The swell the last few days in Santa Barbara has been great. The El Nino has been in full effect still, and has been keeping the swell up. Most surfers would agree that this is the best winter for waves in years. It has also been very crowded in Santa Barbara, with everyone from California trying to get the best waves possible. Of course there is always tension when there is 75 people in the water, all trying to get the same wave. Many people will leave the water more frustrated then when they first came, due to crowd issues, and there being way more people than waves. Some people do not think it is worth it, others do. I am lucky enough to call Santa Barbara and its waves, home.
Many different spots in Santa Barbara, attract different crowds. The most known spot in Santa Barbara, is sandbar (known more commonly as Sandspit). People know this wave worldwide, due to its notorious backwash from the rocks and the it can be near perfection at times. Sandbar would not exist if it weren’t for the break wall which was man made. Thank you to whoever was involved in building that wall. Of course there a lot of other popular surf breaks in the Santa Barbara area that many know of. Rincon is a right point break that is mostly cobblestones. There can be hundreds of surfers spread out along the point at Rincon at times when there is good swell. You will see a lot of long boarders in the cove when the swell is small, and then when it’s bigger, everyone is in the cove. Things definitely can get out of hand when there are 5 people on the same wave, very close to each other dodging people in the lineup. This can be a common sight at Rincon.
Of course there are always less crowded alternatives, but the majority of the time the quality of the waves at those breaks can not compare to the more crowded ones. Everywhere can have its right days though when the swell, wind, and tide cooperates.
A photo of me surfing at sandbar.
Just a few basic essentials for the day. 5’6 new flyer from Channel Islands surfboards, flashbomb wetsuit from rip curl, and a pair of vans. All these are things I use at some point during the day, and are definitely essential to have for what I do.
This week I went down to Ventura to go hopefully get some waves. The wind was strongly onshore, and the swell was mediocre, so things were not looking to great. I drove past rincon, it was flat and very windy, so I continued south. After a few more miles of driving and seeing a lot of windy ocean, nothing was looking great, to say the least.
We arrived at C-street, in Ventura, and despite the 20 mile per hour gusts of wind, there were some small waves that I paddled out in. I got this shot though before the session. The truck on the right is mine, and the windy ocean is on the left.
Last year over spring break, I had the chance two spend two weeks over in the Fijian islands. After the 8 hour plane flight, we searched the whole airport for our surfboards, but they didn’t show up. At first we thought it was going to really effect our trip, but they shortly arrived the next day. We were staying on Tavarua, a little island you can walk around on 15 minutes, infamous for the good waves and warm weather. This photo was taken at cloudbreak, a short 5 minute boat ride away from the island. Most surf breaks around this area in Fiji require a boat ride. For example, cloudbreak is basically in the middle of the ocean. The coral reef comes up shallow from deeper water, and creates a hard breaking peeling wave across the reef. The reef is very alive and sharp, so getting caught on the reef is not a fun time.
This photo was taken of Santa Cruz Island, midway crossing to Santa Rosa Island a few weeks back. We were aboard the fishing vessel the Plumeria, which is over 35 feet long, but the speed tops out at about 6 knots which makes a slow, long four hour trip one way to Santa Rosa. There was 6 of us on the boat, but with a large space to move around on it was quite comfortable. With my dad being a commercial fisherman, I have been able to come out to these islands since I was a little child, and I have some great memories on this string of islands close to home.
Sometimes getting up at 6 in the morning to go surfing while the weather is under 50 degrees is worth it, other times it is not. I am Jace Kennedy, a 16 year old sophmore in the MAD academy at Santa Barbara High School, trying to enjoy the finer things in life. Such as burritos, surfing, the beach, and exploring with friends. My brother, Colin, and my Dad were the first ones to introduce me to the ocean, surfing, and the outdoors. My dad is the one that took the picture attached below.
I knew from a young age that living in Santa Barbara was a blessing, and seeing all different parts of this town is something everyone should be able to see. From the views up in the mountains, to the ocean and the beach, and everything in between, Santa Barbara has something to do for everyone.