Breaking: “Secret” Waves Teahupo’o, Salina Cruz, Rincon, and Lower Trestles Are Now Crowded  - Stab Mag
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How did everyone find out about this place? Photo: WSL/Rowland

Breaking: “Secret” Waves Teahupo’o, Salina Cruz, Rincon, and Lower Trestles Are Now Crowded 

The New York times explains why

news // Jun 9, 2022
Words by Coral McDuffee
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a story called “The (No Longer) Secret World of Surf Spots,” the New York Times publicized the recent loss of top-secret surf locations like Teahupo’o, Salina Cruz, Rincon, and Lower Trestles. 

Shoot!  

The guilty party? 

A pandemic-aided social media frenzy.  

“The ongoing corona virus has added to the upheaval brought on by social media— the exploration and rites of passage it took to find these places, their secrecy or access held down across generations of surfers in some cases, can vanish with one overeager Instagram post,” the NY Times explains.  

They make an interesting point. 

Before the advent of IG, and especially pre-covid, unwitting surfers would peer over their shoulder while driving down Highway-1 South, see 500-meter rights spinning into The Cove, and think, “Man, I bet somewhere is really fun right now. Let’s go check Ventura Harbor.”

From the sky Rincon looks deceptively empty

A few geotags later, and Rincon goes from Chris Malloy, Tom Curren, and Dane Reynolds trading high-fives on empty overhead runners to a milieu of mid-lengths, and inflatable surf mats. 

Same goes for Lower Trestles — another wave directly visible from a major Californian highway — which lived in total seclusion until 2010, when an early Instagram user searching for phone service stumbled across the railroad track, through the reeds, and onto the cobblestone point, accidentally uploading a photo to their feed. 

The very next day, e-bikes were born. 

And despite Laird Hamilton’s ‘Millenium Wave’, which was broadcast across all media platforms, mainstream and endemic, in the early 2000s, it was actually an IG story on some new-to-surfing uni student’s page that turned the End of the Road into a Highway-5-like bottleneck at peak hour.  

The ‘Millennium Wave’ on the cover of Surfer Mag — its first of many.

“Publicizing certain surf spots, and especially ones off the beaten path, is similar to violating the first rule of Fight Club,” the NYT writes. “For years, surfers, surf magazines and surf photographers mostly lived by that unwritten law in order to keep surfing’s secret spots secret.” 

At least it’s clear that we, very core surfers, aren’t to blame. 

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