Taylor Manuel



Venice, CA


Home break: 

   Venice Breakwater 


Favorite spot:

   Blacks, Suckouts, Old Mans, Blacks Beach, San Diego



How 'bout an experience that really stands out in your mind .


My most memorable surfing experience, and definitely not my last is not a story about a specific wave or surf session. It is collection of memories from a place shared with a select group of friends. That place is Jalama Beach. Jalama is a stretch of California coastline that maintains its look of old, where the sun sets behind billowing clouds and the air is safe to breath, the surf ain't half bad either. Memories of Jalama....rolling out of my sleeping bag at the break of dawn to surf peeling offshore barrels...afternoons spent skating down the windy hill leading past the guardshack into the campground... hikes along the coast exploring hidden caves exposed by the low tide... evening twilight sessions till the stars shone bright and the moon rose high... huddling around the campfire with wetsuit on, hours after returning to shore...the feeling of that suit ever so slowly seeming to melt to your skin from the heat...watching your friends catch unbelievable rides silloueted by the setting sun...only to turn around and catch one yourself... The sigthts(sunsets)...the noises(the splater of the water flying of the face of a breaking wave from the strong off-shore wind)...the smells(of early morning camfires, the smoke lingering in the still of dawn)...Those are my memories

What about your hairiest day?

The thing about Blacks is that the only place to check the surf is from the cliffs above, looking down. Walking down the road to the beach as I made my last turn around the bend I knew I had mis judged the size. With my trusty (leash-less) single fin under my arm I was confronted by double overhead consistent walls of water marching there way to shore. Having walked all the way down the hill to the beach I wasn't about to turn around and walk back without at least getting wet. My first attempt at paddling out was foiled and I was forced to re-strategize, (and question my sanity). I finally made it out. A happy ending? Not yet, not until my feet were planted firmly on shore, and the only way to do that was to catch a wave in. After sometime scrambling over the seemingly endless sets that continued breaking further and further out, my wave finally came. A descent sized left...drop in...a couple carves...set up for the close out barrel. I then retrieved my board that had washed ashore a good 25yds. down the beach, put it under my arm and walked up the hill without looking back. I was so supercharged on adrenalin that the wave which in reality was only seconds was still running through my mind. I learned three important lessons that day #1. things appear smaller than they really are atop cliffs #2. the right surf requires the right equipment #3. as soon as you feel comfortable within the sea's arms you will be humbled.

Any special thoughts?

"The greatest gift anyone can give anyone else is life. And the greatest sin a person can do to another is to take away that life. Next to that, all the rules and religions of the world are secondary; mere words and beliefs that people choose to believe and kill and hate by."   -James McBride