California Surf Museum
I’m sorry I’ve been waiting to say that since I made a road trip detour through downtown Oceanside and stumbled on the California Surf Museum. It’s a tucked off the PCH a block from the Pier in a white building. The current exhibit is “A Brief History of Surfboards.”
In the door, Gabe took my money at the front desk. It was a $5 donation. I don’t know what happens if you don’t want to donate. Though if you don’t have any cash money you can go on Tuesdays for free. Or if you are less than 12 you can go for free. HOWEVER, if you are less than 12 you should stop reading this blog and go yell at your parents for failing you.
I wandered left to right in a big circle checking out ancient and not so ancient surfboards, and learned not just about the technology advance in boards but also the people behind those advances. Surfboards are inherently cool, but a room with a bunch of boards leaned up isn’t really much of a museum. California Surf Museum is a room with a bunch of good true stories that happen to be about surfboards. Each board or display had easy to read histories, and were generally pretty interesting whether you surf or not. Longboards, shortboards, body boards and friggin’ jet boards were on display along with surf memorabilia from the early days of surf.
Hell with that. We’re going surfing. – John Severson, Surfer
Highlights include an exhibit dedicated to John Severson the famed surf artist and creator of SURFER magazine. Also, the exhibit with the board and swimsuit worn by Bethany Hamiliton when a shark bit of her arm. I’ll say that again. A shark bit off her fucking arm. That is pretty insane. More insane is Bethany Hamilton who decided to keep on surfing. And finally, a small section bringing attention to ReRip. ReRip is a Point Loma based non-profit organization dedicated to saving surfboards from landfills. One way they do that is by turning them into artist canvases. A few of those canvases are in the CSM. Definitely, check them out and learn more about what they do.
Secret travel tip…because most guidebooks always have one…use the bathroom. At least the men’s. There is some killer photography up on the walls. And if you’re looking for a chill place to hang out check out the poorly hidden “Secret Space” in the back. Worth the 2 minute trip off HWY 5, CSM, is little gem of a surf museum in Oceanside. And they have a well done website with lots of information and more stories.
California Surf Museum
312 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92504
Open Daily 10AM – 4 PM & Thursdays till 8 PM
$5 – Adults
$3 – Seniors, Military, Student
Free – Under 12, Tuesdays & CSM Members