Grimy hotels, endless paddling and a surf spot filled with history were highlights from Album’s recent drive up to Ventura, California. An originally planned trip up North with Jesse Gugliemana and Jon Arman turned into a short stay at the Crystalodge hotel, surfing a point that wasn’t planned on. The consistency was insane, it’s pretty rare to see C street like this. Our arms were burning the entire trip.
The first day presented the most opportunity: lined-up waves, a quality inside section worth the effort and a perfect California setting. The crowd was lively, had that classic Ventura feel in the parking lot of vans, lurkers, crusty over-armored men and everything in between. It was harmonic chaos; not enough parking spots and too many surfers, yet a general feel of camaraderie. Very reminiscent of the Sano or Malibu lot, you’d see an 80-year-old who had been surfing the wave his entire life and blow-ins like ourselves looking to surf a fresh NW swell. It was also refreshing to see more women out there.
The equipment choices were all over the map, anything from 11’ Gliders, logs, thrusters and even motorized foils fresh off their owners’ Bitcoin earnings. Our quiver for the day was a stretched out Twinsman, a Darkness and a Sunstone. A strong current was pushing right into the pier and the waves seemed never to end.
The overzealous water patrol insisted on making us get out and walk up the point after each wave, but ultimately came around to giving rides back out to the lineup. This was essential, as all the wonderful Ventura Mexican food did not lead to any extra paddle power. Jesse found a steeper part of the point that made his 5’6” Sunstone choice the ideal one. Jon Arman’s edit will be coming next week.