Waterfront stories

Surfing is a sport, not a lifestyle

I guess people really take it spiritually

Name: Mark Kirchner Age: 57 From: Clairemont Location: Ocean Beach Mark Kirchner and I stopped to chat near the lifeguard tower. Kirchner has been surfing San Diego for about 25 years. “I don’t know what ...

Two seals, one issue

A fight for the beach since the 1990s

The seawall at Casa Beach’s Children’s pool was built in 1931. The goal was to provide a safe, surf-free area for children to play in the ocean. Eighty-eight years later, the seawall is still providing ...

Surfing kind of saved me from being an alcoholic

If I stay up drinking, I can’t paddle out

Name: James Age: 39 From: La Mesa Location: Ocean Beach Today, Ocean Beach is particularly crowded due to a surf school. I caught up with James as he was heading to the showers after a ...

A tidal island in Mission Bay

You may be able to walk to it

Leisure Island at Mission Bay might be one of San Diego's only sandy "tidal islands,” if you can catch it on the right day. A tidal island is a body of land that is connected ...

Calving season of the devil fish

74 whales in Laguna Ojo de Liebre

Once known as “devil fish" for attacking skiffs used by whalers that hunted them, gray whales are now viewed as docile, sometimes attention-seeking creatures by those who have been up close during whale-watch trips to ...

Surf lingo revisted: 1976 to 2019

Dude, did you see that slab?

When Jim Mullin wrote about “San Diego Surf Lingo” for the Reader in 1976, most surfers in our area were riding seven-foot single fin surfboards, smaller twin fin, Fishes, or the newly revived longboards. Progressive ...

Lost vision in the waves

A big board can knock you out

Name: Santiago Guadalupe Age: 30 From: Ocean Beach Location: Tourmaline Surf Park Santiago Guadalupe was heading to the showers, board on head, when we stopped to chat. “I just got this longboard. It’s a Murphy ...

One immigrant’s contribution to paddle sports

One of the longest running races featuring outrigger canoes, surfskis, paddleboards, standup paddleboards and kayaks will be held again this Saturday in Mission Bay. Some 650 athletes ages 7 to 80 will compete. The Hanohano ...

Rosarito, Ensenada get 14-foot waves

"But weren’t the beaches closed?"

On January 10, Alfredo Haro saw the local news: “14 foot” waves crashing against rocks protecting loading docks at Port of Ensenada. Instead of staying warm in confines of his Playa Hermosa Surf & Skate ...

The most terrifying thing is the stingray

I’m going to keep surfing until I can’t

Name: Doc Waske Age: 74 From: La Mesa Location: Tourmaline Surf Park On a sunny day in Pacific Beach, Don Waske was heading to the showers after a morning surf session. Waske started surfing San ...

Boaters had a 9.6 million dollar surprise

Was it worth the lost time?

When Ed Noonan returned to his Point Loma residence after Christmas vacation, he and his fellow boaters had a 9.6 million dollar surprise waiting at Shelter Island. “We got to try out the new Shelter ...

2018: A trashy year

More items collected in spite of plastic bag ban

Between San Diego Coastkeeper and the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, there will be some forty cleanup events this year. Add other organizations like the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Creek to ...

In those days, we didn’t have a leash

It’s a great sport for people who are older

Name: Inge Morton Age: 80 From: Coronado Location: Tourmaline Surf Park Inge Morton was walking to the showers with board on her head when we stopped to chat. “I’ve been surfing here for 25 years, ...

1976 San Diego guide to surfer slang

Dawn patrol, hot lips, kook, outside, eat it, turtle

The following is taken from a 1976 story by Jim Mullin: Backyard Special. A poorly constructed, homemade surfboard. Body Flyaway. Jumping clear of one’s surfboard to avoid body, board contact. Bowl Section. That part of ...

Government shutdown turns away tide-poolers

Went to False Point instead

Marcos Gomez and his girlfriend Monique Leibee went out tide pooling on December 22. “We drove towards the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument but had to turn around when we hit signs saying the ...

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