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Best Surf Spot Orange County 2008 - Lowers

Don't just take the word of us kneeboarders at the Weekly about Lower Trestles. Within the past year, the Los Angeles "By God" Times dubbed it the best surfing spot in Southern California. An Orange County Register blog post also tagged it as best—on the mainland U.S. And countless surf mags plop "world-class" in front of Lowers. But disclaimers accompany this high praise. Lowers is for experienced surfers. Getting to iconic Trestles is a bitch, a long-ass walk down a dirt trail to a longer-ass paved road that passes under the stinky Interstate 5. Oh, and you may have to dodge an Amtrak train before your toes hit fluffy white sand. But the perilous jaunt just makes it less likely you'll encounter rubbish, riff-raff and rugrats on the beach. A different type of urchin lurks underwater—and a brown pelican the size of a Mini Cooper has been witnessed bobbing on the water's surface. The creatures you'll most need to avoid out there are a-hole surfers who believe they own the fast, powerful waves, which, thanks to a continuous swell, rock reef and natural sediment flow, create one of the cleanest watersheds left in California. How desirous are these breaks? On an overcast afternoon in July, our ride was sandwiched on either side by cars from California's competing Surf Cities, Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz. It takes more than traffic, trains and blockheads to keep the diehards away.

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