Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
Consider also that Santa Cruz is home to some of the world's most respected big wave riders. They've got my vote.
??? The only big waves you see in Santa Cruz come in El Nino years, when huge walls of green foamy water smash into Seabright Beach and Seascape (Aptos). The break is impossibly short, uniform, and close to shore. No one surfs those. They can't be surfed. Only fools even swim in the water because the accompanying rip tides are so vicious.
The two decent Santa Cruz surf spots are Lighthouse Point and Pleasure Point (which is really Capitola). The breaks are nice and looooong but the waves are not big at all. However, the fact that they break so near to cliff walls introduces a spine-tingling element of danger.
The nearest big wave beach is Mavericks in Half Moon Bay, about 40 miles north. Those are big f@$#ing waves. Maybe a lot of the guys who surf there live in Santa Cruz -- I guess that's possible -- but it's pretty much an international beach.