The community around SanO is pretty awesome. There is a great group of people, many from the performance paddle sup crew, that are there often. Besides the fun SanO Sundays, where friends meet up to surf and eat, there are lots of high profile people from the sup world surfing there.
A lot of the Infinity Crew, Dave Boehne, Candice Appleby, Anthony Vela, Giorgio Gomez, Izzy Gomez, Steve Boehne, Shae Foudy, Mel Wygal, Tyler Bashor etc. go there to surf and train. It’s a great spot even if the waves are small because you paddle south a little and surf your race board. I have also seen other team athletes like Sonni, Seychelle, and Kai hit up SanO when they are in town. Of course, there are also a lot of serious longboards that often surf there. However, I can’t say I have the privilege of meeting many of them. As a Canadian, I am waiting for the day that I meet Paul Kariya, retired NHL Allstar, as he is been spotted there often.
Dana Point and San Clemente are “small” haven surf towns that allow you to get away from the craziness of the big cities. While they are not small in comparison to the Tofino’s (a top Canadian Surf Spot) of the world, being a hour south of LA and San Diego makes it seems small and quiet. With tonnes of surf shops to visit and drool over boards and accessories, you can keep yourself busy even when you are not surfing. Shapers like Hobie, Terry Senate, and Infinity , to name a few, call Dana Point and San Clemente home. So, you have a great selection of boards to meet anyone’s needs.
There are alot of events starting in April there is the Dana Point Ocean Challenge and Mongoose Cup, in May the Dana Point Harbour, and in October the Pacific Paddle Games and Doheny State Beach. There are also great races that take place within an hour of Dana Point/ San Clemente, The Hano Hano Huki, Mission beach, Lanakila in Redondo, Hal Rosoff inNew Port Beach all in February and the Adler Paddler in Long Beach, Mar. Basically, if you head down to Dana Point there is great events all year around.
Besides San Onofre, there are plenty of great surf spots up and down the coast. Here are a few that are within 30 mins of Dana Point/ San Clemente.Oceanside,Trails,T Street,San Clemente Pier and Doheny State Beach.As you go an hour north or an hour south, there are great spots along the way. So don’t be afraid to jump in your vehicle and explore this amazing coast line. Great places to train or go for a scenic paddle are Dana Point Harbour, Laguna Beach and the famous Newport Aquatic Centre.
San Onofre is a great beach to hang out for the day, you can pack up your cooler, drive in the park and stay to the evening whilst enjoying a BBQ. To the south is San Diego with some great beaches and tourist attractions. To the north is Los Angeles with plenty of tourist attractions, including disneyland and plenty of watrerparks to explore!