By Paul Lang

About two weeks ago, the June gloom arrived in Santa Barbara, shutting down the wind and ending what had been an amazing spring riding season. With no wind anywhere nearby, I found myself starting to go a little stir crazy in the office, so I sent an email to Brendan Richards to see what the conditions in Santa Cruz had been like lately.


“It looks like we are in the wind through the foreseeable future” was the message I got back from Brendan. A few days later I jumped in the truck and headed up the coast, driving straight to Waddell.

I arrived at about 2:00 in the afternoon and was greeted by perfect 7m weather and head-high sets. In preparation for the cold water, I put on a neoprene vest with hoodie, a 4/3 wetsuit, and booties. The water is cold here!

Brian Friedmann

After about an hour of riding, I came in, put my kite away, and got out my water housing and swim fins. The first place I swam out had a ridiculous amount of current, so after struggling to get to the outside I found myself back near the beach as soon as I stopped kicking.

James Ropner

I walked up the beach a little ways until I found a rip current, which is always a quick way to get to the outside. I spent awhile shooting photos of James Ropner and Josh ‘Cornfed’ Nehf until a leg cramp sent me whining back to the beach.

Josh "Cornfed' Nehf



Back on shore, I shot a few more photos until the wind began to shut off.


James Ropner, strapless back roll


Waddell is located on Highway 1, which means there is a non-stop stream of tourists stopping to take photos as ask the first person in a wetsuit they see “What’s that called?”


Unfortunately, the next day turned out to be a light wind day, but it was still fun to get out of town for a few days. After hanging out in the parking lot waiting for the wind to fill in all day, I jumped in the truck and headed home, where the wind still isn’t blowing…

Cynbad Brown shows off a wicked wetsuit rash.

Brendan Richards finishes the day with a hot water rinse and a Pabst.

Get More From Tkb

Tkb Magazine is your go-to resource for everything from the latest gear to the best travel spots and so much more. Sign up now to receive fresh news, special offers and all the kite related stoke you want, delivered directly to your inbox.