Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, a beating heart, of all that is Americana surf culture and art
Surf City USA, Huntington Beach, a beating heart, of all that is Americana surf culture and art. The Pasea Hotel, a surf-lovers dream, here we are, right on the iconic spot. The show is on, a dash to grab wheels to pedal straight to the pier. Dreamy, perfect waves, can’t wait one more second, paddling straight out, we’ve been beckoned. On we push, to the International Museum of Surfing, to discover the roots, bursting with history, wide eyes soak it in, deep down into the grassroots. Mystery is clear, the first ever skateboards, the Z Boys, Dean, the broad-chested Hawaiian who in 1912 first took waves on his surfboard in SoCal; everything is here.
A marmalade-hued sunset of fire orange dreams and we rise early to explore the desert. Past the Coachella Valley into Palm Springs we go, hiking the Agua Caliente Indian reservation for a look across all these ancient kingdoms. Inhaling deeply, we feel the soul of the land, recharge our minds, lizards scuttling past. This land… oh, how you are grand. Then we head back to SoCal and we meet Izzy and Coco Thiyani, owners of Surf Diva - the world’s first all-girl surf school. They tell us how they were told they were crazy for wanting to create an all-girls school. Yet now how far their journey has taken them, no longer a duo.
We meet friendly locals, the leopard sharks and seals, whilst paddling out in our kayaks. We learn how it’s been discovered that kelp is rich in energy, a sustainable source of fuel being studied at the pier’s Marine Science Development Centre. As we paddle out under the warm afternoon sun, pods of dolphins come tantalizingly close. The swell has picked up and our eyes are bulging, golden shadows on the sun-setting waters, friendly noses of dancing dolphins around us as we scores endless, perfect waves. Up we head to Blacks Beach and Torrey Pines State Park, we peer at the dramatic cliffs and twinkling peaks below. We find hidden paths, padding down with boards underarm, to the Pacific jewel proffering little peelers that keep us playing. San Diego we toast, fish tacos in our bellies, San Clemente calls us close, and then onwards to Trestles.
Fun waves at play, again on foot, we explore every nook. Muscle Beach mania and skatepark play.
Highway-bound and mix tapes loaded, a scent of new shores chargin’ us Northward. Venice Beach-bound and city skyline looming, touchdown on the boardwalk – wheels cruising, bright wall spray and local chatter, Venice a Valhalla, Cali culture rich. Fun waves at play, again on foot, we explore every nook. Muscle Beach mania and skatepark play. Palm trees swayin’, a Nirvana winking, closer we get, to the cross step, Malibu our final stop. Peelers playing as we draw close, single fins cruising and we’re bursting out of the car, in the final throes. How fast can you pull on your wetsuit? Thirty seconds and out we shoot. Is this real? I’m in a fantasy, it’s all I dreamed, California, you’re more than you ever seemed.