Skip to main content
  • Albania

    Albania

    (ALL L)

  • Algeria

    Algeria

    (DZD د.ج)

  • Andorra

    Andorra

    (EUR €)

  • Angola

    Angola

    (USD $)

  • Anguilla

    Anguilla

    (XCD $)

  • Antigua & Barbuda

    Antigua & Barbuda

    (XCD $)

  • Argentina

    Argentina

    (USD $)

  • Armenia

    Armenia

    (AMD դր.)

  • Aruba

    Aruba

    (AWG ƒ)

  • Australia

    Australia

    (AUD $)

  • Austria

    Austria

    (EUR €)

  • Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan

    (AZN ₼)

  • Bahamas

    Bahamas

    (BSD $)

  • Bahrain

    Bahrain

    (USD $)

  • Bangladesh

    Bangladesh

    (BDT ৳)

  • Barbados

    Barbados

    (BBD $)

  • Belgium

    Belgium

    (EUR €)

  • Belize

    Belize

    (BZD $)

  • Benin

    Benin

    (XOF Fr)

  • Bermuda

    Bermuda

    (USD $)

  • Bolivia

    Bolivia

    (BOB Bs.)

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina

    Bosnia & Herzegovina

    (BAM КМ)

  • Botswana

    Botswana

    (BWP P)

  • Brazil

    Brazil

    (USD $)

  • British Virgin Islands

    British Virgin Islands

    (USD $)

  • Brunei

    Brunei

    (BND $)

  • Bulgaria

    Bulgaria

    (BGN лв.)

  • Burkina Faso

    Burkina Faso

    (XOF Fr)

  • Burundi

    Burundi

    (USD $)

  • Cambodia

    Cambodia

    (KHR ៛)

  • Cameroon

    Cameroon

    (XAF Fr)

  • Canada

    Canada

    (CAD $)

  • Cape Verde

    Cape Verde

    (CVE $)

  • Caribbean Netherlands

    Caribbean Netherlands

    (USD $)

  • Cayman Islands

    Cayman Islands

    (KYD $)

  • Chad

    Chad

    (XAF Fr)

  • Chile

    Chile

    (USD $)

  • China

    China

    (CNY ¥)

  • Colombia

    Colombia

    (USD $)

  • Comoros

    Comoros

    (KMF Fr)

  • Cook Islands

    Cook Islands

    (NZD $)

  • Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    (CRC ₡)

  • Croatia

    Croatia

    (EUR €)

  • Curaçao

    Curaçao

    (ANG ƒ)

  • Cyprus

    Cyprus

    (EUR €)

  • Czechia

    Czechia

    (CZK Kč)

  • Denmark

    Denmark

    (DKK kr.)

  • Djibouti

    Djibouti

    (DJF Fdj)

  • Dominica

    Dominica

    (XCD $)

  • Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic

    (DOP $)

  • Ecuador

    Ecuador

    (USD $)

  • Egypt

    Egypt

    (EGP ج.م)

  • El Salvador

    El Salvador

    (USD $)

  • Equatorial Guinea

    Equatorial Guinea

    (XAF Fr)

  • Estonia

    Estonia

    (EUR €)

  • Eswatini

    Eswatini

    (USD $)

  • Ethiopia

    Ethiopia

    (ETB Br)

  • Falkland Islands

    Falkland Islands

    (FKP £)

  • Faroe Islands

    Faroe Islands

    (DKK kr.)

  • Fiji

    Fiji

    (FJD $)

  • Finland

    Finland

    (EUR €)

  • France

    France

    (EUR €)

  • French Guiana

    French Guiana

    (EUR €)

  • French Polynesia

    French Polynesia

    (XPF Fr)

  • Gabon

    Gabon

    (XOF Fr)

  • Gambia

    Gambia

    (GMD D)

  • Georgia

    Georgia

    (USD $)

  • Germany

    Germany

    (EUR €)

  • Ghana

    Ghana

    (USD $)

  • Gibraltar

    Gibraltar

    (GBP £)

  • Greece

    Greece

    (EUR €)

  • Greenland

    Greenland

    (DKK kr.)

  • Grenada

    Grenada

    (XCD $)

  • Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe

    (EUR €)

  • Guatemala

    Guatemala

    (GTQ Q)

  • Guernsey

    Guernsey

    (GBP £)

  • Guinea

    Guinea

    (GNF Fr)

  • Guinea-Bissau

    Guinea-Bissau

    (XOF Fr)

  • Guyana

    Guyana

    (GYD $)

  • Haiti

    Haiti

    (USD $)

  • Honduras

    Honduras

    (HNL L)

  • Hong Kong SAR

    Hong Kong SAR

    (HKD $)

  • Hungary

    Hungary

    (HUF Ft)

  • Iceland

    Iceland

    (ISK kr)

  • India

    India

    (INR ₹)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesia

    (IDR Rp)

  • Ireland

    Ireland

    (EUR €)

  • Israel

    Israel

    (ILS ₪)

  • Italy

    Italy

    (EUR €)

  • Jamaica

    Jamaica

    (JMD $)

  • Japan

    Japan

    (JPY ¥)

  • Jersey

    Jersey

    (USD $)

  • Jordan

    Jordan

    (USD $)

  • Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan

    (KZT 〒)

  • Kenya

    Kenya

    (KES KSh)

  • Kiribati

    Kiribati

    (USD $)

  • Kuwait

    Kuwait

    (USD $)

  • Kyrgyzstan

    Kyrgyzstan

    (KGS som)

  • Laos

    Laos

    (LAK ₭)

  • Latvia

    Latvia

    (EUR €)

  • Lesotho

    Lesotho

    (USD $)

  • Liechtenstein

    Liechtenstein

    (CHF CHF)

  • Lithuania

    Lithuania

    (EUR €)

  • Luxembourg

    Luxembourg

    (EUR €)

  • Macao SAR

    Macao SAR

    (MOP P)

  • Madagascar

    Madagascar

    (USD $)

  • Malawi

    Malawi

    (MWK MK)

  • Malaysia

    Malaysia

    (MYR RM)

  • Maldives

    Maldives

    (MVR MVR)

  • Malta

    Malta

    (EUR €)

  • Martinique

    Martinique

    (EUR €)

  • Mauritania

    Mauritania

    (USD $)

  • Mauritius

    Mauritius

    (MUR ₨)

  • Mayotte

    Mayotte

    (EUR €)

  • Mexico

    Mexico

    (USD $)

  • Moldova

    Moldova

    (MDL L)

  • Monaco

    Monaco

    (EUR €)

  • Mongolia

    Mongolia

    (MNT ₮)

  • Montenegro

    Montenegro

    (EUR €)

  • Montserrat

    Montserrat

    (XCD $)

  • Morocco

    Morocco

    (MAD د.م.)

  • Mozambique

    Mozambique

    (USD $)

  • Namibia

    Namibia

    (USD $)

  • Nauru

    Nauru

    (AUD $)

  • Nepal

    Nepal

    (NPR ₨)

  • Netherlands

    Netherlands

    (EUR €)

  • New Caledonia

    New Caledonia

    (XPF Fr)

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand

    (NZD $)

  • Nicaragua

    Nicaragua

    (NIO C$)

  • Nigeria

    Nigeria

    (NGN ₦)

  • Niue

    Niue

    (NZD $)

  • North Macedonia

    North Macedonia

    (USD $)

  • Norway

    Norway

    (USD $)

  • Oman

    Oman

    (USD $)

  • Pakistan

    Pakistan

    (PKR ₨)

  • Panama

    Panama

    (USD $)

  • Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    (PGK K)

  • Paraguay

    Paraguay

    (PYG ₲)

  • Peru

    Peru

    (PEN S/.)

  • Philippines

    Philippines

    (PHP ₱)

  • Poland

    Poland

    (PLN zł)

  • Portugal

    Portugal

    (EUR €)

  • Qatar

    Qatar

    (QAR ر.ق)

  • Réunion

    Réunion

    (EUR €)

  • Romania

    Romania

    (RON Lei)

  • Rwanda

    Rwanda

    (RWF FRw)

  • Samoa

    Samoa

    (WST T)

  • San Marino

    San Marino

    (EUR €)

  • São Tomé & Príncipe

    São Tomé & Príncipe

    (STD Db)

  • Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia

    (SAR ر.س)

  • Senegal

    Senegal

    (XOF Fr)

  • Serbia

    Serbia

    (RSD РСД)

  • Seychelles

    Seychelles

    (USD $)

  • Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone

    (SLL Le)

  • Singapore

    Singapore

    (SGD $)

  • Slovakia

    Slovakia

    (EUR €)

  • Slovenia

    Slovenia

    (EUR €)

  • Solomon Islands

    Solomon Islands

    (SBD $)

  • South Africa

    South Africa

    (USD $)

  • South Korea

    South Korea

    (KRW ₩)

  • Spain

    Spain

    (EUR €)

  • Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka

    (LKR ₨)

  • St. Barthélemy

    St. Barthélemy

    (EUR €)

  • St. Kitts & Nevis

    St. Kitts & Nevis

    (XCD $)

  • St. Lucia

    St. Lucia

    (XCD $)

  • St. Martin

    St. Martin

    (EUR €)

  • St. Vincent & Grenadines

    St. Vincent & Grenadines

    (XCD $)

  • Suriname

    Suriname

    (USD $)

  • Sweden

    Sweden

    (SEK kr)

  • Switzerland

    Switzerland

    (CHF CHF)

  • Taiwan

    Taiwan

    (TWD $)

  • Tanzania

    Tanzania

    (TZS Sh)

  • Thailand

    Thailand

    (THB ฿)

  • Timor-Leste

    Timor-Leste

    (USD $)

  • Togo

    Togo

    (XOF Fr)

  • Tonga

    Tonga

    (TOP T$)

  • Trinidad & Tobago

    Trinidad & Tobago

    (TTD $)

  • Tunisia

    Tunisia

    (USD $)

  • Türkiye

    Türkiye

    (USD $)

  • Turks & Caicos Islands

    Turks & Caicos Islands

    (USD $)

  • Tuvalu

    Tuvalu

    (AUD $)

  • Uganda

    Uganda

    (UGX USh)

  • United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates

    (AED د.إ)

  • United Kingdom

    United Kingdom

    (GBP £)

  • United States

    United States

    (USD $)

  • Uruguay

    Uruguay

    (UYU $)

  • Uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan

    (UZS )

  • Vanuatu

    Vanuatu

    (VUV Vt)

  • Vietnam

    Vietnam

    (VND ₫)

  • Zambia

    Zambia

    (USD $)

An Ode to Blackies (and the best surf of my life)

An Ode to Blackies (and the best surf of my life)

Blackies is a stretch of beach just north of the Newport Pier, and it gets its name from a little boardwalk bar that has been there since 1952. It is the hub of traditional longboarding and longboard culture for this region (Newport Beach and Costa Mesa).

The parking lot is as much a part of the culture as the lineup is.  No matter how good the waves are on any given day, there are still a pack of folks in the parking lot waiting for the tide to change or the crowd to thin out, or maybe just embracing their role as a wallflower. 

The Same Stretch of Sand from The Surfer's Journal on Vimeo.

I did much of my surfing during my teens and twenties at Blackies, and have had some of the best waves of my life there.

Blackies is the go-to spot when the tide is too high and everywhere else is swamped out.  This is not a secret, in the Winter time when there is some West swell in the water, but a morning high tide of 5 feet, you can pretty much count on every surfer in town—shortboarders and longboarders alike–to be jockeying for waves between the Newport Pier and 28th street jetty.

The Best Surf of my Life:

However, one of the most vividly memorable surfs of my life took place on a drained out afternoon, in 2010.  The tide was soooooo low.  Like the ocean was receding. But there was no wind at all, and I was in my early 20's, so naturally I went down to take a look at the surf. 

The only guys in the parking lot that day were a friend of mine, Dave Ludwig, a guy I know from the lineup named Ford Menzies, and another fellow who's name I didn't know but would casually greet when I saw him.

The reason I remember who was in the parking lot that day, is because all of a sudden things just clicked on—and by things I mean shockingly great waves started rolling through, and there was no one out.  Why would there be? It was a week-day afternoon and it was a negative low tide. 

We looked at each other in disbelief and scrambled to get into our wetsuits.  For the next, I don't know, hour? two hours? My concept of time gets really fuzzy here... the 4 of us took turns on some of the honest-to-goodness best waves I've ever surfed in my life.  It was one of those magical days where you ride a wave to the beach, turn around, paddle back out, and scratch right into another one. With only 4 of us in the lineup, there were more than enough waves to go around.  It was like a Thanksgiving feast for 4 people to share—we couldn't consume all the goodness that was presented before us.

I want to paint a picture of the kind of scene that day, but surfing has always struck me as one of the most difficult subjects to write about.  It's such an intensely personal experience, based so much on these micro-moments and feelings that to try to recount them results in all the typical tropes about surfers and surfing.  See: "And then I hit the lip like WHOOPAH!"

The late afternoon sun was glowing gold and green through the head-high waves, and these perfectly picturesque A-frames kept coming through.  I was riding a 9'7 Surf Thump that Griffin had shaped for me.  Each wave, I would do the same thing: scratch into the wave early, and immediately stall on the tail for a lined-up, back-lit barrel on the takeoff.  ...We're by no means talking about stand-up tubes, but on a log, if you stall hard you can get nice little coverups, and then allllll that glide helps you accelerate back up to speed to get back ahead of the section.

Photo isn't from the day described, but is somewhat representative of my described approach:
 

This went on, and on, and on... the four of us trading waves and remarking about how delightfully unexpected this was.  I knew in the moment I would remember this surf for a very long time.

It was one of those magical surf sessions that was as unexpected as it was amazing.  Like all great combinations of swell, wind, and tide... all great things must come to an end.  Eventually the conditions let off, and we dragged our tired bones back to the parking lot.

That story is more the exception than the rule, when it comes to this spot.  Typically Blackies is a late morning, Winter spot.  It's fairly reliable, and so is the crowd.  If you want somewhere that you can pull up and watch a whole spectrum of surfing abilities in one Where's Waldo-esque scene, Blackies is as good a bet as any.

The Lumberjack model was our first crack at a beach-break noserider, and is/was heavily influenced by the waves at Blackies.  It's the wave we cut our teeth on and that particular longboard is a direct result of our many years there.

If you find yourself passing through Newport, from October to March, carve out the time to join the crowds at the best longboard spot we've got to offer—Blackies by the Sea.

Fellow Blackies appreciators, show your love for your surf spot with Slightly Choppy's Surf Flags.