A week before the event, a group called the Ponto Troll Crew started rallying San Diego North County surfers on social media to “break out the foamies” because their annual takeover would be hitting Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad, CA on Monday, June 11. The call was heard loud and clear because according to photographer Gabe L’Heureaux, who shot the gallery above, over 150 surfers stormed the beach that day on some type of soft surf-craft as the first solid Southwest swell of the summer peaked.
Soft top takeovers have been an ongoing phenomenon for the past few years. Most notably the ones at Lowers, where costumed pirates raid Southern California’s crowded world-class wave on Costco Wavestorms, sending contest-groomed groms with stickered-up thrusters packing for the day.
Ponto Troll Crew’s takeover seems much more polite–kind pirates, if you will. The section of Tamarack they raided is closed-out shorebreak that’s un-surfable pretty much every day of the year. This week’s pulsing swell, combined with the high tide created body-launching backwash for the flashmob, providing perfect conditions for the novelty event.
Passing Tamarack is part of my daily commute, and as I sat in traffic in front of the spot, watching 10-20 surfers all going on the same straight-hander only to get detonated by wonky backwash on the inside, the whole scene seemed like a damn good time.
L’Heureaux confirmed that it was. “I couldn’t believe how many good surfing kids they were able to rally,” says L’Heureaux. “Moms, dads and a million people that saw what was going on decided to come watch, everyone seemed so stoked. At one point a pod of dolphins joined the session for a good 20 minutes, they were even doing airs in the waves too. I got back home and had a huge smile on my face thinking about what I just saw.”
All photos above by Gabe L’Heureux.