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Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz

Steamer Lane, Sailing Santa Cruz 

Steamer Lane (sometimes Steamer’s Lane or Steamer’s) is a famous location for surfing in Santa Cruz. Steamer Lane is off a point along West Cliff Drive (12) and is very accessible for both surfing and viewing. The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is housed in a lighthouse on the point and staffed by docents such as Harry Mayo and others from the Santa Cruz Surfing Club who have surfed Santa Cruz since the 1930’s. Historical photos and equipment fill the small museum. Steamer Lane was the location of the development of the modern wetsuit and leash by Jack O’Neill, who lost an eye at Steamer Lane.

Santa Cruz is said to be the site of the first surfing in California, in 1885, when 3 Hawaiian princes, Prince Edward, David, and Jonah Kalaniana’ole surfed on redwood surfboards at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. According to Wikipedia, Santa Cruz has 11 world-class surf breaks, including those at Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point. Santa Cruz hosts several international surfing competitions every year, as well as local competitions, and is home to O’Neill Wetsuits and Santa Cruz Surfboards.

Even if you are not part of the surf culture, the point at Steamer Lane is a great place to be a spectator, relax, and watch folks enjoying the beach to the west at sunset.

Update: March 23, 2008 – The photos of Santa Cruz Area State Beaches and surfing at Steamer Lane are up on cheshirecatphoto.com. Almost 200 photos, including over 100 surfing shots, were placed in the California CoastFlowers, and Outdoor Recreation albums in the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™. Lower-resolution versions of all photos of the coast and flowers, but only a sample of the surfing shots, were also placed in the Portfolio, in the Calfornia CoastFlowers, and Outdoor Recreation sections, respectively.

Enjoy!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.

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