Santa Cruz, California, is one of the most iconic surf towns in the country. History points to Hawaiian princes having introduced surfing to this region even before Southern California. By the 1930s, there was even a Santa Cruz surfing club. And when foam and fiberglass came into the picture, this town’s idyllic point breaks were just begging for a surf explosion.
Over the years, Santa Cruz surfers have led the charge at Northern California’s big wave venues and the breaks in town played a major role in progressive aerial surfing. Today, Santa Cruz is home to everything -- old school, above the lip antics, alternative craft and young Reilly Stone.
Stone is one of the most exciting young surfers in the country, but one who chooses to ride a heavy, old-style traditional single-fin longboard. And this guy is addicted to the glide. He grew up in Santa Cruz to surfing parents, he surfs for Bing Surfboards and was recently the youngest invitee to the Vans Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational in Tofino, British Columbia.
“Reilly’s personality is that of a quiet observer, I always joke he should be come a photojournalist as he’s always noticing details and pointing out great looking scenery. He’s a mild-mannered 17-year-old, and his demeanor is beyond his years. Reilly’s got the most incredible, relaxed style on a longboard that I’ve seen. He hails from Pleasure Point, where he’s steps away from world class longboarding,” says photographer/filmmaker Ryan Struck, who made the recent trip with Stone up to Canada and filmed him around home.
“His favorite spot is 38th. When most people think of Santa Cruz they think of Steamer Lane, barrels and punchy shortboarding waves. I’ve always found Pleasure Point a hidden nook, tucked away from that madness. If you find yourself there you’ll most likely see a tall, blonde-haired kid hangin’ on the end of his surfboard,” says Struck.
Seems like a good place for a kid to spend his time to stay out of trouble.
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