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CALIFORNIA SPORTS PARADISE
Your portal to outdoor sports in California
CALIFORNIA'S ON-LINE MAGAZINE FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS

DAY HIKING
Northern Coast
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Northern Sierras
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MOUNTAIN BIKING
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PADDLE SPORTS
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SURFING
Northern Coast
Central Coast
Southern Coast
SURFING NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Visit THE BODYBAG
OCEAN SAFETY

Level: N=Novice, I=Intermediate, A=Advanced

Northern Coast's Best Surfing

The Northern California Coast is definitely one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of all California. The stretch of coast between Brookings, Oregon and Point Reyes, California just north of San Francisco, is described as The Northern Coast. This is a ruggedly beautiful land with rich potential for uncrowded surf and is considered by many as the last bastion for true secret spots left in California. A vast area of coastline frequently referred to as the Lost Coast is made up from the Kings Range coastal mountains. Access to many points, reefs and beaches is limited purely by natural barriers of cliffs, ravines and heavily wooded areas. Boating, hiking and/or backpacking, and in a few areas, off road vehicles are your only means of access. Some areas are private property, but most owners will let you pass if you first request permission.

In this Lost Coast area there are several reef and beach breaks with high-quality surf ranging from 3ft to 15+ ft. Most have no names and most take considerable effort to reach. Although we have to be honest and tell you from first hand experience, the quality of these waves are equally as awesome as those found anywhere in Central and Southern California.

The water temperature ranges from 42 deg. to 55 deg. F. Winter surf can be extremely powerful and many areas offer little choice of safe entries and exits at the water's edge. Use extreme caution when surfing the North Coast anytime of the year. There is little in the way of ocean rescue or lifeguards and generally it will take a good amount of time for any kind of response.

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NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SURF SPOTS

BROOKING, OREGON

Brookings

Level N,I,A Located just on the Oregon/California boarder along Hwy.1 A sleepy seaside community 20 miles north of Cresent City. Brookings offers long peeling lines off a central peak that breaks close to 1/8 mile offshore. The takeoffs are soft and easy but the wave picks up speed and juice as it moves across the inside reef. This wave can get hollow with all conditions working. Works best at a medium to low tide and can hold a swell up to 10ft.

A good beginners spot when the waves are small.

Watch out for strong currents as the swell increases in size.

CRESCENT CITY AREA

Beachcombers

Level I,A

Located off Hwy. 1 at Cresent City, a mile of shifting sand bars produces beach breaks year round. The main peak forms in front of the Beachcomber Restaurant. Waves hold shape up to 6ft. Summer south swells and small winter north swells can offer quality waves at this spot.

SHELTER COVE

First and Second reef

Level I,A

An offshore reef that breaks both left and right. Breaks with best shape on any swell from 2ft-8ft. Located just south of the boat ramp and camping area at Shelter Cove. Second reef is an extension of First reef and really shows its quality of tubes on a strong, summer south swell.

POINT ARENA

The Point

Level I,A

Located on the north side of the Point Arena cove. This wave is a concentrated peak with steep takeoffs and a thick right shoulder. Works best on winter north swells from 2ft-10ft and medium to low tides. Exposed rocks on the inside will chew up your surfboard. Wear a leash!

The Channel

Level I,A

Located on the south side of Point Arena cove and south of the pier. A left peak that can take a 2ft-10ft winter swell. Starts working best on a medium tide. Strong south swells 4ft-10ft really turns this reef on! Packs a lot of juice with occasional very hollow rides. Some locals say its the best summer reef break in this area.

Point Arena cove offers easy, safe ocean entries and exits and is close to town.

BODEGA BAY TO SAN FRANCISCO AREA

Level N,I,A

Dorn, Dillion, Salmon Creek, Tomales, Bolinas and Stinson Beaches

These are all sand bottom beaches. At any given time of the year, these beaches can produce quality beach breaks. It is all dependent on how and when the sandbars form to create a quality peak. Tides are always a factor and a good sandbar can easily be at low, medium or high tides. As always, use caution and common sense when venturing into these waters. Especially as the swell size increases.

A WORD OF CAUTION...

Some of the heaviest vibes come from the ocean locals not the land locals! And these locals usually win the fights. The three corners of the feared RED TRIANGLE are Bodega Bay, The Farralon Islands, and Monterey Bay. This is Great White territory! Many of the beaches are exposed to the open ocean and Bolinas Cove is a reported Great White nursery. Although Great White Shark attacks are rare and more people die from lightning strikes each year, lightning has a much larger pool of potential victims. Play it smart. Play it smart. Play it smart. You can call a near-by State Park Ranger office and ask about shark sightings in the area you wish to surf.

 



CALIFORNIA SPORTS PARADISE
Your portal to outdoor sports in California
CALIFORNIA'S ON-LINE MAGAZINE FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS


 
 
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