Sand

Skill Level: Beginner

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

Smack dab at the end of main street in Santa Monica, this beach can get busy especially when conditions are good. Fairly consistent all year round, this spot is also a common location for surf schools and instructors offering private lessons. This is definitely a busy part of town in general, but there's easy street access to the beach along with metered parking and pay lots in the general vicinity. An overall great spot for surfers of all levels with some fast fun waves.

If you're about to go postal or totter over the edge due to whatever may be happening in your life, this would be a convenient spot to book a session or two with a surf instructor to get your therapy underway.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach
Pacific Coast Hwy
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Wave Quality: 2/5

Wave Type: Reef Break | Right & Left

Bottom: Boulders

Skill Level: Beginner

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: Pollution, Rocks

Where Sunset Boulevard meets the ocean and the end of Route 66 is where you'll find this regional classic known for long right hand rollers offering beginners a safe, long ride particularly on longboards and paddleboards. That said, this spot draws surfers of all skill levels looking for that laid back Waikiki vibe, where the waves move "nice and slow, smooth and gentle."

So if you're in desperate need of some chill time and decompression, your best option would probably be to grab the nearest longboard and drive yourself to the end of Route 66 asap.

Surfrider Beach - Malibu

Malibu Surfrider Beach
23050 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

Wave Quality: 4/5

Wave Type: Reef Break | Right

Bottom: Sand

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Very Busy

Hazards: Pollution

This beach is where legends were made. An iconic surf spot where some claim LA surf culture was born. Naturally, it's also become a heavily trafficked hot spot for rookies and tourists in search of authentic SoCal flavor and photo opps. Wave-wise it's a longboarders paradise offering up long, lazy point breaks and ideal winds. It's also cool spot since it has three points that break along the beach, each of which is suited to the appropriate skill level, which is another reason why this location can draw crowds.

If you're just done with it all and have never been to Malibu, you need to come here and surf. Malibu.

Topanga Beach

Topanga Beach
Topanga, CA 90265

Wave Quality: 4/5

Wave Type: Point Break | Right

Bottom: Rocky Reef

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

This is not a beginner level surf spot. The waves here, which wrap around the sandy point formed by Topanga Creek forming a continuous right break, can get very intense and powerful reaching swell sizes over 10 ft. It definitely gets busy out here, naturally drawing a seasoned, local crowd, so surf etiquette and a respectful demeanor are key. 

If you're lacking in direction or wallowing in defeat, it may be time to embark on your next adventure and set your sights on conquering Topanga.

Venice Beach

Venice Beach
1800 Ocean Front Walk
Venice, CA 90291

Wave Quality: 3/5

Wave Type: Beach Break | Right & Left

Bottom: Sand

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Busy

Hazards: N/A

Probably the most well known LA beach and boardwalk worldwide, this spot definitely draws the tourist crowd looking to soak up the quirky vibe and complete the LA experience. While there is no shortage of surf rental shops and instructors ready to rock some mellow waves with eager students, this spot really is more about the whole package than it is just the surfing. From street vendors and performers to bike rentals, rollerblading, cafes, restaurants and bars, there's just a whole lot to do here and take in. 

If you're feeling dead inside and just need to kick back and let loose, I suggest renting a board, hitting the waves for a bit and then just cruising the boardwalk for some trouble to get into.

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach
Malibu, CA 90265

Wave Quality: 4/5

Wave Type: Reef Break | Right & Left

Bottom: Sand

Skill Level: Intermediate

Crowd: Very Busy

Hazards: Rips

Zuma. This is the SPOT for some surf therapy. It's a little further out passed Ocean park and Topanga, which means LESS PEOPLE. A sandy beach bottom, clear water, solid whitewater take-offs and even swells across a 3 mile stretch make this a prime spot for the zen surf samurai. Close to shore breaks make it even more fun. Expect a local crowd and be prepared to practice pristine surf etiquette. 

Whatever you're dealing with, you will be inspired to turn things around with Zuma in your life.

 

 

 

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