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THE

REDFIN PROJECT

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Featured Article

SAN ONOFRE - A TIMELESS HERITAGE 

 

On the western edge of California, where land gives way to the sea’s aggression, the country shifts to beaches, and headlands; a meeting ground fringed with relentless surf. Yet there are outposts here. Secluded havens where one can still find a wave to ride and smile to the crowded world beyond.

 

I started surfing San O at the age of 18, in the time of Nixon. This is ironic considering my first surf of Trestles occurred at eleven; from sixteen on my buddies and I surfed both Uppers and Lowers religiously; a time before leashes. Uppers always had a crowd, Lowers not so much. Unlike today, in that era you couldn’t just pull up at the top of the trail and unload, and there weren’t any electric bikes. You had to walk if you wanted those waves. Uppers was far enough, but the walk along the beach to Lowers on a hot September day was punishment, made bearable only because of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We used to walk the train trestle, but one close call with a southbound freighter and I swore off that route. But these are stories for another time. I wanna talk San Onofre.

We surfers weren’t the first to comprehend and relish the Acadia that is San Onofre. Long before the Spanish and Catholic Missionaries, for eight millennium the Acjachemen people — the present day Juaneno Band of Mission Indians — occupied the region from Las Pulgas Creek to the south, east into Camp Pendleton’s San Joaquin Hills, and north along Orange County’s central coasts; from the Pacific to the Santa Anna Mountains.

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The RedFin Project

Welcome to THE REDFIN PROJECT. Over the past twenty-five or thirty years — depending on where I start counting — I’ve worked in the surf industry as a retailer and writer. Attach another twenty years on to that and you have the breath of my surfing existence. With the coming of the Coronavirus, the surf shop of which I managed was permanently closed, and my ten-year tenure with the organization terminated. I want it to be noted that I harbor no ill will for the ending. It’s hard enough to keep a surf shop alive these days, but having to shutter the business for two or more months, well, cost cutting measures had to be taken; no hard feelings.

Being pushed into retirement isn’t where I want to be at this time of life; I’m not ready for it. So, what to do? One friend texted, “Go surf! Surf every day.” That sounds great, and I plan to take advantage, but I’ve come to know myself. I need to stay productive. My wife, and reluctant editor and agent — bless her heart, I don’t know how she puts up with me — insists that I write. Lord knows I like to pontificate. Throwing words at paper to see if they stick is, in a perverse way, fun for me. And so, THE REDFIN PROJECT is born, or perhaps I should say, reborn, as this idea has been rotting in my braincase for years.

 

As a writer of no known repute I hesitate to bring unsolicited subjects, thoughts, and opinions to an unsuspecting public, but that “I’ll kick your ass if you don’t” look in the wife’s eye is enough of an incentive to push on. So, THE REDFIN PROJECT, what is it? It is my personal exploration into my life’s passion for, and love of all things surfing: the history; the outcaste, counter-culture, outside of the mainstream misfits; the pro surfer; the craftsmen and women; the surfboard, and the unique individuals who ride waves and create the community that is, and continues to be a culture unto itself.  A surfing life is a deeply rich and meaningful experience. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do. Stay in trim.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andrew

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CONTACT

For general inquiries, please get in touch

Thanks for submitting!

ANDREW COWELL

949-433-0670     I     Andrew@TheRedFinProject.com

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