On the other side we found predominant lefts with a healthy mix of sandy barrels and bending launch pads—catering to the unique skillset of my present company. Nick and Dane drifted through the scattered pack, mostly picking off the mid-range waves and leaving the best sets to those hell-bent on jockeying for position at the main peak. But for their intentions, the mid-sized ramps were perfect. Dane came out of small, glassy barrels to attempt massive, inverted, twisting rotations. Rozsa pulled a dozen signature backside, fin-blast reverses, and stomped a few no-grab rotations as well. It never occurred to me before, but these two surfers have a lot in common. They both walk a fine line between raw, Cro-Magnon aggression and fluid, musical style. It takes one of those components to even try to launch huge airs in draining sections, but it takes another entirely to keep them looking smooth.
We had two sessions over the course of about 6 hours, punctuated by a round of mediocre breakfast burritos that had been bathed in old, viscous Tapatio sauce. After our second session, we followed Nick and filmer Chris Papaleo back to Nick’s abode to find out how to best spend our day in Ventura, and to bother his infant son during naptime.
Ventura County is home to some of California’s best beachbreaks and a handful of world-class points are only a short drive away when the right swell angle is in the water. Unfortunately, this is only a winter phenomenon. Summertime in the area can feel like a surfer’s purgatory, but that’s not to say that it’s impossible to surf if you’re determined.
“My ideal spot to go to in Ventura in the summer is probably Point Mugu, if I can get on, which isn’t always an option,” says Nick. “Emma Wood gets fun, as well as all the little spots down south like County Line, Zuma, and Leo Carillo. But summertime can be really hard around here because most of our best winter spots don’t have very good exposure to south swells. You can definitely get lucky though.” If you have the time to drive north, you can get out from under the shadow of the Channel Islands and into some pristine waves at Jalama, which is much more receptive to south west and combo swells.
Ventura isn’t necessarily known for its culinary excellence (as we discovered earlier), but that hardly matters after a solid session. “Toppers Pizza is pretty epic,” says Nick. “That’s right down the street and we go there from time to time. It’s a pretty well-known pizza place. I think everywhere has a Topper’s. We’ve got a Mexican food place right here called Yolanda’s. It’s a good place to go to dinner and to take the family out. Then there’s a sushi joint right next to that called Anaba Sushi. That place is always good if you’re craving sushi, but it’s expensive.”
“A lot of the cooks around here are Mexican, so I feel like it’s just a way higher quality of Mexican food around here,” says Chris. “Even the Taco Bells are better. I swear to God, the Taco Bell in Hueneme is world-class. If you go there, it will be the best Taco Bell you have in your entire life.”
Although Ventura has its share of dive bars, you aren’t likely to have the night of your life out on the town, unless your ideal night consists of pitchers of Budweiser and jukeboxes with the entire Creedence Clearwater Revival catalogue—which is totally awesome. “There’s a sports bar called Rookees that I’ve been to a couple times and it’s fun to go with a few friends and watch a game or something,” says Nick. “There’s also a spot called Aloha, right by the Ventura Pier, where where you can grab a few beers after a long day of surfing. Honestly, Ventura is pretty mellow. It’s not the kind of place you wanna go out solo and find chicks or something, but it can be fun to cruise out with some of your friends. It’s good though. There are less distractions for surfers up here. You get to bed early, and as a surfer it lets you focus on the things that matter more. I don’t really go out anymore, but if you’re coming through here and you want to go out, I would just bypass Ventura and go straight to Santa Barbara.”
Video highlights from Nick’s weekend in Ventura:
Dream team, Chris Papaleo and Nick Rozsa. Photo: Maassen
Dane, enjoying the comforts of Ventura. Photo: Maassen
Dane, finding his share of left-hand ramps. Photo: Maassen
Dane, throwing fans to the wind. Photo: Maassen
Reynolds and Rozsa, heading out for session number two. Photo: Maassen
Rozsa, pulling some rotations. Photo: Maassen
Rozsa, getting loose in Ventura. Photo: Maassen
Post-surf Dane Reynolds. Photo: Maassen
Dude, that pipsqueak is out of control sick
I just rode it three days in a row at the base and absolutely murdered the clipsDang superman, can’t wait for you to see this clip
so good on rotation speed & fits in those really tight base wedges well
I’m stoked on that board model, that thing is siiick.
Nick Rozsa5’7″ x 19″ x 2 1/4″ Pipsqueak swallowtail
Todd and Charissa, Thank you for my pipsqueak.
It’s the perfect board for me. The colors are beautiful and it rides wonderfully. Fast in the quad version and I have not tried the tri set up yet but I’m sure it’s great.
Seems easier to get into the waves too. I feel sad for my other, now neglected, boards.
Sandy Fee5’7″ x 19″ x 2 1/4″ Pipsqueak
Built with Volusion