Over the past few weeks, with a flat-lining forecast and not a pulse in sight, Southern California surfers could only kick cobblestones, as spots north of Point Conception were peppered with solid swell. For most of the holiday season, Central and Northern California locals and out-of-towners alike were rewarded for marathon paddle-outs with chilling keggers in unrelenting offshores. Ian Crane and Kolohe Andino, wondering if they should have brought bigger boards.

Title Photo: Nat Young

Bianca Valenti has become one of Northern California’s most dedicated tube hunters.

The nomadic freesurf circuit suits Luke Davis just fine, as long as he finds himself inside hollow emerald gems like these.

Luke Davis

Nat Young, wishing a tough 2016 good riddance, and ushering in a bright, barrel-filled New Year.


Swell lines approaching The City by the Bay’s western edge, frozen in time.

For every miracle dry-hair paddle out you might experience at this beachbreak, expect two or three sneaker sets on the head.

Tyler Morris