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  1. #1
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    Where to live for surf and ski??

    I was reading the thread on the surf vs. ski debate. Real tough issue.
    I am a Calgary local, skiing 25 years, ski racing growing up, and current big mountain focus, and honestly up until last winter season, having lived two years of Oz and Hawaiian surf, I was ready to make the switch permenantly.
    Fortunatly, due to last season's epic dumps, quickly got my head back into snow frame of mind.

    But IMO, surf atmosphere/lifestyle beats skiing. Heat, bikinis, great for soul and body, beautiful locales, shorter drives, freedom of movement, no heavy things on feet and back, bikini butts on boards, etc.

    So the question is, WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO LIVE BOTH PLEASURES OUT, and lets get some honest experiences/opinions here.

    Let's assume:

    1. Gotta live close enough to the beach to surf everyday. Meaning,
    better to be able to surf every work day-- morning and evening
    sessions with skiing coming in on the days off(unfortunately for most,
    this relegates skiing to weekend warrior status.

    2. Large enough community for good jobs and sophistication/culture

    3. Good snow quality

    4. Preferably, a partial surf season with boardie wearing capabilities.
    Although I'm used to surfing the Pacific Northwest and BC, so year
    round wetsuit necessary locales included too

    5. Lastly, skiing locales within, lets say, 5-6 hour drive

    I'm thinking some Southern or Northern California locations would be the best best, but lets get some specifics. Anywhere in New Zealand, Europe, whatever, world is the limit.

    Rob

    Itchin for salt water waves!!

  2. #2
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    Port Angeles, WA. On the right days you can surf and ski. It's a 30 minute drive to either from the other if you know what you're doing.

  3. #3
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    Lightbulb

    Very few places in the world support the dichotomy of surfing and skiing. Regardless of where you go, there will always be a trade off between the quality of the break or the mountains.

    For what it's worth, here's where I've chosen to live as a surfer first, skier second:

    Sydney (12 years)
    The best city in the fucking world. The skiing sucks ass- 450km to the mediocre ski areas of Thredbo or Perisher. NZ is a 2 hour flight away. However, the most consistent surf anywhere and easy/cheap access to Indo makes up for it. I will move back here someday.

    Than Franthithco / Bay Area (8 years on and off)
    Tahoe 200 miles away, A variety of surf Ocean Beach (when it's good), Mavs for the watermelon-testicled, Santa Cruz all within easy reach.

    Los Angeles (3 years)
    Nice places to live as long as you're West of the 405. Surf and Mammoth are equally as crowded. During my time there the nearest decent ski resort was Kirkwood. Mammoth gets good too- in May when Kirkwood closes.


    I'm sure there are other places where you could live and do both (NYC, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver come to mind) but my surf buds who've lived there said the waves were pretty shitty.

  4. #4
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    Denver or boulder really. They both have great little wave parks running right through town
    "It is not the result that counts! It is not the result but the spirit! Not what - but how. Not what has been attained - but at what price.
    - A. Solzhenitsyn

  5. #5
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    5-6 hrs? by car or plane? By car LA/SF in california meet your criteria, but those dreams are dying. The PNW may work. NZ, maybe, not a good jobs market. By plane? Sydney.

    If you don't have to speak english Japan and Chile have tons of potential.

    Denver
    Elvis has left the building

  6. #6
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    Seaside, Oregon. Good surf and about 3 hours or so to Mt. Hood.

    Crescent City, Ca might also work for you. Decent surf and about 2.5 hours to Mt. Ashland or 5 hours to Bachelor.

    Someone said Port Angeles, WA which would be cool if you are mostly into BC skiing. Hurricane Ridge ski area isn't really worth considering though

    Ventura/LA has great surf and is super close to Mt. Baldy- but I have never skied Mt. Baldy.

  7. #7
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    **DANGER** Mt. Baldy is only good when it has snow. It was barely open last year. Mammoth is a good 5-6 hours away, Tahoe is 7+
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  8. #8
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    Southern France? New Zealand?

    California is the most obvious answer. North of Point Conception your trunks and bikini view fantasies give way to 4mm neoprene and self-righteous, unshaven hippy bitches (in my experience, this species does put out). South of Pt Conception the crowds are a hassle. I'm north of San Diego and Mammoth takes me 6-7 hours. Anything resort closer than that is not really worth it.

    PNW has great surf, less crowded with people, more crowded with sharks. Plus, it is cold, cold.

    Southern France has great waves (Hossegor, Anglet, La Grave, Guetheray, and on & on & on), plus you're close to Mundaka in northern Spain (once regarded as the best left in the world, may be ruined by recent development) and Portugal (Supertubos is the bomb-diggedy). If you've been skiing 25 years I'm sure you're more versed than me on the virtues of the nearby Alps and Pyrénées.

    New Zealand seems like it would be great as well (never been so this is speculation). Since you're Canadian, that would be as easy as Oz, right? Fine surf (I've been drooling over pics of Raglan since I was 10) but easy access to Indo, Fiji, etc. etc. I might rather go there than Oz.

    Punani nailed it when he said there is no ideal place to enjoy convenient access to epic skiing and surfing. The basic environmental requirements for great surfing are diametrically opposed to those required for great skiing.
    I should want to cook him a simple meal, but I shouldn't want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key.

  9. #9
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    Olympia, Washington

    1.5 hours from this



    and 1.5 hours from this



    It don't get any better dan that

  10. #10
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    saklikent, turkey: mediterranean sea less than an hour away from 7000ft above sea level ski resort:

    http://insurance.essentialtravel.co..../saklikent.htm

    that sea is great for kite and windsurfing, unsure about the quality of the waves. it's not an ocean after all

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj001f
    By car LA/SF in california meet your criteria, but those dreams are dying.
    Cj, can you expound on this a little, por favor? (SF-specific) Hellish commute? Everyone else doing it?

  12. #12
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    If you're into usually sucky snow 95% of the time and mediocre (and cold) surf, by all means, consider New England!!!
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  13. #13
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    Intersesting question and one I have been grappling with for years seeing as how I love to surf and love to ski. I have lived up and down the west coast all of my life and had thoughts about places immediately, most of which have been touched on.

    Olympia, WA: 1 hour+ to Westport does not bode well for getting a morning or evening session in before or after work. Consider Oly as a weekend warrior town for both surfing and skiing. Cold water and not a huge bikini factor even during the summer. Lotsa nasty storm surf but when its good its good. 1.5 hours+/- to Crystal is great for the weekend warrior/sick day (cough, cough) when its good. Ask yourself, do you like cold water and Cascade concrete? Do you like surfing in big unruelly onshore storm surf? Do you like skiing in the rain/sleet/heavy wet snow depending on what elevation you are at on the mountain? I loved living in Oly and skiing Crystal when it got cold, great town with a good mix of peeps and things to do.

    Bay area/Santa Cruz, CA: Never lived there but SC might just be the next place I move to after my stint here in Driggs as a ski bum. Cost of living is outta this world but so is the surf (look at my avatar). Bikini factor is ok for part of the year and the water is almost as cold as WA. Morning/evening surf sessions are no prob during the week. A plethora of Tahoe resorts are a doable 4-6 hour drive depending on traffic and road conditions. Weekend warrior doable but its a haul and OMG the steep windbuffed chutes don't suck.

    Between SF and LA there is not much that can make a surfer/skier happy. SLO has great surf but Tahoe is a solid 8 hour drive. SB has nearby great surf but Mammoth is a good 8-9 hour drive.

    Los Angeles/Orange County, CA: West of the 405 or South of the 101 or south of the 405 or west of the 101 depending on where you are is the place to be. Great breaks, although not usually big surf but fun surf. CROWDED in the water. Surf every day if you like. Bikini factor is off the rictor scale, even in the winter. Stay away from Little Bear or Mtn. Low. Hit Mt. Baldy when they have snow. I hear Waterman on a good snow year is the shit but I have never skied there. Count on a 6 hour drive to Mammoth or 8 to Tahoe. LA is LA, plenty of jobs and plenty of traffic.

    Other places that come to mind would be Portland, OR and Victoria Island, BC.

    Portland, OR. There is a "world class" lefthand point break about an hour west of Portland. I never seen it seeing as how I drove through there during a "100 year storm/flood" event that seems to be happening every 5 years now. I hear the locals can be aggressive and violent, especially if you show up with CA plates. Bikini factor is probably similar to Westport, WA. Mt. Hood is not too far away and well its just Mt. Hood but its skiing. Portland is a big city so I wouldn't imagine it wouldn't be too tough to find a job no matter what field you are in.

    Victoria Island, BC: Never surfed there but they do have good surf sometimes. Cold water? Yeah! Whistler is not too far away for the weekend warrior and there are more local ski hills to be had if you don't feel like making the trek up to W/B. Another plus for BC is that cannibas is ok.
    If you had a nickel for every nickel he has, you would have a lot of fuckin' nickels!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacomaLuv
    Cj, can you expound on this a little, por favor? (SF-specific) Hellish commute? Everyone else doing it?
    In short: the premium for buying into California has surpassed the value of living in California for those who have jobs that can take advantage of the California lifestyle (ie surfing 1-2x daily) (IMO). The commute has gotten better for some and worse for others, the real estate worse for all, and the community of active outdoorsy people has decreased (again IME). It'll be interesting to see what falls out when the real estate market collapses - the value proposition has changed substantialy of late.

    Several of the cities mentioned above (Sydney, Melbourne, Vina del Mar (Chile) offer much better ratios of salary to QOL than US/English speaking destinations). OZ is California as it was 20 years ago. Reasonably affordable, dynamic and creative across all walks of life, open and welcoming. NZ approaches but falls short in the reasonable employement, and cosmopolitan aspec (esp S. I) Yes, NZ has great benefits. The salary is inversely proportional "if you ever want to leave, bring the money when you come" There are several destinations in India that may qualify as well.

    and gheepup - SC has much better bikinis than WA, SB has shitty surf, and PDX has a craptacilur job market.
    Last edited by cj001f; 08-22-2006 at 12:58 AM.
    Elvis has left the building

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj001f
    SB has shitty surf.
    I agree with your entire statement except for this one. Sure the surf isn't up to SC standards but there are some dope breaks in SB if you hit it on the right swell. Plus it's easy access to some of the best surf breaks in the state in Ventura IMO.

    And the bikini factor in SB is like no other.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cj001f
    and gheepup - SC has much better bikinis than WA, SB has shitty surf, and PDX has a craptacilur job market.
    SC has much better bikinis than WA? No shit! I in no way implied that the WA bikini factor even comes close to what SC has to offer. Maybe you should go back and read my post again? Zuma is the shit for bikinis!

    SB has shitty surf. No shit! I said "SB has nearby great surf." Nearby is the opperative word. Ventura is not far away from SB. Rincon is even closer. Spots in Oxnard can get quite heavy and hollow as spots in Ventura can also be. Then there is the Ranch or Jalama. SB is not a bad place to be a surfer but I would much prefer to live in SC, Ventura or SLO over SB strictly from a surfing standpoint.
    If you had a nickel for every nickel he has, you would have a lot of fuckin' nickels!

  17. #17
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    anything south of huntington, and quit skiing.
    fine

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brocktoon
    Southern France has great waves (Hossegor, Anglet, La Grave, Guetheray, and on & on & on), plus you're close to Mundaka in northern Spain (once regarded as the best left in the world, may be ruined by recent development) and Portugal (Supertubos is the bomb-diggedy). If you've been skiing 25 years I'm sure you're more versed than me on the virtues of the nearby Alps and Pyrénées.
    Seconded, basque country coast in south western france.
    Great surf, good skiing in the Pyrénées. Beautiful country, lively towns, nice people, great food...
    Hossegor is sligthly further north, thus less close to the mountains, but still convenient.
    The Alps are not precisely nearby though.
    The Spanish side of the basque country is another great option, but forget the Alps then...
    And I'm not aware of any waves in la Grave...
    Last edited by philippeR; 08-23-2006 at 09:13 AM.
    "Typically euro, french in particular, in my opinion. It's the same skiing or climbing there. They are completely unfazed by their own assholeness. Like it's normal." - srsosbso

  19. #19
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    Cool i have your answer

    I just got back from a 4 month stay in Australia. I was living in Byron Bay so i was right in the heart of the gold coast. surfed the superbank a few times a week, as well as the pass, shippies, Angorie, and Lennox head. It doesn't get much better than that. perfect head high barrels at snapper and long walled up sections at lennox. but the dream head to end sometime(visa ran out), so it was time to move back to the US. I chose to live in San Diego because of a good job opportunity and great surf at Blacks and Swamis. However the skiing part is draggin me down and i know my drive to tahoe is going to be a pain. If i could live anywhere to ski and surf i would have to choose Santa Barbara. Think about it, you've got Rincon, the gold Coast beach breaks, ventura point, and if you can get in the holister ranch your money. now think winter and you've got well perfect north/west swells and a few hours away is mammoth, big bear, and Tahoe. It doesn't get much better than that. plus SB has a great night life and downtown, it's not all old folks and college kids like i thought it was going to be when i visited. LA is only 1.5 hours south if you need a bit of craziness in your life too.

    holla at me
    Shane
    Last edited by SoCalTele; 08-23-2006 at 01:55 PM.

  20. #20
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    Very interesting debate. Chile probably wins in reality. But CA still isn't too bad with a few caveats:

    1:if you can afford it
    2:You live near the beach and your work is somewhere near where you live.

    The drive to Mammoth from SoCal is completely dependent on where you live and how many piss / gas stops you make. With one quick stop we are 4.5 hours to Mammoth and has almost never taken more than 5. Those saying 6 or 7 hours are either in So Orange county, San Diego, or haven't found the pedal on the right. The drive to Mammoth from LA is far more consistent in my 3 years experience than the SF - Tahoe drive was in the 4 years I did that, and from what I hear given the continual growth Sac has had, it isn't getting any better.

    SoCal is definitely not perfect, but if you manage it right, it can be pretty good too.
    He who has the most fun wins!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalTele
    to choose Santa Barbara. Think about it, you've got Rincon, the gold Coast beach breaks, ventura point, and if you can get in the holister ranch your money. now think winter and you've got well perfect north/west swells and a few hours away is mammoth, big bear, and Tahoe. It doesn't get much better than that. plus SB has a great night life and downtown, it's not all old folks and college kids like i thought it was going to be when i visited.
    Don't forget you qualify for affordable housing with a family income less than $160,000 per annum *

    Surfing should be a walk too sport not a drive too one (to me). North of LA proper Ventura/Oxnard have local beachs you can live near and walk/bike to, and is within driving distance of all the coast breaks. LA and south have as well. With a little care it can certainly work lifestyle wise, now. In another 5-10 years? thats dicey.

    *I premise my answers that if you are bringing enough capital to the table that that figure doesn't matter to you, you could move to some of the above destinations outside of the US and live the rest of your life without working.
    Last edited by cj001f; 08-23-2006 at 02:38 PM.
    Elvis has left the building

  22. #22
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    My bad, my bad. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by philippeR
    And I'm not aware of any waves in la Grave...
    I've been reading too much ski crap lately! "La Grave" just infiltrated my mind. I was was actually thinking of the place (somewhere in the Bay of Biscay) where those two unknown Frenchmen entered macking waves in the Billabong XXL big wave comp a couple years ago. (It was a year or two after Parsons got that huge one at Cortes Bank).

    Quick internet search revealed "Belharra Reef." Don't know how the hell I got "La Grave" out of that, but that is the spot I was thinking of.
    I should want to cook him a simple meal, but I shouldn't want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key.

  23. #23
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    LA/Orange county, or bay area. Mammoth is 5-6 hours away, and if you were able to get a pass, very cheap. After several years living in Tahoe I moved to Newport for grad school. Fun place to live, great place to party, waves are consistent, and occasionally great. If you want to deal with the crowd, you can drive to lowers and surf one of the most fun places out there, just be prepared for 50+ people on the peak. In a good snow year, mt. baldy is fun, reasonably steep, not scary like squaw, but with legitimate 30-35 degree pitches. It is a one hour drive from Newport, and a great place to get a day in when you are jonesing and don't want to drive to mammoth. I skied 30 days last season, which was a big change after several years of skiing everyday in tahoe, but the overall lifestyle is great, you just have to be willing to drive to mammoth afew times a month. One problem: The cheap passes at mammoth are a thing of the past, the only way to get one is to have been grandfathered in. I know I will keep buying as long as they offer it.
    "Have you ever seen a monk get wildly fucked by a bunch of teenage girls?" "No" "Then forget the monastery."


    "You ever hear of a little show called branded? Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes. Not exactly a lightweight." Walter Sobcheck.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by comish
    Very interesting debate. Chile probably wins in reality. But CA still isn't too bad with a few caveats:

    1:if you can afford it
    2:You live near the beach and your work is somewhere near where you live.

    The drive to Mammoth from SoCal is completely dependent on where you live and how many piss / gas stops you make. With one quick stop we are 4.5 hours to Mammoth and has almost never taken more than 5. Those saying 6 or 7 hours are either in So Orange county, San Diego, or haven't found the pedal on the right. The drive to Mammoth from LA is far more consistent in my 3 years experience than the SF - Tahoe drive was in the 4 years I did that, and from what I hear given the continual growth Sac has had, it isn't getting any better.

    SoCal is definitely not perfect, but if you manage it right, it can be pretty good too.

    One key from OC is knowing the freeways well enough to zig-zag through LA. Taking 55-91-395 or whatever is always slow, and 405-14-395 is horrible at rush hour. But some other routes, like 605-210-5-14-395 can work. I use traffic.com to check what contidtions are like. If you leave after 7, sometimes you can take 55-5-14 from Newport, which is actually the fastest route if there is no traffic. The key is to have several routes, and check online before you leave to see what is best. 605-5-14 also works on occasion.
    "Have you ever seen a monk get wildly fucked by a bunch of teenage girls?" "No" "Then forget the monastery."


    "You ever hear of a little show called branded? Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes. Not exactly a lightweight." Walter Sobcheck.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  25. #25
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    gave up the surf for snow

    I chose to move to boulder for college and left freezing water and huge swells for toolbox frat boys and OC chicks that couldn't sit on a surfboard let alone stand up. i miss the ocean... i think a balance of both surf and snow is a must once i graduate from this bubble called boulder

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