A Guide to the South Bay Surf and Action Sports Scene
LA has seasons?
I’d never live in LA, because I actually like seasons.
A bit snarky, don’t you think? Oh, the bitterness is almost palpable.
I must’ve heard that cutting little statement at least a dozen times during my recent visit to Ohio. Did it get old? Absolutely. Honestly, they could’ve insulted my hometown in a hundred different ways by discussing… oh, I don’t know, the horrible traffic, the pollution, the crowds, the overabundance of plastic surgery, and so on. But no, they had to bring up our lack of seasons. It was frustrating to say the least. Though my retort was usually sharp—I’d just mention that during my weeklong visit I’d seen the sun once and that my rental car had a sizeable dent from a Pomeranian-sized chunk of hail.
Anyway, I’d usually explain (after my ice retort, of course) that LA’s seasons were a little more varied—especially if you’re a surfer like myself.
Summer: You’d think that this would be the best time of year to surf in LA, but unfortunately, you’d only be partly right. Sure, the water’s warm—it usually hovers around 60-70 degrees—and the weather’s quite pleasant, but the beaches are usually packed. It isn’t rare to see 100+ surfers out in the line-up at Malibu, which is the surfing equivalent of trying to navigate the 405 during rush-hour traffic in a gerbil-powered big rig.
Fall: Now this is the ideal time to be a surfer in LA. The weather and water’s still relatively warm, the Santa Ana winds are going strong, and we’re usually receiving crossed up north and south swells. But the coup de grâce is the fact that all the schools are back in session, and the line-ups are now comfortably empty—just one more reason I’m glad I’m done with high school.
Winter: Yes, LA has a winter, and honestly, it’s not too bad. The weather and water’s cooling down, and we’re usually receiving heavy north swells by this time too. The only downside’s the rain. Why? Well, surfing in the accumulated waste of one of the largest cities on Earth might have some unintended consequences (i.e. possible X-men style powers… wait, that’s not a bad thing. Surfing in pollution is awesome!)
Spring: Well, this spring has been pretty fun so far, but typically spring is a bit slow for surf in LA. But there’s usually a few sandbars left from winter, and the water is gradually warming up too. And there’s always that reassuring knowledge that summer’s just around the corner.
So you see, LA does have unique seasons. Now that that’s been established, I’m off to go find some pollution to swim in. I’m banking on some potential Cyclops powers, but hey, I’m not picky.