Here Come The Sharks
April 29, 2005 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Huntington Beach, California (Surf City, USA) is home to surfing's walk of fame and the International Surfing Museum. See the Duke with the Duke, other legends, pioneering photographers, and kings of the surf both local and international alongside other icons in the collection and exhibits.
posted by breezeway (12 comments total)
This brings back memories of a great vacation we took with our sons when they were in their mid-teens. At the midpoint of our trip, we spent a few days in Huntington Beach--and we visited the "International Surfing Museum," which, if I recall, was in a surfboard shop a block off the main drag. The kids went boogie boarding most of the time & soaked up sun and surf.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:14 AM on April 29, 2005

I grew up there and my mother grew up in the town next door. Even if you don't surf, beach culture just permeates. I think I spent more of my childhood on that beach than in any other single place. I remember being too light to dive through waves and just getting my ass kicked by the ocean when I was six and seven. In junior high, there would be kids changing out of wetsuits in the yard before first period. Even my first riot was surf-related: the Op Pro riot (Labor Day weekend, 1986).

Of course, it was a lot better before they tore down the little shops on Main Street and PCH and put in condos and hideous coral stucco shopping centers and condos, but if you have to live in the shithole that is the OC, it's probably still one of the best places.

I think one of my favorite memories is the restuarant at the end of the pier falling into the ocean every decade or so, the result of big storms. Menus washed up on shore for weeks after. Now there's a new pier. It too is worse than the one from my childhood. Obviously.
posted by dame at 9:55 AM on April 29, 2005

After the two minutes it took to view the entire collection at the "museum" I felt like they owed me $10 back for the $5 admission. It's like paying to look in someone's garage, only there's less to see.
posted by gallois at 10:20 AM on April 29, 2005

Admission to the website is free.
posted by breezeway at 11:01 AM on April 29, 2005

I grew up there too, was there for the OP Pro Riot. I used to spend every sunny day at the beach, that was when there were more oil wells along the coast than houses and Bolsa Chica was still a wetlands and not the back yard for McMansions. Ahh, the good old days. My folks still live there and I'm down there frequently.

Here are some surf shots from this December, I'm pretty sure I was wearing shorts on the pier the day before xmas:

Surf Shots
posted by jonah at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2005

Oh yeah, I have been to the surfing "museum". It's pretty anti-climatic.
posted by jonah at 11:28 AM on April 29, 2005

You must be older than I am, jonah; though I do still remember Bolsa Chica as wetlands, most of the oil wells were gone by my time (my mother does tell about her visiting uncles driving down the street filming the oil wells because they thought it was so weird). I can never forgive them for tearing down the original Jack's and Wimpy's though.

Great pics too. Make me think of burning my feet on the blacktop in front of the Sugar Shack.
posted by dame at 12:12 PM on April 29, 2005

the Op Pro riot (Labor Day weekend, 1986).
wow!, thought that was forgotten.
I learned on the other side at the cliffs. PCH/Goldenwest

The beach's official souvenir should be the oily tar balls your body and clothing take home from it.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:04 PM on April 29, 2005

Surf Shots
The best time of the year, winter plus having few tourists made it perfect as a resident. Since I've been in TX, many surfer friends in the area have taken up yellow tail tuna fishing because of the water being so contaminated. Though those shots were full of kind waves \!!!/
posted by thomcatspike at 1:11 PM on April 29, 2005

I was at Huntington Beach last week. I got to take a souvenir "tar foot" for my efforts!
posted by Quartermass at 1:50 PM on April 29, 2005

I was born there in 1974 and moved out to go to college. There used to be oil wells sprinkled around the city, right next to houses and inside housing tracts like the original Sea Cliff. Now, I see the same lots with houses on them, not too suprising that coastal California real estate is more valuable than Texas Tea.

The oil balls you get in HB are nothing compared to the oil slicks you hit surfing in Santa Barbara county. You quickly learn that baby oil is your friend when you need to get it off of your sking. In a pinch you can use WD-40 too.
posted by jonah at 2:44 PM on April 29, 2005

California real estate is more valuable than Texas Tea.
Plus the real estate produced more oil than Texas back in the day. Since I have seen few figures proving it, I'm not sure how resourceful my quote is. If you add the oil being pumped underground through the state to other locations throughout the USA, a sure win hands down.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:12 PM on April 29, 2005

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