This week I decided to interview a few people to see what they like about our city, Santa Barbara. Jack green is a friend who enjoys Santa Barbara and what it has to offer. I asked him a few questions, and this is what he had to say.
“What are your favorite things about Santa Barbara?” ” There is a lot of activities to do, and you’re in between the mountains and the beach so it’s up to you to choose where you want to go.”
“Where are some of your favorite locations to go to?” “Exploring up gibraltar and our local backcountry, Rincon, and different ranches in Santa Ynez.”
How does Santa Barbara compare to other cities? “Santa Barbara is a very unique place. There’s so many activities to do in such a small area, with the mountains, beach and everything in between. I grew up here so all my friends are here also.”
Would you rather live in a small house in Santa Barbara or a large house in a bad location? “Tiny house in Santa Barbara. A shack in Santa Barbara even.”
It’s always interesting to see how others like to spend time in their city, and where are the good places to go especially if you’ve never been to a location before. As you can see from what Jack said, there is a lot of different environments you can place yourself in Santa Barbara. Whether it is the back country of Santa Ynez on a ranch, surfing at rincon, or exploring the many options in the mountains on the backside of Santa Barbara. That is why I think there is such a wide variety of people in Santa Barbara. You can do so many activities and you do not have to drive far for them either, they are right in your own town. This is also probably one of the big reasons the surf community in Santa Barbara is large. There are easy places to learn how, and then there are also some of the world’s best waves also when the conditions are right. And the weather never gets unbearable, so it is a nice happy medium.
This is my friend Jack, who I did the interview with. Hiking, on Rattlesnake Canyon trail.
As many Santa Barbara residents know, this winter we have had El Nino come into full effect. Everything from rainy and cold weather, to large consistent runs of swell. Surfers are claiming it’s the best winter for swell in many years. This has been caused by the El nino. It causes more waves, “extreme” weather as far as California is concerned, which is good for the drought. It really is nice compared to last year when there wasn’t consistent waves, and driving to Ventura which is normally at least a 30 minute drive from Santa Barbara, just to get something that was possible to surf, was a regular thing. Not to mention all the breaks around Santa Barbara are much better the majority of the time, known mostly for the cobblestone pointbreaks.
The constant waves, have also opened up surf spots that are typically small, and not places you would think to go. Many times this winter, Sandbar (more known as sandspit) has been blown up on social media for hundreds of thousands to see. It has made it quite a bit more crowded with people that do not live here, but have seen the photos and videos on their phones and computers, and they all of a sudden want to come here. It is a hassle to say the least, but as long as the swell keeps coming, it will all be good. Most of the out of towners only come when there is a very known swell that everyone knows about. There is still some days you can get with not many people out at a spot that is normally very crowded. That is a lot of what surfing is about, being with your friends and having a good time. I’m not saying if it is crowded then surfing won’t be fun, because I surf with a large crowd a lot due to living in California. If your in a big crowd, you can either have a great session and the crowd doesn’t even bother, or it can go very bad. Surfing good waves with just your friends though is something special, and it should be recognized for that.
In just a few weeks now I will be leaving to go on a surf trip to Panama. My dad, brother and I do an annual surf trip somewhere in the tropics. Last year we went to Fiji, the year before that we went to Samoa, and so on and so on. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to central America, and I’ve never been to Panama so i’m excited to see what will come out of this adventure. In past years in central America I have gone to El Salvador two times, and Nicaragua once. All of these excursions have been great and it’s always crazy to see what these countries look like, from the moment you land in the airport, to the place where you stay.
The ocean is also very warm in Panama about 80 degrees, compared to the 58 degree ocean here in Santa Barbara and along the coast of California. Not to mention the surf is typically amazing. We’re staying at a place called Red Frog Bungalows, and I know a lot of surfers that have stayed there. I will be there for 10 days, so I’m missing a few days of school before the break technically starts. Everyone has had a positive outlook on this place, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s always an interesting feeling leaving the country and stepping out into a completely different environment after just a few hours on a plane. It’s always cool when you can make friends with the local people as well. In my past trips to central America, a lot of the locals surf, so I’ve been able to connect with them over surfing. When there is perfect waves and warm weather all the time, surfing must come easy. One of the hardest parts though is seeing the resources a lot of these places in Central America have. While I visited El Salvador, poverty was very visible and there was trash everywhere which was a sad site. Nicaragua was a similar situation. In the inner cities near the airport, trash flows through the side of the road, it’s everywhere. We will see what Panama has in store, I have only heard good things.