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Rules of the Road Trip: Camping from Malibu to San Francisco

Ashley Johnson wears the Tabatinga Top as well as Calafia Leggings. Leah Dawson wears the Zuma Surf Suit. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 

One VW van, 4 friends, a quiver of long as well as curt boards, as well as 400 addition miles traveled from Malibu to San Francisco. What happened inwards betwixt on those opened upward route stretches inwards Big Sur as well as Santa Cruz? The waves guided Leah Dawson as well as Ashley Johnson's PCH journeying of when to remain longer, detour or motility on.

We asked Ashley to portion her favorite moments of the trip, as well as her advice for a fun-filled surf getaway from SoCal to NorCal waves as well as temperatures.



Leah at Malibu, wearing the Nazare bodysuit. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 

Rules of the Road Trip:

It's all virtually the surf.

You tin brand a plan, but its ever going to alter based on where the waves are the best. Let the great last your guide. “Although nosotros did hitting upward each spot nosotros planned to, the amount of fourth dimension inwards each expanse definitely changed based upon surf as well as also vacation weekends! We pretty much got super lucky inwards most areas nosotros scored surf every place!” Ashley says.

Dress inwards layers — swimsuits as well as clothing.


Malibu was warm plenty to surf inwards swimsuits, but yesteryear the fourth dimension they hitting Big Sur, as well as parts of Santa Cruz, neoprene is a must. Same goes for wearing apparel on land. For SoCal sunny days, Ashley packed lots of Seea swimsuits, skillful sunscreen, broad brim lid as well as sunglasses for Sun protection. For chillier Northern coast camping, she wore a skillful wetsuit the mutual frigidness surf, warm layers such every bit a Patagonia downwardly jacket as well as beanie for mutual frigidness nights as well as mornings.

Keep your van tidy.

Ashley says they started each sunrise getting their gear inwards depository fiscal establishment jibe to last attain for whatever the 24-hour interval holds. “Most of import is utilizing the infinite the best as well as organize all gear materials everyday! Things teach messy as well as tight, then it’s best to showtime each 24-hour interval packing all your ready organized daily earlier y'all showtime the adjacent destination. That means y'all teach the most room as well as comfort along the long drives,” Ashley says.

Make certain y'all select a house for your moisture stuff, as well as to dry out it betwixt sessions. “When on a surf trip, convey a bucket of some form to position your moisture gear in. And also last certain to dry out out at the cease of each day! Super key then other things don’t teach wet."

Ashley wears the Tres Palmas Top as well as Capitola Bottoms at Malibu. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 

Leah wears the Nazare bodysuit as well as Montara Rashguard at Malibu. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson.
Ashley wears the Tres Palmas Top as well as the Capitola bottoms at Malibu. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson.
Don't forget to dry out your Seea suits at the cease of the day! Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson.
Campsite for the night. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson.

Snacks as well as skillful music brand for skillful vibes during stretches of road.

The memories exterior your van — the glassy waves, the pinkish sunsets, the hiking views —probably stick inwards your retention the most later a route trip. But don’t forget that fourth dimension spent truly driving. On Ashley’s snack nutrient list: Stumptown java as well as French press, sesame seed almonds, trail mix, avocado, as well as bread.

Tell everyone charge upward playlists earlier y'all go. “Good playlist as well as gear for skillful jams! Any route trip y'all demand the jams for skillful vibes — it’s a must! One of my fav parts of trip jamming to Bob Marley patch Leah as well as I sang the tunes through weaving through Big Sur – Epic!”

Leah wears the Zuma Surf Suit. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
Ashley wears the Tabatinga Top as well as and Calafia Leggings. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
Detours are all role of the fun.

There were no waves inwards the key coast stretch, then instead, the crew met upward with a friend Preston, who took them to a cliff jump at Avila Beach. “Super fun detour from plan, but it was a HUGE jump. Biggest 1 I ever did. We had to swim approximately the cove to teach at that topographic point too! Climb upward the rocks to teach upward to the cave as well as cliff. It was definitely super sketchy to teach to the piece of employment yesteryear with crumbly clay as well as non much leafage to select care of onto. Once nosotros got to the top, literally the exclusively means to teach downwardly was to jump! It was virtually 35-40 pes jump. One of the highlights of the trip honestly, it was awesome!” Ashley exclaims.

Beware of Holiday weekends. 

Sometimes it’s unavoidable. The crew ended upward scoring with the thick crowds, but its non the most comfortable province of affairs to last sitting board to board out at that topographic point as well as paddle battling for each wave. 

You idea Hawaii was crowded? Ashley, a Kauai local, hadn't seen anything similar a California great day. “We surfed Pleasure Point. It was a flake of a civilization stupor for me. It was a vacation weekend, then everyone was out. SO much H2O as well as then many waves, as well as then many people. Everywhere. I couldn’t believe how many surfers at that topographic point were. But somehow nosotros all scored a lot of waves. Super fun!”

Anytime you’re exterior surrounded yesteryear nature tin exclusively last a skillful thing.


Ashley knows her trip was truly lucky for swell. When the waves don’t deliver, you’ll all the same select unreal cliff views as well as chances of a pretty lite present every nighttime to await dorsum on. “One of the best sunsets is where nosotros stopped off the side of the route later existence on a await out. The Sun only vivid pink, our VW van silhouette as well as fins only glowing inwards the night.”

Before the cliff jump. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
Cliff jump! Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
Relaxing on the road. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
Snack break. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 

Spot depository fiscal establishment jibe inwards Big Sur. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
The best sunsets. Photo yesteryear Bryce Johnson. 
All photos yesteryear Bryce Johnson featuring Leah Dawson as well as Ashley Johnson.

Video filmed yesteryear Ben Weiland with the Sony Action Cam.