Steamer Lane Retrospective


 A look back at Northern California’s most iconic break.

From Surfer Magazine


Anthony Ruffo, one of Santa Cruz’s best goofyfooters, won the Coldwater Classic in 1985. Now thirty years later, Ruffo will be donning a Coldwater jersey once again. Photo: Trefz


Quiet and focused local Richard Schmidt was a staple in in the lineup at Steamer Lane and was one of the first to charge Mavericks. Photo: Trefz


During the 1989 O’Neill Pepsi CWC, Martin Potter defeated rival Brad Gerlach for the win. Later that year, Pottz went on to pocket his one and only world title. Photo: Prefontaine


In the early ’90s, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, in addition to fellow Santa Cruz legends like Jason “Ratboy” Collins, and Shaun “Barney” Barron, was an aerial pioneer. Photo: Trefz


In 1987, Newport Beach’s Richie Collins won the coveted Coldwater Classic title when it was a World Tour event. Photo: Prefontaine


When Tom Curren visited Santa Cruz, he always turned heads (naturally) with his style and grace. In 1990, Curren took home the Coldwater Classic title. Photo: Trefz


By the early ’90s, Santa Cruz native Peter Mel was one of the top all-round surfers in the area. At Steamer Lane and surrounding reefbreaks, Mel charged massive waves with the same style he’d use to throw down radical maneuvers in smaller waves. Photo: Trefz


Longtime local legends Jack O’Neill (right) and son Pat O’Neill (left) who collectively made everyone’s lives a little more enjoyable at the Lane. Pat invented the leash a couple decades after his father brought neoprene to the surfing masses. Photo: Prefontaine


Santa Cruz’s own Kieran Horn, using local knowledge to secure a win in 2003 in front of his hometown. Photo: Prefontaine


Spectators gather near the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, home to the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Photo: Prefontaine


A young Dane Reynolds, during his early ASP days, looking comfortable on a clean Steamer Lane wall. Photo: Prefontaine


Early mornings in Northern California are often far from warm, but the early bird gets the worm. Photo: Prefontaine


A young John Florence, far from his tropical Hawaiian home, boosting for the fans at the 2009 Coldwater Classic. Photo: Prefontaine


Adam Melling, flexing on his backhand at Middle Peak in pumping conditions during the 2009 Coldwater Classic. Photo: Prefontaine


Two-time Coldwater Classic champion, Nate Yeomans. After his first win in 2009, Yeomans was the man to take down in 2014. In the final, he defeated local Shaun Burns for the event win and a $50,000 O’Neill sponsorship. Photo: Prefontaine


The iconic surfer sculpture, erected in 1992 at Lighthouse Point and dedicated to the Lane and it’s locals. Photo: Prefontaine

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