My quals: Surfing for the past 22+ years and 17+ on the California coast, shortboarder. Surfed North Shore, Fiji, Mentawais, Mex, etc. Subscriber to Surfer Mag, TSJ. Live, breathe, sleep, eat waves.
I travel to NorCal each month for business and surf SF, Sta Cruz, Capitola, Monterey, etc. I was looking for a reliable guide which gives optimum swell/wind angle, tides, and paddle out tips to most of the breaks, both lesser-known and well-known. Instead, nearly all of the overly vague spot descriptions in this book cite sharks, locals and cold as barriers to surfing in NorCal. WTF?
Shame on you, Surfer Mag. You're supposed to be a trusted source, selling a guide on where to surf and maybe making the lineups a little safer.
How about a little differentiation? For instance, if you're a longboarder or beginner, surf Cowells or Pleasure Point 2nd Peak or Waddell, etc.
Why not include a disclaimer at the beginning of the books that the shark threat is prevalent, then just leave it alone. How many shark deaths have there been in NorCal in the past 50 years? Less than 15, I'm certain. Meanwhile, there are a million surfers who have never had a run-in, and playing to the fears, you include a giant picture of whitey at the front of the book.
Your hypocritical message seems to be, "if you don't live here, don't surf here". Do the locals a favor and spell out the most heavily localized spots, giving a few tips on where the channels and obstacles are, as well as describing the more welcoming locales.
In your guide to So Cal, you did this. Why play into the NorCal b.s. -- do you think the Westsiders will stop buying your mag? Only if they want to give up their sponsorships.
SurferMag -- I'm used to you taking the high road, playing the referee. When did you start wimping out?