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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    London Mountain
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    1,166

    Santa Cruz CA and Cabo San Lucas MX beginner breaks?

    Hey surf mags.

    I’m visiting Cali (this week) and Mexico (next week) in the next couple of weeks.

    Can anyone point me at a couple of beginner breaks where I can ride ankle high waves with sandy bottoms?

    Also recommendations about surf shops where I can rent a shitty longboard.

    For reference I’m the worst surfer you know.
    Thanks in advance.

    PM’s are fine for those extra secret beginner spots

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    3,612
    Capitola Beach and Cowell Beach are beginner spots. Caveat - this is what I recall from when I used to live there. The storms last winter really did a number on Capitola, and I’m not sure if the beach itself was badly damaged too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Thanks Billy.

    Someone here in SC mentioned Cowell as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lakeside California
    Posts
    545
    Both are really Big Places. How about narrowing it down a bit ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    12,748
    Cerritos north of Cabo is a popular spot for all levels from what I understand. We went there but didn't surf, cool spot though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    14
    Cowells needs a decent amount of swell in the water and low tide to break, otherwise it will be flat. I'll echo Capitola and also 38th street pleasure point (aka Jack's).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Mountain
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    Thanks for all the tips guys. Cowells was ankle slapping height but that was just what I was looking for. Hacked around at low tide on a giant rental soft top for my first surf in several years. Now Mrs Shoe and I are posted up in Cerritos for the week. I got in the water yesterday for a bit. Decent waist high size for me to hack around in with pretty minimal crowds. Actually was offshore in the morning before going side shore in the afternoon. This place has changed a lot since I was here 20 years ago, but plenty of space for everyone yesterday.

    I might make a trip to the Gulf side of the peninsula later in the week.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Mountain
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    My surf trip ended rather inauspiciously. While wiping out on a knee high wave I sliced my leg with a fin. I ended up getting surgery in Cabo to close up a 8 inch long and 2-3 inch deep gash on my lower leg. By some miracle I didn’t sever my Achilles or any other ligaments or tendons, but it required over 60 stitches to close me up. I’ll be on antibiotics, painkillers and crutches for at least a couple of weeks.

    On the plus side I’ll have a sweet new scar that looks kinda like a shark bite.

    I have some extra gruesome pictures but I’m not sure if they violate TGR’s policy.

    Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions places to go. I caught a couple sweet waves that definitely rekindled the fire.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2019
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    Post. The. Pictures.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    London Mountain
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    1,166
    Here ya go

    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    59715
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    Sweet!

    FWIW, the only time I needed stiches from surfing, I got a love tap on the back if my head and I busted out the fin box. I took the board into the ding repair before I went to the doc in the box to get sewn up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Mountain
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    I get the love tap reference. This didn’t even really hurt when it happened. I just felt a weird tug on my leg, and thought it was just my leash pulling on my leg as I went over the falls.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    关你屁事
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    9,702
    That’s beastly, were the fins steel?. worst I ever got was a cut to the eyelid which scared the shit out of me, and a coral scrap that took forever to heal.

    People discussed the beginner breaks in SC but in the past if the swell is shit at off hours something like steamers lane could work. Off hours might be midnight with a moon. What did the river mouth look like?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,520
    Every time Cerritos gets recommended for beginners I scratch my head. Been there multiple times (April/May) and it’s always been fast close outs with the occasional short peeler off the point. I’ve yet to see it look “good”, but nonetheless hope you got some good waves while you were there.

    I’m probably doing it wrong but Old Man’s at least has waves that peel. Busy, but you can get on a few. Took a buddy there who’d recently moved to Todos and had been flailing at Cerritos and he seemed stoked in a “oh this is actually fun, I get it now” sort of way.

    Again, hope your trip was rad fin cut aside. Just wanted to go on the record for any future readers of this thread that IME Cerritos is often a tricky setup for beginners.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London Mountain
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    I’m interested to know where Old Man’s is compared to Cerritos?

    I also surfed a day at San Pedrito, which had a better peeling wave in front of the arroyo, but it was super windy onshore so it was blown out.

    It was actually windy the whole time I was in Baja, but right by the point in Cerritos the cliffs kind of protected the break from the wind.

    You’re spot on though. It was generally pretty short rides, but my threshold for “good surf” is pretty low considering I’m such a hack.

    Doc in Cabo did a good job of sowing me up.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cruzing
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    11,984
    That's intense. Just saw this thread and I would have voted for Cowells. Sand should be good this year. It fills in with south winds which blow when we have storms. And there were storms this year.

    Bummer about that gash. Scary really. Never seen a fin cut quite like that.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,520
    Old man’s is in the big waterfront hotel stretch of CSL. Surf hotel right in front of it but there’s a better wave next door that keeps the good surfers off of it mostly. There’s an “old man’s” on nearly every stretch of surfable coast worldwide and I always find it haha. Usually translates to “kook friendly”

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2,554
    That fin cut is gnarly!

    Similar question: driving from SB/LA and want to just go on a adventure in our car with some beginner surfing for a week in January just after NYE. Ideally camping and chilling out. I figure we need to get a little ways south to get some peace. Suggestions? How far past TJ driving? 2WD regular car, no 4x4. Thanks.
    I <heart> hot tele-moms

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