August 2nd, 2013 | By | 1,692 Comments

SeaMade: The Budget Surf Trip / North LA, Ventura and Santa Barbara Edition A series on surf, cross training and lessons on all things salty by guest blogger, Madison


Lately, I’ve been craving a surf trip but have a nagging voice in the back of my mind that reminds me of my budget and time constraints. I’ve been hearing about friends going on epic surf trips that include yachts in the Mentawais, sailing down the Gold Coast, and island hopping by helicopter in the South Pacific. Wow- what a dream, but that’s just what I have to remind myself- keep dreaming, Madison. I know my day will come for exotic surf adventures abroad, but for now I will let my friends’ travel stories inspire me to do more local trips.
My most recent modes of transfer have been car and train, both of which allow me to escape the San Diego bubble on a budget and get a sense of adventure. To the north of my hometown, just a train ride or road trip away, is Northern Los Angeles. The region is perfect for summertime, as there are many cobblestone-bottomed points and beach breaks to pick up long period south swells. My favorite LA spots are County Line, Topanga, and Malibu, all most easily accessed by car. If you want to travel a bit further north of LA, there are plenty of gems that are conveniently accessible. Once at your train station stop you can bike, bus, or taxi to the surf spots and campgrounds. If you’re not that into camping, there are plenty of quaint bed and breakfast type places that can host you without cleaning out your wallet. Read on for the list of stops + check out the travel kit (pictured)…

Station: Ventura Amtrak
Waves: Leo Carillo, C-Street, Ventura Point
Season: Late Summer, Fall, Winter
Stay: Emma Wood or McGrath State Beach Campgrounds (there are others further south, but these are closet to train station).

Station: Carpinteria Amtrak
Waves: Rincon
Season: Fall, Winter
Stay: Carpinteria State Beach Campground

Station: Santa Barbara Amtrak
Waves: Hammonds, Sandspit
Season: Fall, Winter
Stay: No campgrounds in town, so best to stay at Carpinteria State Beach Campground and take day trips into town.

Station: Goleta Amtrak
Waves: El Cap, Refugio, Campus Point, Sands
Season: Fall, Winter
Stay: El Capitan, Refugio, or Gaviota State Beach Campgrounds

Station: Surf Amtrack (train station name says it all)
Waves: Jalama, Surf Beach, Point Conception
Season: Fall, Winter
Stay: Jalama Beach County Park

THE GEAR (pictured above):
RVCA Jacket
Herschel Backpack
Dakine Board Bag
Surfrider Water Bottle
Billabong Surf Capsule Wetsuit

To get the most out of the time and funds put into your trip, check out the forecast before setting forth on your surf adventure.
Wherever you are, there is bound to be adventure a stone throw away, as long as you don’t let nags like time and money get in the way. Get out and explore. You never know what you will stumble upon along the way.

More budget friendly surf travel tips and tricks to come from SeaMade soon… Next stops- Central California and Mexico!

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