Santa Barbara Surfari 2011
by Lisa Ryner
Photos by Roy Earnst
This year’s MLK surf safari to Santa Barbara boasted incredible weather, fun surf and as always the camaraderie of fellow PPSC’ers away from the home break enjoying the ease of campground life among friends. As has been for more than 25 years the trip was organized and led by Roy “Radar” Earnst and this year was attended by Mike Ryan (aka “Mr. Happy” — about to retire), Tom Ferro (“The Wok Master”), Dave Duncan “Donuts” and his wife Diane and son Brendan, Gary Leong along with 3 of his SUP boards, Alp and his wife Elizabeth, daughter Sabrina and dogs Cassidy and Sundance, Tim “Energizer Bunny” Cissna and son Eric, “Wild Man” Izzy Szczepaniak, Paul “Celticman” Gallagher, myself, Jay “El Presidente” Janssen, and Rich Rankin from Lake Arrowhead who after having a single conversation over the phone with Roy about “Surfing for Life” took a chance and joined us for the weekend.
We camped at Carpenteria State Park where the campsites were lovely (grassy with shade trees) and were right near the beach, right near the railroad tracks and right near town which was an easy bike ride or walk that put you in range of all kinds of amenities — stores, restaurants and even live music at a local brew pub which Mike and Roy took advantage of one night. The only issue with the campground was that the parking spots were a little challenging to fit more than one vehicle – the ranger had us moving our vans a couple of inches this way or that on several occasions so that we didn’t breach the asphalt parking pads by more than an inch or two – kind of comical how many times they had us adjusting our parking.
The surf was on the small side this trip, but bumped up a bit on the weekend. Breaks surfed included Rincon, Hobson’s and C Street. Several other local breaks were checked, but deemed too small. C Street was fun on Saturday; shoulder high on the bigger sets, but picked up wind-chop by mid-morning — by afternoon the kite surfers showed up! Not a problem because Izzy, Alp, Paul and I were enjoying food and drinks at Anacapa Bewery in Ventura by that time. Turns out the wind was not a problem for breaks from Rincon south to about Pitas Point – these stayed clean most of the day. In fact Tim and Eric were enjoying a session at Hobson’s that afternoon after their drive from Pacifica. Others from our group had a lot of fun surfing Rincon.
Sunday was another gorgeous day with the group split-up heading to various breaks after taking a group photo in front of Roy’s van. Rich headed to C Street with the hopes he would get there early before the winds were on it. Paul and I thought we were heading there, but while checking breaks along the way found Hobson’s looking super fun and glassy and not very crowded. We didn’t want to wait in the auto line to get into the limited parking at Hobson’s County Park and instead parked down the road and hiked in or in my case paddled over. We heard from Izzy and Alp that they weren’t going to surf Rincon after all and were heading our way, too. As I paddled up to the break I noticed that the surfers looked familiar – duh! – Eric surfing the inside and Tim and Tom sitting on the outside. What a treat to be greeted by friends your first time at a surf break. Just as I made it to the outside a set rolls in and Tim goes “take it Lisa”. What a sweet wave! By the time Paul, Izzy and Alp get there most of the line-up was PPSC’ers. We had such a blast — lots of waves all around. Back at the cars after our session Alp says “that was an A+ session” – we all agreed!
That was it for Paul and me – we headed north for home as did Izzy after bringing Alp back to the campground. The fun continued for the rest of the gang who stayed another day before heading home on Monday. Another memorable MLK Santa Barbara surfari came to pass.
Happy surfers at Rincon in t-shirts, flip-flops and shorts in mid-January while the rest of the country is under snow and ice. (Note: Izzy is not an indicator as he always dresses like this no matter the weather.)