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Surfing in L.A.


well


How L.A.’s surf culture has helped shape the city we love. By Kate Wertheimer


15


WHETHER YOU’RE A Downtown dweller who’s never been on a board or a beach bum who rides waves every morning, there’s no denying the pull of the surf. A sport with humble origins that’s grown to be one of the most awe-inspiring feats of athleticism (and spawned a $7 billion industry), surfing has an undeniable mass appeal—and an undeniable effect on our lives, regardless of whether we’re in the water on the regular. Perhaps more than any other


large city, L.A.’s identity is inextricably tied to its beaches— and more specifically, its waves. Since the country’s earliest introduction to the pastime, Southern California has been at the center of the action, beckoning surfers with waves both massive and gentle and in turn spitting out those who would go on to define “surf” as a cultural phenomenon—a music genre, fashion statement and movement in both art and film. People flock to Los Angeles from across the world to chase their dreams, but also to chase perfect waves. And if you get lucky, you’ll find both. To help put our finger


on exactly why surfing in L.A. is a singular experience, we spoke to folks from across the city: from The Endless Summer director Bruce Brown, legendary pro rider Kelly Slater and longtime surf writer Jamie Brisick to surf rockers Allah-Las and the community- minded Black Surfers Collective. We’ve also included some useful information to help surf newbs get in on the fun. Hang ten, friends.


July 12–October 10, 2017 Time Out Los Angeles


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