May Issue 2008 Surfing Magazine

By Evan Slater"Where are you surfing on the next swell?" For most of us, it's too easy just to make a quick mental scan of our go-to spot short list, match the forecast with the wave that fits best, and head for the beach. Year after year, swell after swell, we stick to our spots as if they're marked on our permanent ID. Height: 5'10". Weight: 165. Breaks: Swamis in the winter, Trestles in the summer. Expires: when you quit or die. This is especially true in California, where way more surfers than you think fail to venture beyond their own zip code. Sure, they may travel once or twice a year to Tavarua or Scorpion Bay or some other pre-approved destination. But blaze four hours up the coast to some chunky righthander or hitch a ride to some offshore island known for its military exercises? Nah. Too hard. Too busy. And it doesn't just stop with the mysto spots. Take a poll of Blacks locals who have never surfed Rincon or Sandspit on a solid swell and Santa Barbara locals who have never surfed Blacks, and you'd be shocked how many guys don't know what it's like to fly through low-tide Cove or scratch into North Peak super wedges. That's why, for this winter's California issue, we're rewarding those who tampered with their permanent IDs. (See "Wild California," pg. {{{100}}}). Who left Salt Creek for a between-the-fog {{{Baja}}} barrel feast. Who left firing Ventura County pointbreaks and stumbled onto Indo-like perfection. And who ventured out to Cortes when everyone told them not to and scored the biggest waves ever surfed. All of these guys could have stayed at home, surfed good waves and let the session fade into a backlog of countless other days at their regular haunt. Instead, they made eleventh-hour decisions, rolled the dice and experienced something they'll never forget. As they prove, California will always have a wild side. You just have to be willing to leave your cage.