Bird’s Eye View of Steamer Lane

Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California, offers good swells and a perfect vantage point from above for photographers and students of surfing.

Last September, I was fortunate enough to drive from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California, hugging the spectacular coastline along both Highway 101 and 1, a.k.a, the mighty Pacific Coast Highway. I even managed to do a little surfing, too.

If you read my previous article, Searching for Surf and Self Along the West Coast, you know where and how my passion for surfing started and why I do it to this day. But when I’m not in the water, I remain a student. I love sitting beachside, or in the case of Steamer Lane, the world-famous break in Santa Cruz, perched right above the surfers, in order to study technique, style and wave selection with hopes of relaying it back to my time out on the waves.

On the morning I was supposed to leave town to continue my drive south, I decided to visit the break one more time just to see if anyone was out. And, of course, there was. So, I found an amazing birds-eye viewpoint adjacent to the small Surfing Museum figuring I’d watch for 15 or 20 minutes and then leave. An hour later, I was still watching, studying and taking photos. The surfers below put on such a clinic, that I couldn’t walk away.

Enough writing about it, though. Here are a some images from that day. Enjoy!

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