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A couple early morning shots, before the fog rolled in. These photos shot by Six12 Media.

There's some more shots in the complete Venice Pier - Monday 6-19-2017 Gallery.

Noah Hill and several others on Father's Day morning at the Venice Pier. These photos shot by Six12 Media.

There's a lot more photos from this morning in the complete Venice Pier - Sunday 6-18-2017 Gallery.

Topanga's Jake Chandler

This is a short video on the surfer, craftsman, and creator of "TR" surfboards. Filmed and edited by: Declan Bates Featuring: Tim Ryan, Ryder Sturges, and SJ Murphy.

The promise of a day or two living the Southern California lifestyle brings millions of tourists to Santa Monica every year, and to many of them a chance to catch their first wave is high up on the bucket list. In order to provide a safe, reliable experience, the City permits and manages surf camps, schools and individual instructors who teach novices on the beach. However, according to a half dozen interviews conducted by the Santa Monica Daily Press, the system is not always working as well as it should.

“There’s absolutely no enforcement out there on weekends,” Patrick Murphy said looking over the waves crashing on the shore just south of the Pier. Murphy was one of the first instructors to get a permit when the City submitted its first request for proposal fifteen years ago. He’s gone through a thorough vetting process year after year and has paid a hefty fee for the right to teach here: 15 percent of gross receipts. So he is upset when he sees individual instructors – and even surfing schools – operating on the beach without a permit. “It’s really messed up,” Murphy said. “It does become more difficult to operate every year. There’s a lot more competition and these people aren’t paying their permit fees so there’s much less overhead. I doubt they’re paying workers comp … maybe they have insurance.”

This year the City issued permits to three surf camps, one school (Murphy’s Learn to Surf LA) and nine individual instructors. It also lowered the fee to ten percent of gross receipts from fifteen. Santa Monica’s Public Information Officer, Constance Farrell, says the permits help the City maintain a diversity of activities out on the beach, as well as insure safety for locals and visitors. “That’s something we take really seriously because we want to make sure people are coming out and enjoying the beautiful beach and the Pacific and learning to surf but they need to have a safe experience which is the most important thing,” Farrell said.

Since January 2015, the City has issued just three citations to surf instructors operating without a permit and two citations to permitted instructors who didn’t have a business license. But multiple surf instructors told the Daily Press they see violators out in the water every day. “There are people who just bluntly sit there and teach lessons and the City doesn’t do anything about it,” permitted instructor Sergio Penaloza said, acknowledging that it is difficult for code enforcement officers to keep track of surfers who spend the majority of their time out in the ocean. Penaloza says he’s been pleased with the permitting system overall, because it prevents crowding among the waves. “There isn’t much you can do about it unless you can police all the time,” Penaloza said. “I was out there today at six in the morning and there’s no one policing at that hour. There’s no one up at that hour.”

Farrell says the permitting process is a collaboration between the Beach Team which works out of the Annenberg Community Beach House and Code Enforcement. The City publishes a list on its website of permitted instructors. She says the City is aware of the issue and plans to keep an eye on the shore this summer. “As we head into the summer, we know there will be an increase in surf activities and to keep people safe, enforcement details are planned,” Farrell said. “We encourage people to let us know if they have a tip regarding unpermitted surf camps or instructors by calling or emailing.”

Murphy is hoping the City follows through on its promise. As a surf school, he says the lack of enforcement has made it difficult for him to retain good instructors because some realize they can make more money by going it alone on the beach and simply not pay City permit fees. “It’s the environment that’s being created by a lack of enforcement,” Murphy said. “You’ve got pretty much anybody coming out here. The regulators are not bad people, it just doesn’t seem like a high priority for them to really pay attention to it.”

Originally published in the Santa Monica Daily Press
The World Surf League placed a surfboard on the Venice Pier and announced on Facebook via live video that whoever finds it, can have it. Watch the video below:

When Dale Rhodes was in college, he successfully conquered a number of waves in competitions against Pepperdine University’s surf team. Now, three decades later, the 1985 National Scholastic Surfing Association men’s national champion is the new Pepperdine Waves surf team coach. Rhodes, also the Malibu High surf team’s coach, said he is excited about his new gig.

“It’s an honor to represent one of the best colleges in the country,” said Rhodes, a former surfer for Pierce College and on the pro-am level. Pepperdine hired Rhodes as the Waves surfing coach two weeks ago, four months ahead of the group’s first meet in the fall. Rhodes said in anticipation of Pepperdine’s first competition in October at Blacks Beach in San Diego, he will begin assembling the Waves men’s and women’s surf squads. The new coach said he is looking to have around 10 to 12 surfers on each team. “I’m already doing outreach with some of the kids that will be returning to Pepperdine,” Rhodes said. “Then, at the New Student Orientation Day on Aug. 22 all the sports teams have their tents up to do recruitment, so I will be there.”
The Waves surfing squad is a bit different from other Pepperdine sports teams, such as basketball, baseball and women’s soccer. The group is a club — meaning it is not run out of the university’s athletic department and not governed under the NCAA, the body that regulates athletes at colleges across the country. The group is one of several college surf clubs in Southern California that compete in meets against each other along the coastline under the banner of the NSSA, billed as the highest profile amateur competitive surfing association in the U.S. The Waves rivals include teams from UCLA, USC and UCSB. The Waves will have eight or nine events up until the NSSA championships next June.

Rhodes, also the vice president of KATIN USA and A Walk On Water board member, doesn’t expect his time coaching the Waves to affect his time coaching Malibu High’s surf team — also a club — which competes in the Scholastic Surf Series. Rhodes said Cerin Wanderlust, who aids the MHS surfing club in logistics, will help the Waves surf group. The surfing coach noted some differences between leading high schoolers and college students into surfing events, but he said his coaching style would remain the same with both groups “I’m a firm believer in building strong character,” Rhodes said, “building self-confidence, teaching teamwork, working together and playing all the athletes.” He said as head Wave he wants to make Pepperdine’s surf club fun for the athletes involved. Rhodes said he has zero expectations for the first season.

“I’m looking to build something fantastic for the school and the community,” he said. “I’m a firm believer of building firm character in athletes and that helps lead to a bright future.”

Gray skies didn’t deter hundreds of ocean-lovers from attending the Clif Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival at the Santa Monica Pier this weekend. SUP stars Candice Appleby and Slater Trout took big wins against a stacked field of hardcore local and international SUP athletes in a race that manages to draw big crowds but maintain its local feel. Over 400 racers were present across the disciplines.

SUP racers looking to lock down the overall title had to compete in the 5.2-mile distance paddle and the Paddle Cross event in out through the surf.
Appleby (pictured above) took second here last year in a tie-breaker to two-time consecutive champ Shae Foudy but after a dominating performance in the 5.2-mile paddle and a third place in the Paddle Cross, came away with the overall win.

A first-place overall finish against top racers such as Toby Cracknell and Danny Ching counts as one of Slater Trout’s biggest wins in recent memory (he had a win in Santa Cruz this year but the field wasn’t as stacked).
This photos were shot by Mike Muir. There are a lot more photos in his complete Santa Monica Pier Paddle Board Gallery.

Complete Race results List.
Modest Surf Continues through Weekend.

Modest to fun zone surf continues off a combo of SSW swell and NW-WNW swell through this weekend and early next week. Swell mix should offer some fun peaks at better exposed combo beach-breaks. SoCal has light AM winds while many areas through North/Central CA see problematic NW winds persist. Better Southern semi swell for SoCal mid next week.