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“Cherish those moments because you never know when the waves are gonna be that good again.”

Started at South Garbage to localize myself

Baily Richardson (26) surfs South Garbage
Baily Richardson (26) surfs South Garbage

Are you a local?

No, I am originally from Bakersfield

What brought you out to San Diego?

Growing up my buddy had surf posters on his walls that I used to look at. I told myself, ‘When I am old enough, I am going to get out of here. I am going to go to the beach.’ When I turned 18, I moved to the central coast, San Luis Obispo, and started surfing out there and slowly moved out this way.

How did you afford to live near the beach at 18?

I slept on people’s couches. I got part-time jobs and started making some money and just slept where I could. I’m still kind of doing the same thing just on a higher level. I just bought a van so I don’t have to be on anyone’s couch anymore!

Where do you park it to sleep?

For the last couple of nights, I’ve been sleeping here [Sunset Cliffs parking lot]. I met these Argentinians a couple of days ago and popped the camper up so they could sleep in here too. The lifestyle has been pretty cool. I’m just doing my thing and meeting people.

Was learning to surf a long process?

Yes, my first year I literally caught like 4 waves. Now I catch like 4-5 waves a session.

What was the hardest part about learning?

Getting in the water. When you first get into surfing, and you get up in the morning, and it’s kind of cold. Then you have to get to the beach. Then you have to get a wetsuit on! Then you gotta go walk into the water. When you haven’t surfed a lot yet, you ‘re like, ‘I don’t want to get into the ocean! It’s really kind of creepy!’

What was the hardest surf skill to master?

Probably getting my paddle strength and learning how to pop up faster so I wasn’t scared to catch a wave.

How often do you surf?

Five times a week. Three if it’s bad.

What has been your best day surfing?

I have had some really great days at Sunset Cliffs. Anytime I catch 10 or more waves, that’s a great day. You just feel like it’s never gonna end. You wait forever for a good day to come and then that day comes, and it just feels so natural. You start to believe it’ll be like that forever and then tomorrow comes and the waves aren’t as good. You need to cherish those moments because you never know when the waves are gonna be that good again.

What’s your favorite surf spot?

Here [South Garbage]. I used to surf Ocean Beach a lot but this is where all the locals are. I started surfing here to localize myself. This is one of the best waves in south county.

Do you plan on sticking around in San Diego?

I am just going to see what San Diego has to offer me. I don’t want to go back to where I came from. It’s a small town without a lot of opportunity. I want to stay here and do some traveling.

Any wildlife sightings?

One time I was surfing out at the South Cardiff break and there were like 40 dolphins inside a wave swimming at me. It was magically terrifying. I just thought, ‘I’m not trying to get bludgeoned to death by a dolphin today!’

Have you witnessed any fights in the water?

No, but I do see people blowing off steam at each other all the time. One time, I was out here, and I could hear this guy screaming at another surfer all the way down the beach. I was like, ‘Dude, how embarrassing!’ I don’t do that. Sometimes surfers will say something snotty to me and I’ll just say, “Hey man, you’re really good at surfing. I hope one day I surf like you!’ I just kill them with kindness.

What advice would you give new surfers?

Be patient, try really hard, but set a low standard. Don’t go out there on your first-time and think you are going to catch five waves. You won’t, and you’ll be disappointed. Just get out there and do it every day.

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Baily Richardson (26) surfs South Garbage
Baily Richardson (26) surfs South Garbage

Are you a local?

No, I am originally from Bakersfield

What brought you out to San Diego?

Growing up my buddy had surf posters on his walls that I used to look at. I told myself, ‘When I am old enough, I am going to get out of here. I am going to go to the beach.’ When I turned 18, I moved to the central coast, San Luis Obispo, and started surfing out there and slowly moved out this way.

How did you afford to live near the beach at 18?

I slept on people’s couches. I got part-time jobs and started making some money and just slept where I could. I’m still kind of doing the same thing just on a higher level. I just bought a van so I don’t have to be on anyone’s couch anymore!

Where do you park it to sleep?

For the last couple of nights, I’ve been sleeping here [Sunset Cliffs parking lot]. I met these Argentinians a couple of days ago and popped the camper up so they could sleep in here too. The lifestyle has been pretty cool. I’m just doing my thing and meeting people.

Was learning to surf a long process?

Yes, my first year I literally caught like 4 waves. Now I catch like 4-5 waves a session.

What was the hardest part about learning?

Getting in the water. When you first get into surfing, and you get up in the morning, and it’s kind of cold. Then you have to get to the beach. Then you have to get a wetsuit on! Then you gotta go walk into the water. When you haven’t surfed a lot yet, you ‘re like, ‘I don’t want to get into the ocean! It’s really kind of creepy!’

What was the hardest surf skill to master?

Probably getting my paddle strength and learning how to pop up faster so I wasn’t scared to catch a wave.

How often do you surf?

Five times a week. Three if it’s bad.

What has been your best day surfing?

I have had some really great days at Sunset Cliffs. Anytime I catch 10 or more waves, that’s a great day. You just feel like it’s never gonna end. You wait forever for a good day to come and then that day comes, and it just feels so natural. You start to believe it’ll be like that forever and then tomorrow comes and the waves aren’t as good. You need to cherish those moments because you never know when the waves are gonna be that good again.

What’s your favorite surf spot?

Here [South Garbage]. I used to surf Ocean Beach a lot but this is where all the locals are. I started surfing here to localize myself. This is one of the best waves in south county.

Do you plan on sticking around in San Diego?

I am just going to see what San Diego has to offer me. I don’t want to go back to where I came from. It’s a small town without a lot of opportunity. I want to stay here and do some traveling.

Any wildlife sightings?

One time I was surfing out at the South Cardiff break and there were like 40 dolphins inside a wave swimming at me. It was magically terrifying. I just thought, ‘I’m not trying to get bludgeoned to death by a dolphin today!’

Have you witnessed any fights in the water?

No, but I do see people blowing off steam at each other all the time. One time, I was out here, and I could hear this guy screaming at another surfer all the way down the beach. I was like, ‘Dude, how embarrassing!’ I don’t do that. Sometimes surfers will say something snotty to me and I’ll just say, “Hey man, you’re really good at surfing. I hope one day I surf like you!’ I just kill them with kindness.

What advice would you give new surfers?

Be patient, try really hard, but set a low standard. Don’t go out there on your first-time and think you are going to catch five waves. You won’t, and you’ll be disappointed. Just get out there and do it every day.

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