Just north of Trestles is the ever-growing surf mecca, San Clemente. Ah, the epicenter of surf stardom. San Clemente hosts miles of fun punchy beach break that spreads the crowds out and the smiles wide. Up and down the beach, you will see silhouettes of groms boosting air at Riviera, longboarders and spongers fighting for the peak at T-Street and shortboarders making heads or tails of the walls at the San Clemente Pier. You know a local when you see a perma-tanned bleach blonde grom brined in salt from head to toe with a 60-year-old sea dog’s vocabulary. This beach town is home to not only a long dynasty of rippers and chargers, like the Gudauskas brothers, the Long brothers, the Andino clan, Chris Ward, Mike Parsons, Nate Yeomans and…(well, you get the idea), but it is also home to the infamous “Surf Ghetto” off Los Molinos at the north end of town. Any shape you want, they’ve got it! Some of the world’s most popular surfboard shapers are concentrated along this street in between auto body repair shops and dive bars. What the world demands, they supply.
What the locals say:
“I like surfing San Clemente because of the wave diversity. you can come to Trestles and surf something more forgiving or you can head right up the beach and surf State Park where the wave’s faster and peaky.”
–Danny Duran, San Clemente local
Peaks: San Clemente State Park, Riviera, Lost Winds, The Hole, T-Street, The Pier, Clock towers, Linda Lane, 204’s
Highlights: surf town heaven, evening glass-offs, small town vibe, surf camps, pulling acrobatics on waves, wave consistency, there are more burrito joints per capita, rippers, shredders, shapers galore!