This month’s cover surfer Tyler Hatzikian.
All photos by Mike Balzer
Words by Eddie Solt
The South Bay has groomed its fair share of surf talent and contributed heavily to contemporary surf culture, yet the one thing it’s not known for is consistently good waves.. A week before Christmas, swell was plentiful. Local surfers were greeted with a well-angled northwest swell that tickled the sandbars just right, causing mother ocean to erupt in orgasimic glee.
“What ever anyone calls it, ‘Chevron Jetty’, ‘the Jetty’, ‘South Side’, ‘North Side’, ‘Hammerland’, or ‘El Porto Jetty’, I saw the best day there ever,” said legendary (an often overused nomenclature, but in this instance well-deserved) lensmen Mike Balzer. “An all day offshore wind helped groom a solid swell with perfect direction for both the right and the left.”
December 16th is the day Balzer is referring to. Daylong ideal conditions concluded with a picturesque sunset.
“It was a near perfect sunset,” he said and laughed. “Remember, it never gets good in the South Bay?”
“We’ve all heard how a wave can get square but is it really true? What does that look like? Noah Collins inside a square tube at Hammerland. He broke one board in the morning and came right back with another to score this ride,” Balzer said.
“Other stand outs included: Tyler Hatzikian, Ted Robinson, Scott and son Jack Daley, Connor Beatty, Flavio Pires, and recent Big Wave World Tour winner, Nic Lamb,” said Balzer
“Dane Zaun airdrops from the lip to the flats. Way heavier than it looks, ” said Balzer.
“Cheddar” on one of the Bombs from the morning with him styling his way through a heavy barrel” Balzer said.
San Clemente Professional Surfer, Nate Yeomans showed up around 3:30 and caught some of the best tubes of the day.His last wave he caught was near dark and was a behind the foam ball incredible barrel that he came out of after the spit.
“That wave was better than any wave I caught in Hawaii the past couple weeks,” Yeomans said.