Blowing Up Secret Surf Spots & Iration

Mick and the Snake - Iration and Del Mar :)

It’s a known and total faux pas to ever reveal the location of a secret surf spot.  Surfing has exploded since the infamous Gidget and Endless Summer films that inspired everyone to get out there and crowd up surf breaks along every coast.  An empty line up, especially at a legendary, world class surf spot is a rare find and when a surfer finds a spot like that, he/she wants to keep it for themselves so it doesn’t blow up and get crowded.

The Hideaway Wheeland Brothers secret surf spot
Surfing “The Hideaway” surf spot with my cousins somewhere in SoCal – with a little research in da Surf Engine app and via Google perhaps you can find it 🙂

Recently, I’ve thought about secret surf spots and how they compare to your favorite bands. I think it’s every concert goers dream to enjoy their favorite bands’ live show and see them up close in a relatively uncrowded environment and get to hang out and interact with them afterwards.  This is why I generally prefer to go to local music shows featuring bands that haven’t quite “blown up” to the point where it’s just not feasibly possible to have that sort of environment for everyone, well at least for most shows!

I was fortunate to discover one of my fave bands, Iration, just before they really blew up, which is, I think after they first premiered at X-Fest hosted by 91X several years ago – they definitely blew up in San Diego after that point!!  One of the first show’s I ever saw them play live was at one of my favorite, intimate music venues in San Diego County – The Belly Up.

That for me was one of the most epic shows I’ve ever attended by them as I got to be in the very front and center right up against the stage in a small venue to see them play – and the energy you felt from being that close to the music vibes is beyond comparison to anything else.

Iration classic meet and greet Belly Up
My first pics with the Iration boys after the Belly Up show where you could still catch a quick meet and greet after the show! Kai – top left was one of the singers, no longer with the band now. Top right is Micah, the current lead singer of the band. Bottom left is Cayson, the keyboardist. Don’t know who that bottom right guy is – pic is kinda blurry but I believe it’s the bassisst Adam!

After they blew up, I still managed to find a few shows where I could see them play in a smaller uncrowded venues due to my intuitive vibes, last minute acoustic radio shows & VIP packages. Awhile back I saw one Iration  band member was attending an event at a well known surf shop in the LA area, Channel Islands.

Iration was too big at this point to mention that they were playing a show there because the crowds that would have onslaught the venue would be too much for the shop to handle it, but my intuition told me something might be going on there and I showed up and was so stoked that I did.

That night I was able to meet and get a photograph with the infamous Kelly Slater and see Iration play on the surf shop’s rooftop and although Iration had blown up at that point, many of the people at this event still didn’t know who they were and me and my friend were totally owning the crowd, jamming to their live music with plenty of room to move around (you can catch me at the :59 & 4:31 marks)!

Thankfully for me, I got to know the band just as they were blowing up so I had the opportunity to form a connection with them and have learned that we have mutual friends/acquaintances as well.  Therefore, from time to time I can still experience Iration as a secret surf spot per say!  I had the amazing experience last night at the Del Mar 91X Reggaefest, of seeing them in this special area backstage that truly felt like a secret surf spot at first because it wasn’t even crowded with all of the other backstagers as I don’t think anyone knew about it at first.

I was just so appreciative to have the opportunity to see the show from this area where not only you had an amazing view and sound experience, but you also had the opportunity to move around to the music in a non-sardine like environment and go to the bathroom during the show and not lose your place.  It’s the little things like this that I so value.  Here’s a little sampler platter of some footage I put together of the amazing time at that show!

That’s the thing about when bands make it big – the crowds come, just like when a secret surf spot is revealed.  Should we blame 91X for revealing the secret surf spot like band Iration and blowing them up so most shows now are the super crowded ones?  I don’t think we should.  I think we should all work as hard as we can to help the bands starting out that we like and believe have amazing music and have great people.

Explore and discover all the new bands out there and when you find one you like and know has potential to make it big, do everything you can to help them, bands need all the help they can get.  Hopefully you’ll also be able to reap the benefits as well, having formed the connection early on and continue to support them for the rest of their journey.  Music is therapy for lots of people and there is nothing but good vibes that can come from sharing music others can get inspiration & enjoyment from!

I think the same should be said with secret spots.  When you find a great one, why be selfish and keep it all to yourself? If you want to spread good vibes out there, you should tell all your true surfer friends about it, put the spot on your sand bucket list in da Surf Engine App and share the list and your stoke with them!

Respect is all we need, respect for the surf spot and not trashing it and respect in the lineup.  There may be crowded days, but with committed support for a surf spot you can still find those windows of opportunity when it’s not crowded and you can score a ton of quality rides!  I know for a fact that you can still get uncrowded waves at Trestles if you get lucky and have good timing!  Most of the best surf spots are also harder to get to, which in itself limits the crowds anyways because you have to put in more effort and commitment to get there.

Plus, these days, is there such a thing as a secret surf spot?  You can virtually see every surf break out there with Google Earth. People discovered where Kelly Slater’s wave pool was that way. By the way, below are some interesting surf stats from Rip Curl’s Search GPS watch/app I stumbled across from someone I follow that was lucky enough to get to surf at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch – perhaps it might be from someone who’s related to him!

I do think there is something special about discovering your own secret spot, like there is about discovering a great new local band! That’s why I came up with the idea for my app, da Surf Engine. Obviously it’s much more rewarding to physically explore spots around the world as they did in the Endless Summer franchise, I’ve discovered a couple waves that way myself! However, unfortunately most of us don’t have the luxury of all of that time to travel all around the world to find those great new surf spots out there.

That’s how da Surf Engine can help you find YOUR perfect wave, whatever your skill level, surf style preference, surf break wave characteristics, and link to forecasts/current conditions.  The surf spots we have location information on are already well known identified spots anyways, for the spots we don’t have directions/locations for, well, you’ll just have to do some more digging and jot any clues/notes you may find in the notes section of the surf spot page in the app!

Kelly Slater’s perfect wave is completely different than my kind of perfect wave – obviously due to our skill level.  My perfect wave would be something in warm, clear water that is fast and just goes on forever and is super long.  Kelly Slater’s perfect wave is obviously the perfect shaped barreling wave he created with his wave pool & places like Pipe & Fiji! Filipe Toledo’s perfect wave is probably something that he can just ramp off of and fly to the moon with.  You can search for your ideal wave in our app, so give it a try and check it out!

So go out there – Discover, Search, & Explore – Da Surf Engine’s first letters – get it 🙂 and find your own perfect surf spots and great local bands and even the bigger bands/artists that have amazing music!  Seek great things out and you will find them – and it’s up to you to make the best of every surf spot and every band/musician, whether they’re a secret or not!!!

Some of my favorite surf spots to share based on my preferences:

Just a few of my other favorite bands that you should check out

  • Wheeland Brothers – they totally fit the surf vibe lifestyle – read my review of their latest album here!
  • Ballyhoo! – Nothing is better to get you pumped up for a surf sesh!
Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Surf Music, Surf Spots

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