VENTURA

 

                                                                   
Through the years, California Street has endured numerous face-lifts. Two decades ago, when it was known as Surfer's Point, a crew of hard-core locals proudly guarded their break against invaders from the south (Oxnard and Malibu), the east (the Valley) and the north (Santa Barbara). These days, with a boardwalk, pay parking machines (a buck an hour), islands of well-groomed sod and bathroom and shower facilities, the three-fourths mile series of points known as California Street, located in front of the Ventura County Fairgrounds, has been tamed into submission.

In front of the main parking lot is California Street, a mushy beginner-oriented break that offers a dominant right with an occasional steeper left. On a minus low tide and large winter swell, Inside C Street (better known as Inside Point) can be one of the best waves in Ventura, with long, flawless walls that reel to the pier. When it's small, Inside Point -- the venue of the world's first pro surfing event, Tom Morey's $1500 Noseriding Invitational in 1965 -- is a longboarder's dream wave: everything that First Point Malibu offers without the surly Dora descendents yelling for priority.