Rockpiles (formerly known as "Dorsey's Rock Pile" after 1960s-'70s Seal Beach Lifeguard Chief Tim Doresy), it's an easy spot to overlook even though it's only a few hundred yards down the beach from the more frequented Off The Wall, Backdoor and Pipeline ... perhaps because it's not nearly as perfect and the bottom contours are not nearly as forgiving (i.e. breaks in exceptionally shallow water over sharp, jagged lava reef in front of, you guessed it, a big pile of rocks). When it does clean up its act it can offer some of the bigger, more stomach-in-your-throat waves on the North Shore, and thusly it attracts a unique breed of sadistic, hard-charging hellmen.
This winter it was packed at the more premier spots like Backdoor and Pipe, so before the sun set I decided to march down the beach and see what I could come up with at Rockpiles. It wasn't epic, but guys were making some pretty crazy drops and it looked like they were having a lot of fun. There weren't a lot of takers, so the lineup was lightly attended and just reminded me of what surfing on the North Shore should be about. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of spots that aren't that impacted and offer up plenty of thrills ... whether you're surfing or filming.