The Western Front

The surf world’s eyes are squarely focused on Hawaii -- as they should be, with the Vans Triple Crown speeding toward its dramatic climax. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening back on the mainland. California has seen a few fun-sized swells and beautiful days, and the surfers who haven’t decamped to the Islands are taking advantage. Not too cold yet. Not too big. Just right.

Hmmm, looks like EVERYONE went to Hawaii -- but Hawaii came here. San Diego.

Austin Smith-Ford posts up in a shack near the pilings.

Those youngsters don't know a thing about rail surfing! Or do they? Brother Andino sprays the critics.

Brother tucks into a tight space in Orange County -- a space where a paddle wouldn't fit.

Derek Dunfee snakes Jake Halstead in La Jolla. Sorry, grom -- enjoy the view.

Evan Geiselman has managed to weather a growth spurt without losing his smooth style -- not always easy to do. Big loft in San Diego.

Evan licks his chops, stalling hard for the pitch, while the guy inside prepares for the show.

Jake Halstead poses for a postcard down south.

Jake, same spot, squaring up on the left for some autumn exposure in B-W.

The money shot is alive and well this year. Jason Harris shows off his billboard in Orange County.

Josh Mulcoy sets up for a chilly drainer. Santa Cruz

Too close to the rocks? Maybe -- but the safest place is the barrel.

Santa Cruz does its best impression of 1959

An unknown blur flies across the canvas at Salt Creek.

In Laguna Beach, Warren Smith gets way up there. He'll worry about landing later.