Stab Magazine | Progress: San Clemente To Open Its City Beaches

'Vacation Presented By Monster Energy' Drops 5pm on Thurs, March 30 (PT)


Progress: San Clemente To Open Its City Beaches

Lowers will remain closed. 

news // Apr 23, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The natives in San Clemente were getting restless after two weeks of having their local beaches closed. But after a long city council meeting on Tuesday night, it looks like they’ll be getting back in the water sooner rather than later.

In a unanimous vote, the council has opted to proceed with opening city beaches back up for exercise and surfing potentially by this weekend. Adopting a cautious approach, the beaches will now be open to “passive” use—meaning no posting up for the day and certainly no beach parties. As Matt Biolos succinctly puts it, “No loitering.”

On Tuesday morning, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to keep Orange County beaches open, which helped set the precedent and ease the pressure on the San Clemente City Council to move forward with their plans to open our local waters.

San Clemente city beach parking lots will remain closed to continue to limit access to the beaches, but with nice springtime weather in the forecast, the timing couldn’t be better.

Last night’s vote will NOT affect the closures at nearby Trestles and San Onofre, as they are part of the California State Park system, which has been ordered to close. The parks are also located in San Diego County where beach closures are still in place. 

A growing number of local surfers have been working closely together to make this happen. There were over 40 letters submitted by the public. Impassioned surfers from throughout our community all spoke up to voice their support for opening the beaches. A huge tip of the cap goes to Kevin Schulz, who’s dedicated himself to the effort, going so far as to call the San Clemente mayor and write a very articulate letter to the council, which was read on Tuesday night. He’s one of the only pro surfers in town to have taken a stance on the issue, and props to him for the leadership.

Let’s hope T-Street isn’t this crowded when restrictions ease. 

San Clemente closed its beaches about two weeks ago. The initial response from locals was mixed, from disbelief to the fuck-it-all approach of the guys that haphazardly tried to boat into Lowers. But since then, the surf community united and rallied to make this possible. 

What happens next is on the shoulders of the surfers in the surf community. While lifeguards and other officials will be enforcing social distancing restrictions, in all of the conversations I’ve had over the last couple of weeks with surfers, they’ve made it clear that surfers in the area need to be more proactive about using this resource in the most responsible way possible. 

That means spreading the crowds out, even if you have bark at others in the lineup that are impacting things. Set the standards a little lower. This is not the time to be selfish and try to catch the wave of your life. Instead, now that we know what it’s like not to have the beach, the aim will be to try to enjoy the ocean for what it offers—a place to exercise, break up the monotony of the current stay-at-home orders and get out in the sunshine. If you have to surf closeouts, or settle for bodysurfing or riding a longboard, it’s all good, anything to get in the water these days is a huge positive.

We’re a long way from getting back to normal, but thankfully here in San Clemente we can at least go to the beach again. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Rio Waida Has Been Surfing Onshore, Oversized Bells Alone

...and he might not go home all year.

Mar 29, 2023


John Florence Releases Long-Form Piece On The 243km Great Ocean Squiggle

Tourism Victoria going, ‘he just did our job for us’.

Mar 29, 2023


Japanese Rice Farmer Enjoys Frightening Sumatran West Bowls

Kaito Ohashi is on his best behavior.

Mar 28, 2023

Extended Cut: Luke + Eddie

"Now when you watch a regular surf meet its like grinding your teeth… when's the…

Mar 28, 2023


Diamond Tail = Diamond Hands?

We'll explain everything in the Rusty D-Min Joyride.

Mar 27, 2023

Behold Australia’s Nine & NZ’s Two Challenger Series Qualifiers*

May the Southern Cross smile upon you at Snapper.

Mar 27, 2023

An Unordinary Life Structured Around A Tidal Bore

Long Read: The life and times of Pete Beachy.

Mar 26, 2023


Watch: ‘Haiku’

Scenes From a Remote Reality, by Vans & Karina Rozunko

Mar 25, 2023

Sun Room: The Overnight Success Of A Young Surf Band

What's it like touring the world and living off of McDonald's?

Mar 25, 2023

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 6

An instructional manual for the modern professional surfer

Mar 23, 2023


Caity Simmers — Extreme Competitive Surf Vlogger

Cool is chemical.

Mar 23, 2023

Globe Pulls Out Of The Apparel Game

…and, Taj Burrow and Dion Agius are now looking for new main sponsors.

Mar 22, 2023

Owen Wright Announces Retirement From Competitive And Heavy-Water Surfing

But will surf final CT event at Bells.

Mar 22, 2023


Fancy An Ale, Some Good Music, And A Bunch Of Tubes?

Ballet's minimalist full-length will satiate your needs.

Mar 22, 2023

João Chianca Spent Seven Years On The QS Without A Sponsor

And look where he is now.

Mar 22, 2023

Take Stab’s 2023 Audience Survey, Win A 3-Board Quiver

Stab towels and Premium subscriptions also up or grabs.

Mar 21, 2023

Jessi Miley Dyer On The New Challenger Series Schedule And More

Did you know that you could miss the mid-year cut and still theoretically win the…

Mar 20, 2023


Don’t Miss The Last Wave Of The First 2023 SEOTY Entry

Jacob Willcox's ‘Into Dust’ just set the bar.

Mar 20, 2023