Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sea: Get in the Water

Those hoping to create their own endless summer here in Marin may want to take the advice of Bianca Valenti. Why? Valenti knows the topic: she's the only female pro surfer in the Bay Area and was recently crowned the first female Big Wave World Tour champion. More than just a wave-rider, she also just opened Valenti and Co., an Itallian restaurant in San Anselmo, with her dad, a chef.

Is it easy to learn here? No. With the cold water and driving times to the ocean, it is not the easiest place to learn, but it can be done.

Best starter board? Foam boards are the best. Next step would be a longboard and with progression the boards can get smaller.

Is boogie boarding a good way to start with getting comfortable? Absolutely; boogie boarding and bodysurfing are both great.

How about starting in the white wash? Yes, the white wash at Stinson or Pacifica is a great way to get started. Once you feel comfortable and confident enough to get out into the lineup, make sure you learn surf etiquette, for your safety and the safety and happiness of others.

Ways to practice balance? I love Indo Boarding. Also, skateboarding and Bosu balls at the gym are great for balance training.

Favorite break in Marin? It really depends on the swell, tides, weather — I surf Fort Cronkhite (main photo) most often, out of convenience and for the beauty.

Favorite Bay Area surf spot? Ocean Beach.

Basic Surf Etiquette

These tips, collected from surfline.com and Australia's Surfrider Foundation, will keep you safe and happy on the waves.

  • Don't drop in on another surfer.
  • Stay out of the way of other riders when paddling through the break.
  • Take turns.
  • Always help another surfer in trouble.
  • Give respect to get respect (especially if you're not at your local break).
  • Be responsible for your equipment and respectful of others'.
  • Relax, have fun and enjoy surfing.

Where to Rent and Learn

Tim Porter

101 Surf Sports Get on the water by means of a surfboard, stand-up paddleboard, kayak, kiteboard or even a windsurfing board, all available (along with lessons) at 101 Surf Sports' San Rafael location. 101surfsports.com

2 Mile Surf Shop With new and used boards, apparel and individual or group lessons, 2 Mile is a surf haven right down the street from Bolinas Beach, a favorite with local surfers looking for big waves. 2milesurf.com

Live Water Surf Shop Live Water has been supporting surf culture in Marin since 1978. With locations in Stinson and Fairfax, it's an easy place to buy or rent gear. livewatersurfshop.com

Proof Lab This surf and skate shop has everything you need to get wave ready, including boards, wetsuits and more. Stop by the Mill Valley location or check out the surf camp in the summer months. prooflab.com

Take a Dive

Looking for an open pool in Marin for laps or fun? Here's our short list.

Tim Porter

Homestead Valley Pool.


College of Marin (Kentfield) M-Su 1-6 p.m.; youth $4; adult $5; senior $3; 415.485.9587, marin.edu

Drake High School (San Anselmo) M-Th 1-3 p.m.; Sa 2-4 p.m.; $5 per person; 415.453.8770; tamdistrict.org

Indian Valley College (Novato) M-Th noon-4 p.m.; youth $4; adult $5; senior $3; 415.457.8811, marin.edu

Tamalpais High School (Mill Valley) M-Th 1-3 p.m.; $7 per person; 415.380.3585, tamdistrict.org

Community Centers

Hamilton Pool (Novato) Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; youth residents $4; adult residents $5; youth nonresidents $7; adult nonresidents $9; 415.883.6387, cityofsanrafael.org

Homestead Valley Community Association Pool (Mill Valley) T-F 1-6 p.m.; Sa noon-5 p.m.; Su noon-6 p.m.; 415.388.0137, homesteadvalley.org

Marinwood Community Center M-F 1:30-4 p.m.; Sa-Su 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; youth residents $6; adult residents $7; youth nonresidents $7; adult nonresidents $8; 415.479.2335, marinwood.org

McNears Beach Park (San Rafael) M-Tu closed; W-F 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sa-Su 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.; $5 per person; 415.499.6387, marincounty.org

Mill Valley Community Center M-Th 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; F 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sa 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Su 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; youth ages 2-18 $5; adults ages 19-59 $7; seniors age 60-plus $6; 415.383.1370, cityofmillvalley.org

Terra Linda Recreation Center Open daily during summer, 8:30 a.m.-5p.m.; youth residents $4; adult residents $5; youth nonresidents $7; adult nonresidents $9; 415.485.3344, cityofsanrafafel.org

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Summer Guide 2018

Welcome to Marin Magazine's Ultimate Summer Guide 2018

Muir Woods

Any one of the approximately 1.2 million people who set foot here every year can agree: there’s a magical quality to Muir Woods.

Lending a Hand

Here are ways to volunteer locally to help sustain the county’s diverse and unique resources.

Heavenly Hikes

Six trails that show off Marin’s natural beauty.

Music Festivals

Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street, and in the sequoias, and by a river, and under the stars. Northern California’s music fests bring a stellar combination of sounds, food, wine and fun to beautiful settings, all within a few hours of Marin.

Food and Drink Festivals

Friends, fun, sand, sun, food and drink — sounds like summer. From dog-friendly Livermore Valley Wine and Wags to Petaluma’s Big Q BBQ, here are tasty ways to celebrate.

Why You Should Eat Cherries and Where to Pick them in the Bay Area

Why these little balls of summer are a major win for your health, and where to find the nearest Bay Area cherry picking farm for your next summer adventure.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Things to do in Marin

The Magic of Magic Giant

The band's lead singer Austin Bisnow chats with Marin Magazine about their first album's successful debut before their upcoming performance at August Hall.

Out & About: February Events

A calendar roundup of the hottest local events.

Martin Sexton Plays Terrapin Crossroads

The soulful Americana musician will be playing a show at San Rafael's legendary venue.

Top Five Events in February

Our top picks for events happening this month.
Edit Module

Find Restaurants

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags