These photos were taken at a sewage gulch at the south end of Baja Malibu or Campo Torres on July 23, 2014 (same beach different development). The sewage is released from a development east of the coastal toll road. WILDCOAST is following up with CONAGUA and PROFEPA in Mexico to file complaints. Residents complain of foul odors, fouled ocean water and tons of mosquitoes.
On Saturday March 22, 2014 young surfers from Mexico and the U.S. gathered in San Miguel, Baja California to participate in the 4th Annual Walter Caloca Surf Contest. Organized by Alfredo Ramirez and United Athletes of the Pacific Ocean (UAPO) with the help of Zach Plopper and WILDCOAST/COSTASALVAJE, the event provided a forum for young surfers to rip 2-4′ waves and celebrate international friendships. Additionally, Day 1, included the SUP and bodyboard divisions.
It was a great day. Day 2 on March 23, is the open event. The photos here are all from Day 1.
I’ve lived in Imperial Beach since 1971. It is one of the last cool little blue collar beach towns left in Southern California. And I love the neat little ways in which people brighten up their businesses and our public plazas (courtesy of the Port of San Diego) along the beachfront. This is what gives our town character and makes us unique. And it is why I love my hometown of Imperial Beach.
A couple of day’s before Christmas we celebrated my oldest son’s 18th birthday with a day-trip out to Baja’s Todos Santos Island. It was a magical day in a very special place.
On the first ever Global Wave Wednesday, a report on how surfers from ten countries came together May 5-8, 2013, in Rosarito Beach at the Third Annual Global Wave Conference to talk about strategies to preserve waves and beaches.
“We are more than a wave,” Pablo Narvaez of Barra de la Cruz told me last week while we ate lunch at the Rosarito Beach Hotel.
Barra de la Cruz, considered one of the world’s best waves by Surfer Magazine, is an indigenous coastal village in Mexico where surfing is the main source of tourist revenues. “We have sea turtles, a mangrove lagoon and a beautiful village filled with culture,” said Pablo.
Pablo was among the surf conservationists from 19 organizations representing ten countries who came together in Rosarito Beach at the world’s largest gathering dedicated to global wave protection in Rosarito Beach for the for the 3rd Global Wave Conference to discuss experiences and strategies to protect coastal ecosystems and resources.
“Over the last decade the surf conservation movement has blossomed but until recently the world’s surf protection groups have been working in isolation,” said Surfrider Foundation Environmental Director Dr. Chad Nelsen. “The Global Wave Conference is designed to change that and promote exchange of knowledge and programs, information sharing and collaboration, with the larger goal to establish a unified front for global wave protection.”
The conference represents a growing understanding that the world’s coastlines, and more specifically its surf spots, are important economical, ecological, cultural and recreational resources that must be protected.
“The GWC was a really productive and amazing conference. From local fisherman in Baja, to non-profit leaders in the UK, to representatives from the UNDP in Costa Rica; The true strength of the conference was to create new and innovative partnerships among all surf users,” said Save the Waves Executive Director Nik Strong-Cvetich.
In Rosarito Beach, a number of the attendees represented communities throughout Mexico and Latin America who are striving to conserve their waves, beaches, and way of life through surfing tourism and conservation.
Local conference participants discussed strategies to protect coastal access and surf spots. According to Dr. Eduardo Najera, Director of COSTASALVAJE, “Surfing provides a unique way to get in contact with nature and can increase people’s awareness about coastal conservation and sustainable use of the coastline.”
Fernando Marvan from Surf Ens presented on the recently established Bahia Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve. Carlos Luna of Rosarito Beach and Alfredo Ramirez of UAPO discussed youth surfing in the region and the future of the sport in Baja California.
“Waves are natural resources, it is up to us to protect them. As ocean lovers we need to spread the love and also educate young surfers about our environment,” said Alfredo who organizes youth surfing contests and lessons in both the U.S. and Mexico. “They are the next generation that will take care of our coasts.”
Artemio Murillo and Jaime Villavicencio travelled all of the way from the fishing village of Bahia Asuncion in Baja California Sur to present on how surfing has been a catalyst for coastal stewardship. Jaime helps fix up old surfboards in his remote village to make sure that local kids have access to surfing.
One of the most moving presentations was by Pablo Narvaez who discussed how his tiny Oaxaca community of 800 people is effectively managing their coastal resources and offered a model that can be replicated in many areas around the world. “We charge a fee to use our beach services. Those monies in turn fund community projects and medical care for every member of our village,” said Pablo.
Presentations were also given by Surfers Against Sewage from the UK, Save the Waves, Salvem o Surf from Portugal, Surfrider Europe, Surfers Environmental Alliance, the Canary Island Surfing Federation, Desarrollo y Gestion Costera from Peru and Oso and Golfito Initiative from Costa Rica.
“Every wave is unique. Every beach is important for the community,” said Carlo Grigoletto, Executive Director, Desarrollo y Gestión Costera (DGCOSTERA) of Peru.
For Brad Former of the Gold Coast Surf Council in Australia, “There’s no reason why all major surf cities internationally can’t adopt a Surf Management Plan to extend beyond National and World Surfing Reserves models.”
The conference concluded with a field trip to Ensenada to show some of the exceptional efforts being carried out by local community groups and NGOs and the location of what will be Mexico’s first World Surfing Reserve in Bahia Todos Santos. The reserve that will be launched sometime in the fall, will include San Miguel, Tres Emes, Salsipuedes and Todos Santos Island.
“The conference also delivered the first ever united global action for wave protection through Global Wave Wednesday. A great template for working together.” Hugo Tagholm, Director, Surfers Against Sewage.
As an act of solidarity the groups attending the Global Wave Conference agreed to support Surfers Against Sewage’s Protect Our Wave campaign, which is designed to increase legal protection for surfing in the UK.
“It was great to see the commitment, tenacity and innovative approaches surfers are using to protect the waves they love all over the planet,” said Surfrider Foundation Executive Director Jim Moriarty.
- Global Wave Wednesday-Save Waves Today! (sergededina.com)
Today surfers and coastal conservcationists around the world are helping our friends at Surfers Against Sewage in the UK develop some of the world’s first surf-conservation legislation (I think maybe Peru was first).
So please help us save the waves and sign the petition.
With our winter surf season over (it was middling at best, with no major swells) and spring upon us, a lot of us spend our days chasing waves up and down the county.
Luckily San Diego is blessed with a plethora of waves that work year-round and are considered some of the world’s best surf spots.
Please note—all of the areas mentioned are for experienced and respectful surfers only. Don’t expect to paddle out at any of these spots if you are not a local and an experienced surfer and catch the best waves. Please respect the locals and the sanctity of the lineup.
1. Black’s Beach. One of the world’s top beachbreaks, this jewel sucks in swells courtesy of the Scripps Submarine Canyon. Probably no other spot in San Diego County is as consistent, with as many good waves and surfers, as Black’s. The water is generally crystal clear and the clarity, shape and uniqueness of the waves reminds me of beaches in Australia.
Black’s is also one of the best places in San Diego County to spot bottlenose dolphins and just offshore is one of the most important locations for shark research in Southern California. Thankfully, Black’s is now part of the San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area—a marine protected area.
2. Trestles. Guess what, Orange County—Trestles is really in San Diego County—so it is our spot! (I’m joking—I realize that the incredibly generous and very talented surfers from San Clemente and most of southern Orange County are nice enough to share this spot with surfers from San Diego and around the world).
This is a great improver spot and arguably the best place on a good southwest swell to see some of the world’s best surfers at the top of their game. I love surfing here despite the crowd and so do my kids.
This is about the best place to take your groms and their friends on a surfari in the county. Just remember that dreadful TCA still wants to plow a toll road through San Onofre State Beach.
3. Swami’s. On a big winter swells, Swami’s is the Sunset Beach of San Diego County. This amazing reef that is also now a marine protected area creates lined walls perfect for high-performance surfing.
The only problem is that it is very crowded with very good local surfers who dominate the lineup, so your chances of catching a good wave here are pretty limited.
4. Oceanside. This long stretch of beach offers up a variety of breaks—from the wave field south of the pier (and around it) to the opportunities around the pier and between the jetties. Oceanside, like Imperial Beach, is still a classic blue-collar and military surf town with a very talented crew of local surfers.
Generally you can count on the fact that Oceanside is bound to be bigger and breaking a little harder than just about every other spot in North County.
5. Sunset Cliffs. This fabled stunning stretch of coastline offers up a variety of waves for every type of surfer. It is generally always crowded with a crew of older guys on bigger boards who rip, but there is typically a slot or two for everyone. Please remember to respect the locals here.
There are a ton of other spots that offer up clean and consistent waves in San Diego County. The more you travel, the more waves you score and the more friends you make.
Especially if you have kids, surfing a variety of spots is the best way for them to improve their surfing and have the type of adventures that are the stuff of groms dreams.
- The Top Springtime Surf Destinations (sergededina.com)
In the past few weeks little pulses of southern hemisphere swell energy have lit up the reefs, points and beaches of the Pacific Coast from Chile to Canada. San Diego does especially well this time of the year with combo swells firing up beach breaks across the county. Here’s a guide to your best travel choices to catch springtime swells.
Trestles: You’re going to fight crowds and the some of the world’s best surfers at the top of their game. But if you want to surf some of the best lined up waves designed for high-performance surfing, than Trestles—Middles, Lowers, Uppers, and Cottons—is the best game around. Don’t like crowds—then surf at midnight. Just remember that we all need to fight to Save Trestles.
San Diego County Beachbreaks: Our more than 70 miles of coastline suck in combo swells this time of the year. Beachbreaks especially do well in the springtime when multi-directional ground and wind swells can make random beachies fire for a couple of hours or a few days.
Baja: Southern Baja can light up with southern hemi swells. The surf can go from flat to overhead in a few hours and then die just as fast. Winds are notoriously fickle on the Pacific side and water temps plummet through June. The dreaded northeasterly winds on the East Cape can kill your epic session in about five minutes. Baja has a rhythm all its own but bring along a fishing pole, SUP, and a friendly attitude, you won’t be sorry.
Vancouver Island: Snow capped peaks, bald eagles, friendly surfers, fun beachbreaks and mysto reefs, along with great springtime snowboard and ski runs make this Canadian adventure outpost worth a visit. Great food and arguably some of the most beautiful surfing vistas on the planet make this island and its wave-riding capital of Tofino one of the most unusual and worthwhile surf destinations in North America.
Mainland Mexico: Pick a point or beachbreak. There is a reason why some of the world’s best and bravest surfers flock to iconic and heavy waves like Pascuales and Zicatela. There is no other location on the planet where you can as easily and cheaply score barrels that can spit you out into the light of day or grind you into the sand. The mellow points and reefs of Punta de Mita, Saladita and Sayulita offer a more fun reality for less danger inclined surfers. All in all, mainland Mexico is arguably the most cost effective and wave-worthy destination on the planet. If you’re adventurous there are thousands of miles (literally) of wave-rich coastline that largely go unridden.
Central and South America: Pick a country. Chile for long left points and the opportunity to ski and board early season snow. Peru for even longer lefts and the world’s best ceviche. Nicaragua for offshore A-frames and El Salvador for perfect but crowded right points. Ecuador is the newest surf destination with warm water, consistent waves and a friendly vibe.
Australia and New Zealand: Unfortunately prices have shot up, so make plans to camp and cook your own food, but with some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic landscapes and diversity of waves, Oz and Kiwi-Land are great surf and adventure travel destinations.
So get out there. Whether you’re at La Jolla Shores, Bells or Chicama, remember that the more experiences and adventures you have, the happier you will be. And congrats to Brazilian surfer turned San Clemente local Adriano de Souza for his victory at the Bells Rip Curl Pro and all of the other ASP surfers for putting in awe-inspiring performances at one the world’s most iconic surf contest venues.
- Sharing Waves and Stoke at the 6th Annual Rincon Invitational (sergededina.com)
- Top 10 Surfing Destinations in America (americanlivewire.com)