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The Inertia

In California’s collection of classic waves, Black’s sits firmly near the top of many lists. The cliffs above make for one of the most scenic spots on the West Coast both in and out of the water. The trail to get down from or back up that cliff makes for an experience in itself. You have the world-famous Torrey Pines within arm’s reach. A nude beach. And oh yeah, the wave doesn’t suck.

Black’s has a ton of character for many reasons, but the wave itself is why we’re really so enamored with it. From a photographer’s perspective, all these pieces contribute to the bigger picture, where even a seemingly casual day in the water has moments filled with a charm unique to this not-always-so-little San Diego gem.

“You could easily relate hunting for a hole-in-one to finding that perfect tube,” photographer JP Van Swae says of his last day in the water here. “Talking to some of the local surfers, they obviously asked myself and a fellow photographer I took for a swim to see our photos, stating that it’s one thing to get a shot surfing but another to have a shot of you at Black’s.”

“I love the contrast of the cliffs, the backlit barrel, and sometimes the surfer may become too dark or silhouetted, but it adds to the mystique and the vibe.”

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Of course, once you have the shot (or the waves), there’s always that hike back up the cliff.

Editor’s Note: Give photographer JP Van Swae a follow on Instagram here

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