24 Aug 2011

California Dream 2011 - Lightning Bolt Surftrip

"You always stick with the plan, when the plan changes... you stick with the plan." - Jonathan Paskowitz.

In the March of 2011 the Lightning Bolt Team made their first voyage through the United States. Traveling the coast of California, it was an opportunity to surf and experience all the fine breaks that she had to offer. Unbelievable sandbars had formed offering waves that are seldom seen due to some major storms came down the coastline.
Especially in Santa Cruz where the devastating energy of the Tsunami in Japan had reached their shoreline with damaging effects.
We found ourselves loaded full with all different types of boards from bonzers, twin fins, thrusters, single fins, quads, logs, longboards, alaias and even knee boards from the 80's. The vast variety of waves offered something that most of the surf trips had not, an opportunity to try a diverse quiver of equipment old and new.
Gege Brasset, Jord Fortmann, Alexandre Ferreira and Nuande Pekel joined Jonathan Paskowitz and B.G. Porter to set out in two recently purchased used RV's. These two RV's was where the team would eat, sleep and live for the next twelve days on the coast.

With strong storms still pounding the Northern Cali, we took the opportunity to head south and begin in San Clemente. The two RV's had proven that they were roadworthy thus far.
Unfortunately when we made our first stop in San Clemente State Park to set up camp, the '79 Sportscoach didn't want to start. This would be a problem that we learned to deal with day in and out.
We loaded the team up and dropped them at the trailhead for Lower Trestles. Conditions were uncrowded, the waves were clean & small. We ended getting an afternoon and next morning session in at Lowers before we headed to meet with Doc Paskowitz.

The team gathered outside the RV's as we pulled in to meet with Jonathan's father.
"One thing I want to make very clear. Surfing is something very special. I know now that each of you has your own idea of surfing and each of you is correct. But as you grow older you will find that there truly magical, something mysterious and magical in surfing. Because the sun is where comes the energy to make the wind and the wind makes the waves and all you do is to ride those waves. You're riding the sun, you’re a child of the stars..." - Doc Paskowitz

Doc was great and kind as always. He took the time to give each of the team a copy of his book Surfing & Health, signing each as he talked with the team.
It was good to begin the trip back, passing through Los Angeles were we had begun. We found ourselves meeting the storms that were moving from the north down the coastline. We managed to get a quick session at First Point Malibu before the rain set in. For the remainder of the evening it just came down and down.
"You don't leave good surf to look for surf" - Matt Wessen

Although we had discussed the idea of moving north quickly, as we passed First Point, the sun was shining and the waves were pealing. We pulled back around and unloaded for a session of fun clean waves.
Our routine was starting to sync with loading, packing, changing and rolling out. Soon we were headed to Ventura looking for swell. In the morning we woke before the sun would rise and begin trying to find what Xanhino was desperately waiting for, "Big, left barrels."

At Oxnard Shores amongst the muddy waters we found just this.

Jonathan had stayed back for this one... Still facing the problems of the starter, a few new ones had surfaced. The tire was leaking air and soon after fixing the problem the storage box on the bigger RV had flown open and snapped off heading down the 101 Freeway.
Jonathan had got her all back and ready to roll so we packed up once again to hit the open road and the weather up ahead. We drove through constant rain all the way to Morro Bay. Once again we unloaded and got out into the cold, rainy water to surf the stormy waves Morro had to offer. As we readied ourselves to head to our campgrounds, the '79 Sportscoach had her last run until we could fashion a mechanic. The next day we waited as a new starter was put into the RV. Northbound once again, on to Santa Cruz.
Pulling into Santa Cruz we found nice hot weather and small waves at Pleasure Point. The team took to the water with a diversity of boards, switching off from time to time to try something new. It was a fun experience surfing together and feeling nothing but stoked, laughing, surfing just enjoying the day.

The next day we met up with C.J. Nelson, Josh "Rasta" Rothman and Darshan Gooch who were kind enough to give us the full lowdown. They took the team to their favorite local spots, giving the team Santa Cruz's finest breaks. C.J. let the team try his new quiver from The Meadow. The guys were more than happy to partake in the kind gesture.
After a few more repairs to the '79 Sportscoach we headed for San Francisco, the most northern point of the Cali trip. Although we didn't find waves, driving across the Golden Gate Bridge highlighted another special moment throughout the tour.
Back down to Santa Cruz we caught another epic day. Pushing south our time was coming to an end with our last session ending at the Queen of the Coast, Rincon. At this moment we realized the adventure was coming to a close.
It was a trip like no other. Full of great waves, great memories, Jonathan's sweet serenades and plenty of laughter. The only question left on our minds.... Where to next time?

By B. G. Porter

Click here for more photos: Lightning Bolt Facebook
Click here to see the full Issue: Bolt Mag #007

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