Monday, December 5, 2022

MendoMoments: The Savage Surfers of the Mendocino Coast

Bluffs washed in mist, the Pacific’s rumblings seem quiet, the surfer’s stride [Picture by Eric Lee Burch]

On the edge of the continent, the Pacific laps on primeval shores. Mighty bluffs are made into grains of sand as the relentless waves are brought to a halt.

A distinct hiss can be heard, a salty wind, seabirds meander, and pebbles tumble as the waves recede.

Men in skin-tight suits carry their surfboards and paddle outward striving to stylishly return to shore.

While most cast suspicious glances at the surf off Mendocino County’s coast, local surfers see a bounty.

Winds come from all directions, swells approach the shore unimpeded. South swells are often ignored because too often they end in sheer cliffs and rocky beaches. Winter brings chaotic waters but gives way to a spring replete with waves.

These waves draw the desirous eyes of only the most adventurous.

Toto, we ain’t in Malibu anymore.

The Mendocino County Surfer sees opportunity in the expanse, seeks order in the chaos, and feels calm in the storm.

MendoMoments, is dedicated to showcasing the land, animals, and people that make up Mendocino County. All Mendocino County residents and visitors are invited to participate. Send photographs to including a description of what your photograph depicts, where it was taken, and any other important details.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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