Leadbetter Unicorn Waves

Photography by Chris Garcia. Insta: @splintercat

We’ve had a strange couple of years in the Santa Barbara harbor. From being locked in by sand bars to the fabled Hurricane Marie, from 10 years of drought to torrential downpours. For better or worse things have been abnormal in Santa Barbara to say least… With the most recent bout of storms came something rare, grumblings from old timer locals that never in 50 years had they seen such a wave, we were witnessing something special. The rains, swell angle, wind and sand aligned in just the right way. Leadbetter beach, the Waikiki of Santa Barbara often referred to affectionately as “Bedwetters,” turned into a muddy Backdoor Pipeline, a peaky mocha Supertubos, a miniature Peurto Escondido. The locals were out in full force, plenty of familiar faces in the lineup including Bobby, Adam Lambert, Andrew Bennett and of course Kilian Garland. It was a unique moment and perhaps more rare than a Unicorn.

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