While we're anxiously waiting for this year's Mavericks to happen (the big-wave, one-day surfing competition will occur sometime between today and March 1), we talked to 28-year-old Bianca Valenti, San Francisco-based professional surfer and first female Big Wave World Tour champion, about beaches, women in the sport, and more.
It's no secret that surfing is ingrained in the history and culture of California. You can't escape it, even if you aren't a surfer yourself, whether it's the myriad of surf shops along the coast or bicyclists riding down the street with a surfboard strapped to the side of their bike. However, for those who aren't experienced surfers, taking the sport up can be overwhelming. However, a few hotels along the California coastline are making it easier for those who want to test the surfing waters. Today we feature a few of California's best hotels that mix staying with surfing.
Surfers tend to have an inflated infatuation with their surfboards. Probably more than car people love their cars, or gadget people love their gadgets, the love story between surfer and surfboard is profound and deep. Just check out a new board and you’ll understand—the crisp lines, the perfect smoothness, the immaculate curves…surfboards are beautiful.
The noticeable presence of pro surfers in the city means that San Francisco surfers are doing their best to show off the city’s party side. Almost every night during the November 1-12 contest window of the Rip Curl Pro Search, there is something surf related happening somewhere in the city. While each party has its own unique flavor, one of the hottest events where you can mingle with the world’s best surfers is the Surfbreak Rentals Launch Party on November 5 at Public Works.
When not wet, there are ways for surfers to further their surf game aside from doing daily push-ups. By flipping through pages of inspirational photographs, reading about conquering fears, and learning about the culture of the sport, immersion leads to enlightenment. For non-surfers, absorbing oceanic imagery and scoping out hot bodies in boardshorts and bikinis can be a fun pastime, too. Arguably one of the most stylish sports, surfing is undeniably cool. But there's so much more beyond the water's surface. San Francisco-based Chronicle Books is a fan, pumping out odes by the month. Here's a rundown of the publisher's best wave porn...
So many of us venture over a bridge or down the windy Highway 1 for weekend escapes. But how about saving some gas and spending a few easy-going hours in San Francisco's coastal neighbor, Pacifica? Just 15 miles south of the city, and founded at the same time as San Francisco, in 1769, by Spanish explorers, Pacifica is a sleepy coastal town with bohemian charm and many hidden gems. Sleepy yes, boring no. Even though Pacifica means “peaceful” in Spanish, it's fast growing as a surf town and affordable staycation destination.
Damp days like today naturally lead one's thoughts to lusher, more tropical climes—a leisurely jaunt to the islands, let's say, or across the equator. But instead of following the herds to the usual, overtrafficked stalwarts (we're lookin' at you, Costa Rica), we invite you to consider the sun-dappled secrets of El Salvador.
The more populous areas feature numerous festivals celebrating El Salvador's art, music and culinary delights. But more adventurous, sporty travelers will be drawn to the country's awesome vistas from atop highly-accessible volcanic mountain ranges, and the legendary Punta Roca surf break offers the best boarding in Central America.
Want to check out some giant waves? Tomorrow is your day. A quite large WNW (West-North-West) swell is on tap and with beautiful, calm winds. Waves are forecasted to be 20 feet plus, with sets up to 3-4 times overhead. It truly might be a Big Wednesday (Classic Surf Flick, a clip below). Be safe out there and get some!