The Shot Heard Round the World — Really?

30 03 2015
Source:  Robert Fogelman, Syck Shots (FB)

Source: Robert Fogelman, Syck Shots (FB)

Could this be anger among the Trestles Surf Crowd?

Sure looks like it.

In actuality, Mark (blue board) just finished flying around, underneath Norris (green board) as Norris shoulder hopped him.  Norris geeked out.  As he fell, trying not to let his board hit Mark and add insult to injury, Norris tried to fly his board away into the offshore wind so it would pop out the back.

Mark, in his gracious manner, was quick to say he shouldn’t have surprised Norris.  But, it would have been a better, safer wave if he had it to himself.  Thanks to Mark for the kindness.

Kind of fun to ponder other stories it could have been — but not.

See you in the water.  Stay safe!


Ironman 70.3 Oceanside — Access to Trestles Impaired

27 03 2015
Sign at the Top of the Trestles Trail

Sign at the Top of the Trestles Trail

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.  Hope you saw this one.

The Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside is being run on Saturday, March 28, 2015.  The course includes our Trestles Bike Trail.  The Ironman cyclists will be riding south to north and will turn east at Cristianitos.  It doesn’t seem imaginable that they would close down all access to Trestles for this 7:00 am to noon event.  Click on the .pdf map below.

oceanside70 3 bike 2015 tbt 1-1

Indeed they must at least allow access down the dirt path on the east side of the freeway and across the bike path where they cross at the bottom of the hill.  We’ll see.

There could be an insurrection if they block all access with a south swell expected to peak on Saturday.  But, then again, for those with the fortitude to get there some other way, it could be the most uncrowded day of the season.  We’ll see.

Let’s put on our most cooperative demeanors.  Remember we may need their help the next time the Tollroad comes up.

Welcome to Kooksville!

20 03 2015


Just sort of makes you wonder:  What was going on here?

Must be some sort of misbehavior — right?

Did someone shoulder hop someone?

Did this car park a little too close to the car behind and box them in?

Was it just a friend playing a little trick?

And, just who misbehaved more — the artist or the target?

It’s funny, but this doesn’t really seem to happen all that frequently among The Crowd, especially considering how big it is.  We are just such a dignified bunch, huh?

Hurley Pro 2014 Results

16 09 2014

Got your attention!

What a great contest this year–the Hurley Pro men’s surf contest at Lower Trestles, California.  A rich mix of local talent, all the greatest professional surfers in the world, and a diverse mix of surfers from countries not represented in the past.  Well done!

But the results that are tough on the local crew are the extra people, cars and trash that come with such a top-notch, well-attended event.

People and cars jam the road to Lowers.

People and cars jam the road to Lowers.

Trash from a disrupted  camper.

Trash from a disrupted camper.

Visiting surfers at Uppers

Visiting surfers at Uppers

Now you know we love crowds here at, but we’re not sure how much more Uppers can handle.  Surfrider Foundation and so many more won the big fight (at least for now) to protect our jewel of the coast from a new concrete toll road, but we all need to do our part to show how  much we each value it by minimizing our footprint when we visit.

There’s not a lot we can do to minimize visitors, nor should we.  Uppers is for the people.  But,  let’s leave it cleaner than we found it.  And,  respect each other’s enjoyment  of the surf.  It’s all about the stoke after all.

So, let’s keep the Hurley Pro results focused on the stellar professionals, not impacts on the environment or our brothers and sisters pushing over the lip next to us.

Surf  on and enjoy The Crowd!

What is the Surfline Effect?

18 07 2014
This is the Surfline Effect!

This is the Surfline Effect!

It is that relatively new phenomenon whereby on the peak day of any clean swell the Upper Trestles Surf Crowd blossoms.  Can you say Party Wave?

Now understand that as a scientist/engineer who got the top A in his biometerology class, I love Surfline’s wave and weather models.  My wife has to ask why I spend so much time with a model named LOLA.  I would venture to say that LOLA is the most significant breakthrough that has come along in wave forecasting for surfers over the last few decades.  As a model, it filters out most of the extraneous computer garbage to give us clean, simple forecasts weeks in advance of approaching swells.  And, it is mostly dead on accurate.

However, there is LOLA’s relative from the dark side, LOWLIFE.  It is the simultaneous rise in surfer population at Upper Trestles whenever a swell’s peak is predicted.  If Surfline says the swell peak overnight on Tuesday, you can bet the parking lot will be full by daybreak on Wednesday morning.

Reading my posts, you know that I welcome all surfers to join the Crowd, but there is this phenomenon we have to deal with nowadays — “The Surfline Effect.”  Today, I counted 12 surfers taking off on the same wave.  That is probably not a sustainable or safe situation.

A good surfing ethics question came up in the water.  It seems to have a simple answer, but it does make you think.  The question is:  “Is it okay to take off on someone who took off on someone else (who in today’s crowd actually took off on someone else and so on and son on)?”

I’ll just say “Let’s be careful out there.”

And, let’s stick to the Surfing Rules for Upper Trestles, which I posted the other day.

By the way, there are some measures that can be taken to counteract the Surfline Effect, but like the Central Coast secret spot location, I’m not talkin’.

And, to all our favorite forecasters at Surfline, don’t let the Surfline Effect change your good work.  We are now hooked and can’t go through the withdrawals if you decided to shut down.  We just can’t go back to the old days of showing up at the beach each morning to see if we are going to surf that day.

Surfing Rules for Upper Trestles

7 07 2014

Welcome to all who want to surf Upper Trestles!

Visitors by the Thousands

Visitors by the Thousands

But, let’s get something straight — there are some rules.  Contrary to the opinions, or perceptions, of some guests (and I use the term loosely), Uppers is not some sort of free for all where you just paddle into any wave any time you want.

Most of us on Dawn Patrol are pretty nice guys, easy to get along with.  Unfortunately, sometimes that easy going approach is misinterpreted to mean “go ahead snake me.”

On a related issue, because Uppers can be one of the most crowded spots on the planet in the summertime, it may seem to some that there is no order to the crowd.  On the contrary, it is only because of the strong order in the water that everyone is usually able to get waves to themselves, even on the most crowded days.

All this to set up my social comment.

This morning, I watched as some infrequent guests showed up late, about 7:00 am, and immediately started snaking anyone and everyone.  Yes,  including me.  When I paddled back out, I heard a couple of them congratulate each other on their endeavors.  It went something like this.

Funboarder:  “Hey, I just saw your buddy blatantly take off on a guy who had perfect position on that last set.  He even looked the guy straight in the eye before paddling in front of him.”

Overly tan baldy:  “Yeah, what a great wave.  Lucky guy.”

Funboarder:  “It didn’t seem right.”

Overlly tan baldy:  “Yeah, but I guess that’s the way it works at Uppers.”

Funboarder:  “Yeah, I guess.  I just did the same thing.”

My official response for the record is:  “No, that is not the way it works at Uppers.”

Sure, we all occasionally shoulder hop someone, usually by accident, or because we didn’t try as hard as we should have to look way up the line.  But, we at least need to be somewhat remorseful, and owe the other guy a wave or waves they can bank for later.

If you want to come to Uppers, keep that in mind.   A simple “Oh, sorry about that” goes a long way and helps keep order in the water.  It also keeps us all a little safer.

Visiting surfers need to realize that there is order in the water.  If it seems otherwise, it is because you are probably just projecting your own chaotic, reckless demeanor on The Crowd.  So, take a few minutes to be perceptive about the order and integrate yourself into it.  You will have a lot more fun in the long run.

And, you may just make some new friends in The Crowd.


Not Really Localism

19 04 2010

When does localism turn into justice?  I thought about that all week.

On a recent Sunday morning, a guy showed up at Uppers with a longboard and proceeded to take off in front of, behind, and on top of just about anyone who got in his way.  He’s actually a pretty good surfer, but he almost instantly violated every rule in the Surfer’s Book of Etiquette as soon as he hit the water.

Ultimately, a group of enforcers circled around the violator and drummed him out of the water, without violence, only words.  He stuck around on the beach for awhile.  I’m not sure if he went back out once the crowd thinned out.

I have always taught my sons that when you go out at a spot other than your own, you always need to respect the guys who are there day in and day out.  Be calm, be patient, make friends, encourage and complement appropriately.  Wait your turn and you’ll get your share of the waves.  I strongly believe in respect.  Evidently, this guy’s dad didn’t train him the same way.

The week’s consternation came from my other strong belief that pure “localism” is totally against the surfer’s creed and is wrong.  Nobody owns the waves no matter how often you surf a spot.  Brad Melekian has done several great articles on the subject in Surfer Magazine over the years.  Localism is really a menace.

Was the drumming, which I actually supported, an expression of the localism I can’t stand?  Was I guilty of the same attitude I criticize?  Was I a hypocrite?

I think it all comes down to what was in our hearts when we meted out the consequences.  Knowing the guys involved in the drumming, I believe the actions were just natural consequences for the behavior of the drummee.  So, in this case, it wasn’t localism; it was simply justice.

Hopefully, the violator doesn’t behave such all the time.  He is welcome to come try it again, but just like the kid who stole the candy from the drugstore on his last shopping trip, he will be watched closely to see if he repeats his antics.

In the meantime, come join the Crowd, but bring a lot of respect–we’ll return the attitude.  Justice will prevail.