Beach Bike Ride

So this week I’ve decided to take a ride down to leadbetter and follow the bike path all the way down to Butterfly beach. It will be a nice ride to get my mind off all the upcoming finals and AP tests.

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So I’m super into biking and try to get out when I can, but as I said before, finals and AP tests have been really booking up my schedule. Long story short, I haven’t been out in a while and think it would be great to get back into it. My friends are now all of a sudden inviting me to ride with them, but considering I haven’t ridden in a while, I won’t be able to ride trail like I used to. This is a huge bummer, but I have to hop back on the horse and get my legs back into the groove. Going on a ride downtown isn’t exactly what I enjoy doing, I love mountain biking, road is a little too humdrum and boring. I like being on edge and having that adrenaline rush flush through me as the slope has gotten to the point where my brakes are no longer useful. From there, it’s all form and weight distribution to keep you from skidding out.

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But back to the beach ride. I think it’ll be great to get out and take a breather. I’d start from upper state, go down to the Hendry’s light, and take a left and follow the message until I got to Lazy Acres. I’d then take a right, follow the road down to leadbetter, hop on the bike path, and cruise. It would be nice if there were waves I could gaze at as I rode by, but there seems to be an absence of swell :(. There has also been an unusual amount of wind recently which has been making some of the boat owners go crazy. Just the other day, I watched as one of the catamarans sitting on the sand toppled over and shattered some of the fiberglass. Insane, I can’t remember the last time we had that much wind.IMG_1156

All in all, I looking forward to the ride. It will probably happen tomorrow, Wednesday, around noonish so if you’d like to join me on my adventure, you’ll know where I’ll be!

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Camp Rock

So this week is going to be tight, finals are here sooner than I anticipated and everyone is freaking out. A lot of my friends aren’t taking AP classes, some not even honors, so schools isn’t such a worry for them at the moment. I’m on the other end of that stick, with the first arrivals arriving within the week. Im super stressed and looking for somewhere to unwind. Long story short, I don’t have much time to do what I had previously planned which would be to duck tape a bunch of boogie boards together and see how it goes. No, this time, I’ll just be out exploring at Campus point and the infamous rock. So let’s get into it

So theres this series of a three piece rock sitting right off the point of Campus. The first rock, attached to the beach sand, has all sorts of algae and sea grass growing all along the outline of the splash zone. The splash zone is usually limited to the grassy areas on the rock, usually containing the most development of life. However, on a big swell day, the splash zone now pertains to the whole rock. Water here, water there, water everywhere. And when the waves hit, that splash is a lot stronger than you think. If you aren’t buckled down and holding on, I myself and plenty others have been either completely blown off the top, or slowly and painfully dragged to end all the while the while you grasping desperately for a hold to save you from plummeting into the “pit”. Now the “pit” is another story but it’s right between the last and seconds to last rock. Its on the far right side and is a pool-like structure. This pit is extremely deep and contains probably harmless but creepy animals, but back to the rock.  The last rock is the biggest one of the bunch. It has an elongated shape serving as a semi shield for the rest of the point. Most people make the journey across all three to stand at the front left corner end of this last “shield” rock. They then proceed to jump. They can recycle that for most of the day and seem please, but my friends look at it a different way. Yes, there’s still jumping involved, but this time you’re making an air landing on a wave instead of the ocean surface. Step one: get a board (doesn’t even have to float), Step 2: stand at the very end of the rock (you may occasionally have to step back to let some inferior waves pass by), Step 3: you wait, and you should ride something in your comfort level, but I highly recommend finding the biggest wall of the day and hopping on. Step 4: Select and track your wave. Step 5: wait until the wave it just beginning to slam against the rock as the make your entry. To execute correctly, the viewers on the shield rock should not have visibility of you once you’ve reached maximum height on your jump. The splash of the collision should engulf the entire rock, whiting out everything in site. Step 6: Once in the air, attempt to position yourself in a spot for maximum speed upon landing. Step 7: Slam down the face of the wall as smoothly as possible (if you mess up, your friends should still be blinded by the white water).

Step 8: Shred.

 

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That’s my guide. Follow exactly to secure a position on the wave. On a big day, the waves

 

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you’ll be jumping onto will most likely be chopped up and hurling into a cove. Once you’re on, you need to navigate away from the first sharp rocks

 

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and make your way to the center of the cove. Too far right and you could smash into the other, thinner, rock wall. Too far left and you’ll, smash into the seconds rock or get sucked into its little suction lair. If you do accidentally end up in here, you need to either jump once the water thrusts you over the top of the rock or try to make a landing on your board. That’s all, see you there!

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Surfing Essentials

So today I realized I’ve run out of beaches to blog about, a bit of a situation. I’ve decided to shift course and focus on the general sport, attraction, and overall significance, but probably just end up keeping you updated on my ocean adventures. Ill try new things, invent new things, and report it all back here.

So as far as this post goes I don’t have much to share, finals are coming up and the waves are small, so overall there isn’t much wiggle room to go out and seize the day. However, I do have things planned for the future. Ill swim, dive, surf, tandem surf, paddle, skim, and hurl my body down the biggest face I can find. I don’t really know where my adventures will take me, but as long as I share them with friends, its bound to be a good time.

For next week I plan to get an opti boat, a small bath tub boat that is a great starter for kids to get into sailing. Ill take this opti, take off the sail and mast, keep the rudder, and shred my way down the wave. I’m sure there will be complications, but I see it as a unique story. I will most undoubtedly get injured in the process, but I think that part of the journey. Pain, always leaving scars of past adventures to reflect on. One thing I’m sure of is getting plenty of attention from the people in the water.

 

 

So this is me, this is how I tend to spend my time in the water. I find unusual and out of the box ideas and create them into a reality. I also meet great people on the way. You never know who was an interesting story to tell until you’ve bonded whilst getting scrapes, cuts, and almost drowning. Overall, I’m sad one book is closing, but I can’t wait for another to open. So this is it, Ill be out messing around, will you?

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Hammond’s Beach

 

Hammond’s is a great little spot with a lot of soul. Great to come out and take a look at the view, have a picnic, or just laze about and enjoy a warm Santa Barbara day. It even has a little trail going along Montecito to different spots that are always fun to explore.

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Hammond’s can also get hit really well in big swell so I’d recommend taking a look on a local surf report if you’re heading out on a good morning. Even is the predicted surf is small, I’ve found myself pleasantly surprised a few times seeing that it was definitely double of what they had said. Its just one of those things you have to feel out. But as I was saying, this is a create little spot for surfing and walk on the beach. Not too many boogie boarders and paddle boarders alike either!!! Exiting I know.

I’d say Hammond’s is pretty iconic for Santa Barbara and I’ve never really heard bad things. Sure, there are times when the swell is there but they just aren’t forming right, but as I said before, pretty iconic for Santa Barbara.

 

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Again, a great family beach to take everyone for a great day outdoors. Sand, swell, and snacks can make anyone relax.

As for other water sports, maybe not so great for paddle and skim boarders. One the waves aren’t too optimized for large paddling machines, and the beach has one of those angles that just usually isn’t compatible for gliding. Whilst boogie boarding here is fun, I’d be prepared for some pretty snark comments about the board you ride. From what I’ve experienced, the crowd here is’nt too into it.

for comparing boards, I prefer a smaller and agile for these waves because of the break they tend to set up. Very high energy fast waves that can also be slowed down in the right mindset. That probably doesn’t make much sense but its kinda true so I’m sticking with it.

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whether you’re out here to watch, or take a dip yourself, come on down and experience all Hammond’s has to offer.

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Sands Beach

Sands is a great little long stretching spot located along Isla Vista (IV). If you know where Campus point is, just keep going past the point and depressions and continue on for a while. I’m not really sure how to explain the spot, but you’ll probably find it. The narrow beach walk from depressions turns into a wider stretch of sand with an abundance of green inland, and a mix of reef, rocks, and sand towards the water.

There is car access of sorts, you can drive in, but cant park. However, you could just park in the neighborhoods of IV and walk over which inst as convenient but the scenery is fantastic and I recommend talking a walk around every now and again.

The waves can be good and even great. When threes even a hint of a swell, Sands tends to get hit pretty well and bringing in great sets of all sorts. Hollow, slow, fast, rollers, blobs, etc. I wouldn’t really recommend this beach for beginners because sometimes the waves can get wack and hard to read sometimes, so you need to have an understanding of the water and a certain comfort level to have fun out there. With that being said, I’ve seen beginners have a blast out here just messing around. I think its a pretty well known spot, but I never find too many people in the lineup, which is amazing on a good day.

The beaches usually consist of students walking, strolling, running, and biking on the beach accompanied by the sit down crews that lay in the sun. Again, threes plenty of room to sprawl out and enjoy the always perfect Santa Barbara weather.

This beach is great for surfing and the usual assortment of board and activities, but I wouldn’t really recommend skim boarding. From what I’ve scene, the shore is littered with small to medium sized pebbles just waiting to trip you up. There are also a lot of drop offs in the sand which catch me off guard. It makes you feel super cool, when  you’re wading on in and all of a sudden take a nose plunge following your friend (watch where you step ;).

The water can be super clear here and in low tide, there’s an abundance of tide pools waiting to be explored.

What you need: A surf board, long or short, snorkel and mask, flippers (because who doesn’t look cool in flippers), and toast. Have a great day and come check out SANDS!

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Hope Ranch Beach

Hope Ranch is a great and private beach located a little ways up the beach if you were to walk  from Hendry’s. To drive, you need to either live or know someone to open the gate to drive down to the beachfront. There is also a walk in gate, it uses the same card as the car gate, but last time I tried to use it the card never worked so I believe it to be broken, or me to be stupid. Its probably me considering I sat there for about 10 minutes until the guards got their laughs worth and opened the gate electronically!

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As you drive in you pass multiple separated areas of picnic grounds on the right. They have little areas with tables and grills you can use to throw a small bash. As you venture farther down you enter the small parking lot that usually sits empty. Immediately after the lot, a downward slope takes you down to the beachfront with a patch of circular road surrounded by showers, bathrooms, storage areas, and the BEACH.

This beach varies in tide, just like any other, but I find its more pushed in the winter and lower tide in the Summer which I guess is normal now that I think about it.

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For water activities, its pretty much the same wrap as Hendry’s, but I can get some wicked shore breaks that you cant even see till you’re two feet away. Doesn’t give you much time for the dive, but you make due. I say this because there is usually a thick shroud of cloud encasing Hope Ranch most of the all the time. Some surfing can be achieved, paddle boarding on bigger days is only recommended for those with more experience (prepare to jump over the waves only to be pulled back by your board). As much as I love to surf, boogie boarding is the way to go for this beach. Steep drop ins and close edges make it the perfect line right before you get close out. You can get some pretty descent barrels if you count them as such. I always find this beach entertaining when the surf is bigger, faster, and meaner. All the things needed to truly have a blast on a small Styrofoam board. However, I recommend one of the better build boards, possibly with an arm leash, because of the unexpected power that goes hand in hand with these kind of waves. One of my friend’s step dad, a Hawaiian paddle boarder who’s spent ages in the water, said he kinda had his as* handed to him with these ones.

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8 foot sets, low visibility, and a waves keen nature to pick you up and tuck you in deep underwater can make a perfect day. Just make sure to keep a smile on your face (it helps to bring and friend, and in some cases their dads, to see them get pounded to.) Getting pearled is one thing, but nosediving here is something special. I strongly recommend you give you a day of good clean surfing, for something special I like to call, Pound Town.

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East Beach

East beach, located down E Cabrillo Blvd. Easy landmarks to find your way there are the zoo, volleyball courts, or maybe even the East Beach Grill.

If you decide to drive, there’s a fairly sized parking lot located next to the Grill. At the other end of the lot runs a little pavement path for biking, skating, rolling, or whatever you like to do. This path runs along East beach all the way down to Leadbetter Beach! I guess you could even go further on the pass up Shoreline Drive and to the mesa, but my ride usually ends at Leadbetter.

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As far as the surf goes, don’t even think about surfing here. Overall a terrible place to have a board touch the water. I mean I wouldn’t even want to skim board here. With that being said, its a great swimming beach without a lot of tide to drag you down. This can be a fun place to come with a group and sit down in the sand. Super Long beach with plenty of warm, and sometimes burning hot, sand.

Activities for such a beach include volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, wiz-bee,  boomeranging, bad games of hide and seek, sand castle competitions, sandy seal, and Iron Man practice (swimming and running)!

There is a huge volleyball community here, and is always a great place to come and test your skills. Players of all skill level come here to play from professions to beginners learning the sport. Although there are lots of good players here, you don’t have to be the best to have fun. Come out and just hit some balls, rally, and spike your friend right in the face. After all, that’s what its all about.

East Beach Grill has a variety of not so great options. Even so, this is a great place to stop for a little snack such as a burger, smoothie, or shake with a side of fries.

Usually when I come to East, I end up rolling in the sand wasting the day away. Better to do with company, it works just the same alone. If you’re ever feeling stressed, I recommend a far amount of time just spent in the warm sand, pondering everything. I would say take a trip into the water, but sometimes that ends up stressing  you out even more.

 

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Now that I think about it, this beach is a fantastic spot for paddle boarding. Either launch from the Grill, or make a stop there. One time I started at Hendry’s and went all the way down to Hammond’s. I stopped at East on the way to grab a quick snack and get back out on the open water.

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