Last Christmas I went on a trip of 3 weeks in California. The main stops of the journey were San Francisco – Santa Barbara – Rincon – Los Angeles – San Francisco. My essential: Passport – Esta Visa – Flight Tickets – 5/4 Wetsuite – Surf Straps – Big dreams. I caught the flight of 13 hours in Milano Malpensa airport, and landed in San Francisco where the trip began. San Francisco was more than just manifesting a beginning of a lifelong dream. It was mesmerizing.
I explored all the possible: from Menlo Park to the Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. Walking through Lombard Street, China Town and the City Center, I arrived to the hippie area. Lights and jazz music surrounded me, they carried me until the Golden Gate Park, where the red sun was setting and the full moon was brighten-up a red-flame Golden Gate Bridge. After few days, I left San Francisco for a road trip through the Big Sur coast, down to Santa Barbara.
As I stood in the arrival terminal of Santa Barbara Greyhound station, I got overwhelmed by a big contagious smile. Santa Barbara was dazing me with warm colors and a hint of tranquillity. I ran up to the pier to watch my new home for the next 2 weeks, my backpack couldn’t seem more light. I couldn’t believe my dream was coming true, I was about to surf Rincon Point: The Queen of the coast.
In the afternoon, I went up to the Rincon Hill to meet John, the man who would host me in his cabin. He built it in the 70’s, as a nest to connect with nature and a place to paint, mainly waves. He kindly borrowed me an old 9’6″, truster, faded yellow and blue and 2 old bonzer 6′, first All Merrich shapes. Every day I was riding John’s bike with the board, using my brand new surf straps and after few turns in the wood, Rincon waves were rolling in front of me.
Rincon is a long, perfect righthand point, usually very lined-up with several tube sections. Rides are possible from the very top of the point (above the river-mouth) all the way to the highway. “Indicator” and “Rivermouth” have a fast wave on the right day, that ends in the “Cove”. Where you can ride a softer and slower wave, perfect for longboard. I found perfect conditions all the weeks I was there.
Despite the spot is very crowded, there is no competition to get the waves. Moreover, locals are very easy-going, I thought, that may be because of the simple and happy life they live in. The other locals, dolphins and sea lions, were very friendly too. They were showing up mostly every day. Rincon, for me, meant realizing myself as my own “dream girl,” a woman who can surf in challenging conditions, embrace a new culture and move beyond my comfort zone.
Paola Pezzi is a 18 years-old promising surfer from Genova, Italy. It’s one of the few girls in Italy riding a bonzer. She travels for surf and she is strongly inspired by world famous Leah Dawson and italian longboarder Camilla Michetti.