SUP Surfing at San Onofre, Southern California’s iconic surf beach
San Onofre. The very name instantly conjures up a specific image in the minds of surfers. It is a destination for many and the home break for those fortunate to live in and around the quintessential Southern California surfing towns of Dana Point and San Clemente. The narrow strip of land which makes up the California State Beach is nestled at the base of deteriorating dirt cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. Its footprint is gradually disappearing due to erosion from the waves. The process was hastened by winter storm damage last winter when a section of the dirt parking lot was swept away at the southern end of San Onofre in the section known as Dog Patch.
It is there at Dog Patch where paddle surfers, not just SUPers, can be found. As visitors and locals already know, the iconic surf beach segregates all paddle surfers into a separate area away from other surfers. On any given day SUP surfers can be seen chasing waves off the southern end of San Onofre. Practicing their sport and honing their skills away from the congested lineup of prone surfers on the breaks further north.
The waves are San Onofre are relatively slow and not as forceful when compared to some breaks, say Salt Creek in Dana Point or Oceanside. Long boarders have long favored San Onofre for this reason and the waves there are seemingly custom-made for standup paddling. Combining the best of both worlds, performance long board style and the thrill of SUP surfing, San Onofre may be considered one of the godfathers of the Infinity New Deal given the location’s unmistakable inspiration on the conscience of it shaper.
For this reason, a part of me feels that I am bringing the New Deal home whenever I visit San Onofre. The thrill of surfing there is comparable to playing hockey on home ice, even though the break is over 70 miles away from my house in LA. Hardly my local by any stretch, but familiar enough to call home.