Name: Cliff Crenshaw
Surfing: Ocean Beach pier
The winter surf season is here. More boots and hoods appear on the beach and bob in the rolling waters. Only dedicated beginners and lifelong enthusiasts paddle out. Cliff Crenshaw drives the 20 minutes from Santee to the coast often. He's a Teamster between jobs, so he's dedicated nearly every morning to surfing. He surfs alone usually, but sometimes his son or brother joins him.
On this day, Cliff brought his bright red 9'6" Velzy. He's surfing Ocean Beach pier because, he says, "I like the Obecians. Most days I just surf and go home, but sometimes I'll stop in for a cocktail afterward."
His favorite spots in San Diego are "Black's, Sunset Cliffs when it's big, and South Mission jetty." He's surfed up and down the coast from above L.A. to the south of Baja. He's vacationed in Hawaii, Florida, and Australia. "I went in summer, so Australia was a bit small when I was there," he says. Costa Rica is next.
Of the divided surf culture in San Diego -- the "locals" vs. "the tourists" -- Cliff says, "Oh, sure. There's all kinds. People can be jerks about their surf spot, but they leave me alone. I've been surfing here almost 35 years; nobody bothers me." Cliff's family moved here from Florida in 1973.
Cliff says the worst part of his surfing career has been the awful wipeouts; the best thing is that he has saved three people from drowning.
"When you see somebody drowning, you just have to ditch your board and drag them in."