Santa Cruz, aka Surf City, was the first city in the United States to learn about surfing. In 1885 three Hawaiian princes took a break from boarding school in San Mateo and taught the locals how to surf.
The Surfing Museum in the old lighthouse in Santa Cruz lets you in on over 100 years of surfing history. The museum is free, but kindly asks for donations. Listed in decades, it takes you through the advancements of surfboards and the history of local surfers. You can see the board that was attacked by a white shark, including two of the teeth left in the board!
From here, if you start walking towards the boardwalk, you come across the memorial for surfers that have left the earth for good. Behind the memorials are some surfing rules by Sam Reid.
If you continue your walk there is another tribute in form of the surfing sculpture (“This monument is dedicated to all surfers – past, present, and future…”).
I had a fun time watching the young surfers (I assume this was a summer camp) trying out the waves.
The date for the Titans of Mavericks competition has been set for February 12th. This means 24 of the best high wave surfers are invited to compete off Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay. Due to restrictions you might not be able to watch them close up, but there will be viewing parties all around Half Moon Bay, since redbull TV is covering the event.
Thanks to El Nino waves up to 38 feet (11,5m) are expected. Best to watch early in the morning. But I heard the Half Moon Bay Brewing Companyis ready to serve you at 8 am and will show the event on TV.