Summer can be a frustrating time for surfers.
It has all the aesthetics — blue skies, warm, sparkling water, and long days capped by breathtaking sunsets. But the actual surf conditions can be rather defeating. It’s a season far removed from whatever that 1960s surf rock band was singing about, and it’s more in tune with ankle-high waves, traffic, and long, hot days spent mindlessly checking the 16-day forecast.
Thankfully, we have people like Grant Noble to chat with when we’re looking for inspiration during this slower time of the year. If you don’t know Grant already, you should. He’s a true tastemaker in surfing, something that is all too often unappreciated in today’s content-driven scene. He’s also one of the most stylish people with a bit of fiberglass under their feet, and for lack of a better phrase, he’s just too cool to ignore.
Grant’s been a friend of Cali Squeeze for some time, and he’s the perfect person to call up when we want to add some spark to our daily routine. We recently dropped him a line to talk about his summer and to hear some pointers on finding waves and keeping life interesting on even the smallest, most onshore days.
“This summer has been a hard one for waves!” he told us. “There’s been lots of onshore wind for my local breaks in Newport and Huntington Beach, so finding waves nearby has been a challenge. I just did a recent trip to mainland Mexico for the Duct Tape Invitational, and it was insane. We surfed glassy waves all day and I got to surf my brains out.”
At home, Grant likes to stay both mellow and local. “My average day usually starts with an early dog walk,” he said. “You gotta keep the pooch happy. Post dog walk, I’m surfing Newport or working in the surfboard factory depending on the waves. Then usually around the afternoon I’m hanging with my lady, fishing, or having a boys night. I’m still living the life of absolute gromhood.”
And when it comes to prepping for the tricky summer conditions? “I’ll usually choose a shortboard if the waves are calling,” he told us. “Newport is hard to beat, because during the south swells there are left tubes down the beach. But it only happens every so often, so I settle for our California standards of surfing — knee-high and under club. For riding a log, I’ll find myself at San-O, Malibu, and secret spots in Baja during the summer months when it’s not so log-friendly in Newport.”
“My favorite board for this time of year would have to be a fish,” he continued. “Surprising I know, hah, but around town we are starting to see our summer south swells which translates to punchy beach break barrels, most of the time. The fish is an epic board, it paddles super good and once you’re up, it feels like a skateboard on the water. If I’m not on a fish I’ll be riding a noserider I shaped, however. Something to get a lot of waves. More waves is always more fun.”
As you may have just realized, when he’s not surfing, Grant spends his time shaping surfboards for himself, friends, and clients alike. “Since COVID started it has been off the hook,” he said when we asked about how much time he’s been spending in the shaping bay. “Surfing is the perfect, distant friendly sport that everyone could do six feet apart. I’ve been keeping boards stocked up and down the California coast, from San Francisco to the depths of San Diego. Output has been at an all-time high growing the surf stoke. But the crowds…”
If you want to catch Grant here soon, he’ll be competing in the upcoming Vans Duct Tape Invitational longboard contest in Huntington Beach. It starts on August 3rd and will be continuing until the 7th. We’ll be there with plenty of Squeezes, and the waves are looking like they’ll be uncharacteristically good for this time of year. It’ll be a great time, and we’ll see you then.