Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sacred Surf

When the Swamis petition went online it included some language that connoted Swamis being sacred. I would have never written that, however I do understand how that could happen.

It is a Spiritual Place
Photo: sunseasurf

Swamis is the site of spiritual retreats. The web page for the retreat reads:

"You may be surprised at what seclusion with God will do for your mind, body, and soul…. Through the portals of silence the healing sun of wisdom and peace will shine upon you."

— Paramahansa Yogananda

A crowed street fair, contest horns, and sound systems wouldn't be super compatible. I'm guessing the SRF is thinking that one contest (and a token minor second contest) could be swallowed in the effort to avoid conflict with the contest promoters.

Once the contests free zone tradition is broken, there will be much less opposition to contests. Even if the current council gives the WWLB a monopoly on contests at Swamis, a future city council may be much more willing to allow 3, 4, 5 contests a year. The tradition will have already been broken. The press will be bored with the issue and the community disillusioned.

Swamis Ceremonies

Swamis is so special to so many residents that they hold significant ceremonies at Swamis.

Swamis provides a natural confluence in terms of aesthetics and structure for the social, spiritual, and physical activities of many Encinitas residents. Swamis, the place and its people, are meaningful to many.

The Absence of Contests

People for Swamis identifies the lack of contest as a reflection of the values of our city. Quoted from People for Swamis:

...our struggle with defining why a competition at the Swamis Beach Park is wrong is because our reasoning is unquantifiable. Our reasoning is based in the aesthetic of the community.

Our reasoning is more art than science.

Encinitas as a surf hamlet has distinguished itself from Santa Cruz, Huntington Beach and Malibu, it is a surf community true to its own values as a surf community.

In Encinitas, at Swamis, at the Crown Jewel of Encinitas, surfing is about a lot of things, both good and bad, but the one thing that surfing is NOT about at Swamis is horns and jerseys and scaffolding and winners and losers. The powers that be in Encinitas don't allow for that stuff at Swamis. We think this to be... pretty cool.

Contests are NOT what surfing is about. Winning a trophy is not a core value of surfing.

Take a look at the Swamis Beach Park today. Residents and citizens from ALL walks of life: the young mother with her baby stroller, the guitar dude strumming melodically, the joggers, the watercolor artists, the coffee drinkers, the boot camp Marines, the newspaper readers, the bike riders, the dog walkers, the exercise folks, the daily swimmers, the divers, the Yoga classes, the young families, the lady hawking egg rolls, the balancing wire folks, the exercise classes, the fisherman, sadly a few homeless folks -- and yes the surfers, all of them and many, many more enjoyed the peace and serenity that the Swamis park and the Swamis beach below offered.
There is a move in other cities to "create great places". They have a desire (or at least marketing) to get their residents out into the same space, socializing with each other, and participating in activities together. Much of their efforts are very artificial and destined to not live up to the sales pitch. No worries?

Encinitas has many great places already. One of them is Swamis. This is a place where people of all walks of life jointly share in their life experiences. It is not just surfers. It is people of all ages.

Swamis is an icon of Encinitas. For many it is Encinitas. Many of them think that Swamis is a bellwether for their hometown, so this issue has become symbolic.

Calling Swamis sacred is a bit over the top. Yet, most people who don't come to the coast wouldn't understand how important Swamis is to the substance of our city. It may not be sacred, but we should recognize that Swamis is one of our city's truly special places. K.C.

Blogger's Note: The keep Swamis open to the public petition wasn't posted by Leucadia bloggers.


  1. the more sacred swami's is depicted the more desirable it becomes for exploitation...really, there isn't a private awesome break left anywhere in CA

  2. swamis is no secret.

  3. Great post.

    The City Council doesn't surf and can't get it what this place means to us. Swami's is the last place that hasn't be desecrated by surf contests in town. They are clueless and only want to suck up to Linda thinking they will be in the limelight also.
    What about the logistics of having the contest there? Where to put the judging scaffold, on the rip rap or the bluffs? where do the spectators hang out, the SRF? or on the reef or the very unstable rip rap. What happens when a bolder slips from some people standing on it and crushes someone below? Or tries climbing down the bluff and slips and falls.
    What about parking? Think no one will use Vulcan and cross the tracks. But we could have the police issue tickets and call it a fundraiser.
    The SRF owns the bluffs and the beach to the mean high tide line, they are liable for injuries along with the city. But I'm sure the city will indemnify them as they have deep pockets.
    There are many reasons to not have any contests at Swami's but only excuses to allow it.
    No one on the council surfs or even goes in the ocean, if they ever did, so what gives these transplants the right to shove a contest down our throat?

  4. Great Post.

    The bottom line is the pensions are killing the City financially and the City is looking under every rock for a few dollars to make their budget look better.

    Cut the pensions and you cut much of the pressure to privatize public spaces for City profit.

    Vote out Dalager. Queen Sell Out!

    The word out to all your voting friends and family that Dalager is a sell out. If you don't, you are not helping anything and you are enabling the existing BS.

  5. Get over it! Swamis is just another beach on the coast of California. No different than Malibu, Rincon, Mavericks, etc. Protect Swamis like we should be doing to all our beaches.

  6. This post left me a believer in the beauty of Swamis. I never really appreciated it before and will fight to keep it free from any kind of contest. Beautiful photos.

  7. I've never heard of surf contest being held at Rincon. Maybe the women's longboard championship should exploit Rincon instead of Swamis. Rincon is a better wave.

  8. What a bunch of horseshit!

  9. If a tribe lived there it would be designated as holy ground.

  10. Hold the contest at Lunada Bay! The locals will welcome you with...........
    avo st mafia

  11. Hold the contest in Olivenhain. Problem solved.

  12. "Winning a trophy is not a core value of surfing."

    What are the core values of surfing??

  13. Kevin: The photos are beautiful. I especially like the paddleout photo. Are these available for sale, and if so where?

  14. "Encinitas...,is a surf community true to it's own values as a surf community" WHAT THE FUCK??? What does that mean?? What values?? What community??

    Were you high on dope when you wrote this nonsense?? Jeez, get a grip on reality!! Fuck dude, you are nuts!!


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