Finding a bomb at Blacks Photo: Christopher Dunlea
Before I lived in Santa Barbara, before this town I call home even registered on my radar way back in 2001 San Diego was my town, well more La Jolla to be exact. Back then I was just a kid from the east coast with a few rinky dink sponsors and a dream. I rented a room about three miles inland from blacks as the crow flies, with my girl friend at the time. I didn’t have a car instead opting for a huffy mountain bike. I rode to Blacks everyday and surfed it everyday. Wind and Sea and I had a love hate relationship. I loved the wave but hated the crowd.
That was a pretty amazing few months of my life. I saw and surfed the many different moods of Blacks Beach. We developed a relationship that wave and I. One of mutual respect I think. It became one of the few waves in this world which I love and are like a home break to me. If it wasn’t for this tenure I may not be in California today. Now for me San Diego is a flat summertime warm water escape from the Santa Barbara stagnation.
Ahh Wind and Sea Beach, I still can’t stand ya,, but can’t stay away from ya.
Since then I have made many pilgrimages to San Diego and always got my share at Blacks each time. The last time I was down south was summer two years ago with Bizarro and I must say we had a heck of a good time between ample surf and party courtesy of a solid south swell and Comic Con respectively. When Bizarro mentioned he was thinking about going home to San Diego for a few days for Father’s Day coupled with the fact that I didn’t have any work as a result of a slow down at Westmont I figured why not tag along.
Santa Barbara in the summer can be quite a drag anyhow. The waves are beat and at times it is just a good idea to go out and get a different perspective on things. My boy West lives down there and a visit with him is always at the very least entertaining. Just like that the stage was set for a little adventure. I had an appetite for nostalgia of simpler times and with any luck this trip would be just the thing to satiate it.
One think one can bet on your not finding barrels like this in the town of Santa Barbara in early summer. Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea
We showed up late or early rather, on Saturday morning, 3 am to be exact. Getting out of Santa Barbara has to be one of the hardest things to ever do. The place is a god dam succubus. We had planed on leaving before noon so I could possibly get in a surf at Blacks. That plan soon got pushed back to 8 pm. After dinner and drinks with a lady friend of mine Bizarro and I didn’t get out on the road till after ten. At least we didn’t have to worry about traffic.
Our weekend was comprised of a healthy dose of thrifting, shopping, surfing and bit of party for good measure. Lets start with the thrift. There is something refreshing in finding great scores in other peoples junk. One man’s trash is another’s treasure after all and to top it all off all the proceeds go to charity. Every one wins at the thrift shop. I managed a few choice scores the best of which was a stuffed ferret I bargained down to $15 from $30. At the very least it would be fun to watch Alfie tear it to pieces. My goal was to buy the dumbest most useless thing there and I believe the ferret took the cake. Oh and I scored some bad ass decorative socks too.
As far as the surf went, though far better then anything I would have scored home in the 805 during that time it was far from amazing. Blacks had a few choice waves and let me stress the word “few”. The first day it was super small and windy. West and I struggled in the wind blown sub par crowded surf. To add injury to insult some kook on a long board decided to get in my face several times and even at the height of the conflict pulled my leash as I was attempting to paddle into a wave. It was a good thing he left after that cause there was no telling where the situation would have escalated.
Things started out on the small side, though I did make the best of it. Blacks Beach Photo Christopher Dunlea
After that session a minor south filled in gracing us with some solid sets. The period was crazy long making sets over fifteen minutes apart. Throw in a healthy crowd of no less then fifty strong everyday with few inbetweeners and you had some rather frustrating conditions, even more so since we were trying to film. Still I lucked into a few choice waves per session. I found a session over at one of the La Jolla reefs. It looked super fun when I checked it, but the tide filled in fast leaving me out the back with little more then mush burgers. Of course despite this fact I was scolded by some ass in the parking lot about how it was at a secret spot though it was in clear view from the road and had a public access trail to it. No one loves localism more then I do.
Blacks Beach, Photo: Christopher Dunlea
All of that being said I did have a good time surfing in San Diego and more then anything it was fun fucking around on the beach and between sets with both West and Bizarro. Finally on the party front this year I was bit let down, though rather then blame the San Diego downtown scene I will just pin it all on one club in particular, Flux. Supposedly it was the hot spot in town to go and Bizarro had his heart set on it. We brought West with us and hoped for a fun night out. Bizarro and I were dressed to the nines as usual, I even wore my new Armani suit for the occasion.
I know its a big city and we are nobodies. We were not looking for a red carpet treatment just a fair shake all things considered. We got on line and the “promoter” and I use this term loosely informs of a great deal he was obliged to let us into. Apparently he was letting us have three VIP entry passes for the price of two, a gentleman’s bargain. Bull shit! When we got to the door the cover charge girl informed us that our passes were only good until 11 and it was like 11:15. Now I don’t know what kind of shady promoter this place hired, but I don’t think it is good for business if one of your employees dupes the customers especially for personal gain.
So we finally get in this place already feeling a bit over it and its packed, but not in a good way, in a too crowded to even move around. Also it was dark, nearly too dark to see. The place was one big circle and 90% dance floor, well let me correct myself, 20 percent of that floor was taken up by a giant circular couch smack in the middle which I nearly fell over several times. The VIP sections were scattered around the out skirts of this gigantic dance floor, which by the way was more like a standing floor, as a matter of fact the only people I really saw dancing was the fat cellulose ridden go go girls. Despite the darkness of the club it failed to conceal the utter disgrace of not so good looking go go’s.
As I was saying before getting distracted by another rant, the VIP section was practically on the dance floor and many dancers, myself included accidentally spilled into the parties. If I spent a grand for bottle service I would be rather upset with randoms at my booth. I will give credit where credit is due. The bar did pour some rather strong drinks and the clientele was well dressed. Besides that I would say that if you are ever in San Diego don’t waste your time and money at Flux I am sure there are plenty of other establishments that actually care about their customers. This is coming from a professional partier.
As much fun as San Diego was I think I can speak for both Bizarro and I about how happy we were to get back to good old Santa Barbara. As great as nostalgia is you just can’t relive the past. Maybe that is why one mus just keep moving forward in life.