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July 22, 2015 - To escape the heat of the Inland Empire, today we headed for the coast to see the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente.  ESPN refers to SHACC as the "Smithsonian of Surfing."  The non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving, presenting and promoting surfing’s heritage and pays homage to the board-building craft that dates back to ancient Hawaii.

Almost one-third of the surfboards on display are vintage wooden long boards.  The photo below shows their basic construction.

When we were looking at these boards, the boards from the early 1900's were typically 15-20 feet and the heaviest one we saw weighed 140 pounds.  At the end of the exhibit, some of the modern foam and fiberglass boards were down to 6 feet in length and some only weighed 6 pounds.  There was a lot of technological innovations during that 100 year span.

The interesting back story to the famous "shaper," Hobie Alter, was that his father bought him a vacant lot on the Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point for $1,500 in 1953.  I think that same lot today would command millions of dollars.

Their collection is displayed beautifully and almost all of the boards are well documented with pictures of the person who created the board.  A lot of the pictures showed the "shaper" riding their board.  It's worth the trip.

Before the museum, we drove down to the pier in San Clemente to grab a bite to eat.  We both fell in love with this beach community.  The Amtrak trains were going through town on the tracks located between the beach and the main street, Avenida Victoria.

We chose to eat at the Beach Garden Cafe and we made the right choice.  We both had their "Fish and Shrimp Combo," that had an excellent batter and scrumptious shrimp.  It was wonderful!

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