If you talk to local surfers, they’ll tell you that this year wasn’t the best for surf. It’s true that there have been some good days, just not a series of those amazing days that make surfers paddle out in droves and grin as they head home after a day in the waves. This week, however, there was a series of good (if not technically epic) days of surf, an occurrence bound to make locals happy.

Surfers lined up at Sands and Devereux to catch nice, clean waves described on a local surf website as three- to four-footers. One of the best things about it was that a larger set of waves would come through on a regular basis, so if surfers waited long enough, they were rewarded with a ride far down the beach.

Cat Neushul

Women Who Surf: While it is no longer astounding to see a female surfer, the fact that there are more and more of them is interesting. This week, there were both young and middle-aged women walking down the beach carrying their boards. The once male-dominated sport evidently is increasingly popular with high school girls as well as college women.

The weather also contributed to the celebratory atmosphere on the beach. Instead of having to endure the recent frigid temperatures, locals have been treated to spring-like weather for the last few days. It was warm enough to see bikini-clad sunbathers on the sand as families and students alike headed to the beach.

A Surfer’s Paradise: While locals know that Isla Vista is a great place to surf, it is no secret to the rest of the surfing world either. In 2011, Surfer Magazine dubbed UCSB the top surf college in the U.S. It beat out nine other contenders for first place, including UCSD, UC Santa Cruz, and Pepperdine. The fact that UCSB offers courses such as the Geography of Surfing, the History of Surfing, and Field Studies in Surfing (probably an incredibly popular class) can’t have hurt.

The rationale given for choosing UCSB was simple – when the surf is good, it is really good. Even though some of the swells that make it to other Northern and Southern California beaches are blocked by the Channel Islands, there is a trade-off. “One good session at the Queen of the Coast will certainly remind you why she’s worth the trouble,” the article stated. Another point in UCSB’s favor is its proximity to Sandspit and Ventura surf spots, like C-Street.

So, just for those who didn’t know it, I.V. is often a surfer’s paradise. While there are times of the year when surfers might look at the nonexistent waves at Devereux and Sands with disgust (sometimes the ocean looks like a beautiful, still lake), unforgettable days like these more than make up for it.


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