Rincon, The Queen Of California's Coast, Is Currently In Shambles - Stab Mag

Rincon, The Queen Of California’s Coast, Is Currently In Shambles

How good do the waves have to be for you to risk hepatitis?

news // Jan 11, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hepatitis comes in many flavors. A, B, C, D, E, F, and the strain formerly known as G. All of them are likely swirling in the waters off the Santa Barbara coast as I write this. In other words…water yucky.

Yesterday, a second bout of severe storms blasted into coastal California. Santa Barbara and SLO county took some of the heaviest damage — including multiple road closure and flash flood related drownings.

As it turns out, atmospheric rivers tend to cause widespread chaos. Who would have guessed?

All videos by Chris Keet

According to Rincon Classic organizer and longtime 805 local Chris Keet, there were “Sticks and logs at Rincon as far as the eye could see. There were scarcely any rocks visible anywhere. Sports balls, buckets, lobster traps, tons of plastic kids toys, gas cans, bottles and probably everything else known to mankind was strewn amongst the endless fortress of debris,” he continues. “Its not even Rincon anymore, we’re gonna need some high tides and some swell before it sorts itself out. We’ve been here before but I’ve never seen it this bad”

So what’s the plan with the fabled Rincon Classic?

“I’m gonna contact Heal The Ocean, and we’re going to go down and try to get the beach cleaned up. We usually do that at the Rincon Classic, but we’re gonna do it in advance too,” says Chris. “The waiting period kicks off on the 21st, so we’ve got some time until then. We’ll run when everything is the way it should be down there. Last year there was a tsunami when we ran it (laughs).”

Following these treacherous storm fronts is another few pulses of very long period swell, the ilk of which Santa Barbara’s coastline particularly enjoys. The winds will be swirling, and as of now the freeways are closed in both directions — but if you’re a local with self-confidence in your immune system, there’ll be waves to be had.

Though the peelers in the above clip are none too appealing given the chocolate water and debris, if the waves turn on this week in SB, the locals are sure to have a bacterial quandary on their hands.

Just how good would the waves have to be for you to paddle into water like that?

For me? A 4-foot, uncrowded, sand-bottom, left tube would do, which is exactly why you will not be seeing me in Santa Barbara this week.


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