Contrary to popular belief, the gates to Hell are located in San Diego County. And sitting at the northwestern tip of the county, just beyond those menacing flaming gates, is Lower Trestles – a bastardized blue pit of despair. Because, for as much credit as Lowers gets for being the crown jewel of high-performance surfing in Southern California, to actually paddle out into the madness can feel like Dante traveling through all nine circles of Hell.
You know immediately upon arrival that a great evil lies beyond those elevated train tracks. The message “THE SURF IS GOOD, BUT THE CROWD ISN’T,” is scrawled on one of the paths towards the beach, essentially serving as surfing’s version of “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Trestles, for its many flaws, is upfront about how terrible it is from the very start, and I appreciate it when evil places are honest with me.