As January wrapped up, great swell hit all over California and a good road trip was definitely in order. I packed my van full of surfboards, my propane stove and catalytic heater, a cooler, some camera gear and little else, bound for Northern California.
For boards, I packed 5’8 and 6’0 Tim Stamps thrusters, a 7’6″ quad by Jeff McCallum, a 10′ Almond and an 11’2″ Ryan Burch.
I drove up to Central California and camped on a couple rivermouths and reef breaks to take advantage of the amazing conditions. The water and air were unseasonably warm. It was oil glass all day and there was a warm offshore wind at night. When the first swell hit up there, it looked like West Oz—big, crystal clear blue tubes breaking over a shallow reef. I got a bunch of good rides on my 6-foot Stamps step up that first day.
It started maxing out in the afternoon so I drove south to camp in my buddy Trevor Gordon’s driveway across the road from Rincon. We surfed there for a few days, then as the swell got larger we moved up the coast and surfed some of the more protected points.
The weather started cleaning up, so I drove up to San Francisco to get some big tubes. It was sloppy and huge the first three days—three to four times overhead and mixed up. I thought we were going to head home without getting any great waves but on the second-to-last day, we woke up to sloppy conditions and drove out of town only to return at noon to hard offshore winds and no one out. That was the best session. The next day they ran the Mavericks Invitational. I surfed under the Golden Gate Bridge, then headed to Santa Cruz, where I got some fun longboard point surf.