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Our Only Summer Swell (3 of 5)

Each day this week I will be posting images from the only summer swell that hit Northern California. This is the third post out of 5 scheduled.

This entire group of images is from Steamer’s Lane in Santa Cruz, CA. This wave is a legendary point break gem that rises with a decent southern swell and holds when northern exposed spots close out. No matter how cold the water temperature is at Steamer’s, there is always some hothead out there who needs to be cooled off.  This day was no different. I saw a knucklehead in the lineup try to punch another surfer. The ocean responded and sent the knucklehead into a well deserved wipe out a few waves later. Bruce Brown would have made a nice voice over on that one.

Surfers avoid the long paddle out from the beach by jumping off a nearby cliff and paddling out to the lineup. The veterans take the easy access route by walking on the cliff that runs past the break. They slip past the barking seals, and then make the short free fall into the ocean. The younger groms must not like the longer walk. This cuts into their surf time. They practice their rock climbing skills with crab-like maneuvers, and use their grommet toes to scale the wall closest to the break.

click to enlarge

Summer Swell, Steamer's Lane, CA. © Jay Watson PhotographySummer Swell, Steamer’s Lane, CA. © Jay Watson Photography.

TITLE HERESummer Swell, Steamer’s Lane, CA. © Jay Watson Photography.

TITLE HERESummer Swell, Steamer’s Lane, CA. © Jay Watson Photography.

TITLE HERESummer Swell, Steamer’s Lane, CA. © Jay Watson Photography.

TITLE HERESummer Swell, Steamer’s Lane, CA. © Jay Watson Photography.

TITLE HERESummer Swell, Steamer’s Lane, CA. © Jay Watson Photography.

4 Responses to Our Only Summer Swell (3 of 5)

  1. “Grommet toes”. I love it, Jay. Great selections. They really make an impact on me, and I’m not just saying that b/c you’re the coolest dude in my life.

  2. Excellent series Jay. I lived in Santa Cruz for 7 years and every time I went to the beach there, it was like the first time. These really capture the scene in Santa Cruz. Can’t wait to see the rest.

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