The Art of Surfing

Calla Camero

Ocean Beach is known for having one of the most powerful, unpredictable, and thrilling waves around. From the Cliff House all the way down to the Sloat Beach access, this heavy line keeps surfers on their toes with its erratic conditions. While some think it is too dangerous, others find the mysteriousness of the wave a type of thrill that solidifies what surfing is all about—the challenge.

James Mitchell is the owner of Sunset Shapers located on Noriega and 46th, right in the heart of the Sunset District neighboring Ocean Beach. His shop features handcrafted works and carries surfboard labels like Las Olas Surfboards, Tim Gras, and more. Sunset Shapers also carries shop apparel, locally made jewelry, and surfing accessories. Mitchell is a Bay Area native and a surfboard shaper extraordinaire. He talks about his love for surfing, Ocean Beach, his dog, and his community that he both works and lives in.

Jared Cassidy, twenty-two, is an SF State student majoring in Business. Also a resident of the Sunset District, Jared first picked up a board at the age of six years old. While his hometown of Newport Beach carries some of his youngest and greatest memories like surfing at Blackies with his friends and family, Jared says that Ocean Beach is by far his favorite and most challenging wave.

You do not always know why you love the things that you do. Sometimes there is not any one explanation. But for people like Jared and James, it is obvious that surfing is more than a sport, it is a form of self expression. The community surrounding Ocean Beach is as strong as the break itself. And local surfers like Jared and James embrace its secret nature by charging through, paddling out, and perfecting the art of surfing.