Big Sur: The vibe connects the tribe

Words: James Shaw

The rugged coastline of Big Sur is a haven for surfers to escape the surrounding Californian cities, meet familiar faces and those less so, but all connected by the love of the water and the gentle power of surfing.

The compact coastline between San Simeon and Carmel rises sharply out of the Pacific Ocean in an awe inspiring display of rugged beauty, jaw dropping coastlines and enough wilderness to get truly lost in. Highway 1 gives tourists access to classic sites, standing in queues watching where the ocean and the shore meet.

Getting off the tourist path leads you to sandy beaches charged with the energy of the waves coming in. Surfing is the name of the game on this coastline, with surfing knowledge, what can seem harsh and uninviting on the surface, can deliver pearls hidden between the cracks.

Popular with surfers and tourists is the white sand crescent of Sand Dollar beach. On those quiet days with little swell, gentle waves are perfect for novices and long boarders. And when the swell comes, the break becomes a playground for short boarders. Regardless of the skill level, all are surfing, in groups awaiting the next adventure, celebrating each other for being there and doing what they love. As one surfer told us "we weren't created to sit behind a desk". we hear you.