Three Days Spent Chasing Northern California’s Elusive Emerald Dragon
Max Beach, Nat Young, and half of San Clemente lay siege to Ocean Beach.
“It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s why most people do their 5-10 years and they bounce,” said third generation San Francisco local Matty Lopez, regarding the surf community in his native city.
The beating heart of said treachery lies just offshore — a 3.5 mile gradient of shifting sand, apexing swell, murky green water, and sharks. Ocean Beach is a mythical, neer-be-flat chunk of coast which, on a handful of days each year, serves up a big board buffet of stand-up tubes.
As one of the few beachies in the world where good surfers ride 7 foot + pintails, positioning is everything, and slowing down is often impossible. Outer bar tubes can be infuriatingly elusive, and many sessions end with no more than some pocket rides, a stretched leash, and an inflamed sense of ‘humility.’
Above, Max Beach and a handful of pros make The Beach look far more approachable than any layman could attest to, scoring three days straight at the cold, vision-heavy minefield.
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