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Beaches With Little Swell
updated: Jul 07, 2014, 8:45 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I'm a local who visited Hope Ranch beach this weekend for the first time in my life. My 4 year old emerging swimmer had a great time experimenting with "body surfing" on its long, flat, kelp-free beach with shore-pound far from the play zone. It was perfect for him. Does anyone know of any other public locations with a beach like that?

I've lived and surfed here all my life; so my experience has been to look for more swell. Now I'm trying to find less of it. Any insight would be much appreciated.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 533334 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 08:48 AM

Goleta Beach


 MISTA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 08:50 AM

Nothing like taking visitors to West Beach on a hot summer day with the high tide line covered with the stink of rotting kelp and kelp flies buzzing around. There are miles of beach in SB County that could be "natural" for the Greenies~
Why not keep East and West beach raked for 3 months out of the year?


 COMMENT 533336 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 08:52 AM

OP - Did you walk to it along the tide line or were you a guest of a member?


 COMMENT 533337 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 08:57 AM

In my experience there are plenty of beaches as calm as HRB in the summer. Goleta Beach to the left of the pier, Leadbetter to the right of the point, Butterfly, Miramar, Anacapa Bay (the stairs at Campus Point in front of the Anacapa dorm).


 COMMENT 533342 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:07 AM

We like Campus Point beach at low tide. It's $4 to park there on Sundays or if the tides low enough you can park in the upper end of Goleta Beach parking lot for free & walk to Campus Point. It's a beautiful beach & we love the low swell body surfing :)


 COMMENT 533346P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:14 AM

Butterfly is usually pretty mellow. I was there the week before the 4th and was surprised at how few people were there, too-bonus :)


 COMMENT 533347 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:16 AM

Hope Ranch Beach and Butterfly tend to be the best as they are kept up better. The rest of the beaches are mostly for the poors and get less kelp clean up as well as general sand maintenance.


 COMMENT 533350 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:22 AM

345, exactly. OP, if you lived here and surfed here your whole life, you would know that HR beach is private. If your post stated that you were looking for "a public beach" that was absent kelp, then that would be one thing, but you said, "...other public locations."

Also, kelp comes and goes. It's everywhere along our coast with some beaches having less than others. Any surfer/surfing parent I know would know that, and it would be of no concern. In fact kelp often acts as a barrier slowing down waves and swell.

Carry on.


 COMMENT 533355 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:30 AM

except, that, there are no "private" beaches in California- read the coastal act


 COMMENT 533357 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:30 AM

um, the only reason there was little swell there, was because there was little swell EVERYWHERE locally.


 COMMENT 533358 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 09:33 AM

355 - "Private" in the sense that there is no ingress from the landward side. Access would be had along the water line.


 COMMENT 533377 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 10:11 AM

I always liked santa claus when I was that little. No rocks, little kelp, baby waves. good for body/boogie boarding as a wee tot.


 COMMENT 533381 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 10:17 AM

Carpinteria? For a long time they had a billboard claiming to be "World's Safest Beach".


 COMMENT 533383 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 10:20 AM

How 'bout "The World's Safest Beach" - Carpinteria.

We used to take our kids there in the 80s when they were toddlers for the safety factor of long, shallow play area with minimal waves.

They always loved it and we loved to top off the day with a burger from 'The Spot.'


 COMMENT 533385 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 10:24 AM

Santa Claus lane has the most similar beach. More Mesa adjacent to Hope Ranch has public access, but it's a long walk. Carpinteria also has a great beach.


 COMMENT 533396 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 10:53 AM

i hear lake Cachuma has a real nice beach right now....


 COMMENT 533406 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 11:08 AM

As much as the coastal act says they are public beaches, tell that to the gustapo at Hollister Ranch or Cojo Ranch, and you'll get a different response, usually a 10 gauge shot gun pointed at your face.


 COMMENT 533455 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 12:33 PM

Public beach below the high tide line, yes they are. Now that the Coastal Commission just got the power to assess fines to the people that block access maybe Wendy Mc will have to finally provide the access she promised when she bought the property in Hope Ranch. The chicken local pols won't force her to do it.


 COMMENT 533521 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 03:15 PM

OP here. Thank you to all the helpful responses. My kelp averse child will really appreciate it.


 SHORELINE agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 03:40 PM

Carpinteria Beach is a great beach for kids. (Pretty) clean, gentle slope, attentive lifeguards, big bathrooms, and itty bitty waves. We went almost every weekend when the kids were little, even though we live in Goleta. It's still their favorite beach, hands down.


 COMMENT 533544 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 04:02 PM

MISTA - Totally agree. Why the city does not clean up all that stinkin kelp in the summer and groom the sand is a real shame.


 COMMENT 533564 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 04:22 PM

Loon Point is a good beach.


 COMMENT 533583P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-07 04:59 PM

Campus, leadbetter santa claus are all nice. hendrys too. Kelp comes and goes, as one person said. It should definitely be raked away- perhaps by graffitti artists doing public service.


 COMMENT 533742 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-07-08 10:26 AM

I wish they would rake the beaches like they do in my home town of Pacific Beach. SOOOO MUCH BETTER! Take note City of SB, you seem to care so much about the tourists...


 COMMENT 589242 agree helpful negative off topic

2015-02-10 03:54 PM

god forbid the precious visitor is exposed to kelp! Maybe they would prefer the pool. The birds need the food the kelp generates, and in reality most of the beaches in socal are groomed, including east and west beach.


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