This breaks my heart every damn time I visit my mother there. so much potential not that long ago, and I have yet to see a single rideable wave in over a decade of visits. Surfed other spots, but not VeroSurfers: 00s. Arc, First Chapter, Free as a Dog, Secret Machine
Three of the Vero go-to's died in the late 90s/early 00s. First Peak turned to sh!t in early 00s. The last real Vero "spot" got worse after the Isabel swell in 2003 and now it's a shorebreak or blowout novelty.
im with ya remember surfing perfect 5 ft OTW mid 70's before the free ride blowup just me my bud and an uncontrollable giggling j hakman then the mid 80's when i moved to the PNW spent the next few years lookin for somebody to surf with now its a shitshow like every where elseLate 70's, you could still get fairly empty OTW, Pipe-backdoor if you went early or late. Laniakea and Rocky's were really manageable. Velzyland was very fun, but you still had to watch out the true locals there. Traffic was mellow. No cell phones or other bullshit to contend with. Waikiki was insanely fun for young guns. All south shore spots were accessible and seemed to pump alot more than now, but maybe thats just my memory. Always a crazy south swell in September as I recall. Ahhhh, that was the best time! Now I live in San Diego and still froth and make regular trips back home every year, but its not the same.
I'd say those were my best years too. Spent much of that time on the central coast, surfed some pretty burly waves. Crowds were less than half what they are now, across the board. No internet, no surfline. My waterman skills, surfing skills, and physical conditioning were at peak levels during those years and I surfed a lot. Once I hit my mid 30s all of those things kind of started slipping.76 to 86