Bruce Anderson's photo of Steamer Lane

This area is just west of Steamer Lane; the lighthouse structure in the photo houses the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum. Outside of the Surfing Museum is a plaque that was recently given to Santa Cruz by the Hawaiian Royal Family; it has a bronze portrait of the three princes from Hawaii who first brought surfing to Santa Cruz in 1875. They used boards that were milled from local Redwood trees, and surfed near the mouth of the San Lorenzo River.

Average rating of 4.60 from 129 votes

Steamer Lane

Spot Location: California, Central > Central California > Steamer Lane

Date Taken: . 25991 page views since 23rd July 2010.

Historic forecast unavailable for this photo.
doobie mcshitlips's avatar

doobie mcshitlips Mar 7, 2011 Rating: 1

tits beach yo , now go home

Rolandcross's avatar

Rolandcross Nov 7, 2010 Rating: 0

was just looking at this shot again.. and if u look real closely in the shadow and at the base of the wave. looks like theres a person about to get crunched

Rolandcross's avatar

Rolandcross Nov 6, 2010 Rating: 0

grabs skimboard*

Daz.'s avatar

Daz. Oct 2, 2010 Rating: -1

Now that is scary.

Rich Walsh's avatar

Rich Walsh Jul 30, 2010 Rating: 0

Forget Jaw dropping, my balls just went south...again ! Awesome shot, looks like a Nacht mare spot tho !

Sids Surf Shack's avatar

Sids Surf Shack Jul 29, 2010 Rating: 0


BritishQuadFish's avatar

BritishQuadFish Jul 28, 2010 Rating: 1

thats mayhem... rather be in the center of california than the center of that thing...

mambo man's avatar

mambo man Jul 27, 2010 Rating: -1

thats just angry!

NorthSeaFlatness's avatar

NorthSeaFlatness Jul 27, 2010 Rating: 1

Beautiful pic.

Shek O Sponger's avatar

Shek O Sponger Jul 27, 2010 Rating: 2


SurfingtheIsland's avatar

SurfingtheIsland Jul 27, 2010 Rating: 0

beautiful photo

andsowedrifttogether's avatar

andsowedrifttogether Jul 27, 2010 Rating: 0

great backwash photo!! were you familiar with this wave prior to shooting or was this just a lucky shot? either way, great stuff. appreciated your description of the photo as well.

toadboy's avatar

toadboy Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 2

This wave is alot of fun on its day - sometimes it starts breaking all the way out at the start of the rocks, and the backwash and wave refraction forms an epic wedge. mostly its spongers, but a few surfers attempt it; my buddy lives just north of here and we hit it all the time. SC's attempt at Newport I guess. the north side of this little beach gets good too on the right swell, but its a little bit tamer. great shot of ITS, we hardly see those on this site. good work.

Scott's avatar

Scott Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 1

looks like fun ;)

Daniel Satchell's avatar

Daniel Satchell Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 0

This wave is insane, i saw some footage the other day of some surfers attempting it when it was like this, i use the word attempting!

Reillser's avatar

Reillser Jul 28, 2010 Rating: -1

Where did you see it, I'd like to see how you would even attempt this

7's avatar

7 Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 0

I surfed there once, so not a local, but I believe most water activity happens in several spots all on the far side of the cliff.

M0NKEY's avatar

M0NKEY Jul 26, 2010 Rating: -1

TAXI !!!! - I don't think the three princes mentioned in the caption would be paddling onto that!

Dicer's avatar

Dicer Jul 26, 2010 Rating: -1

interesting paddle out, great capture! love the light shining through the backwash. any lids try surfing it?

EsbenT's avatar

EsbenT Jul 26, 2010 Rating: -1

That wave is just plain silly.

Suction Cup's avatar

Suction Cup Jul 26, 2010 Rating: -2

super pumping wedge; could enable a hardy rider to get barrelled on the back of the wave

Ratbag's avatar

Ratbag Jul 26, 2010 Rating: -1

Oh, yeah! Fantastically timed shot. What a bloody mess!

Spongerdudette's avatar

Spongerdudette Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 1

Great shot Bruce, deserves to be top shot +5.

Bruce Anderson's avatar

Bruce Anderson Jul 30, 2010 Rating: 0

I've covered just about everything at Steamer Lane, over roughly three years, now. Almost everything that I shoot is from The Point, The Slot, and Middle Peak. It's very difficult to get surfers who are surfing left, at The Point, and The Slot; most breaks are to the right in those two areas. Middle Peak breaks, on the other hand, often begin from the open water towards the cliffs; great way to catch the surfers moving directly towards you, but you've got to have a really strong day, with very large swells for Middle Peak to even work. Mid-winter is the best time for shooting at Steamer Lane; Summer is the worst...all of the huge storms in the North Pacific have died down, and the area can be virtually flat for days at a time. Since I began doing this I've watched well over 30,000 surfing runs (I'm over at The Lane four to five times a week, during the winter...weather permitting), and I have probably taken close to 10,000 photos (I'm on my fourth DSLR, now); out of those shots I have around 2,000 photos that I think enough of to keep.

toadboy's avatar

toadboy Jul 29, 2010 Rating: -1

got any pics of the north end of ITS going off?

Bruce Anderson's avatar

Bruce Anderson Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 0

Thank you, spongerdudette. I'm up in Sacramento with my daughter for a few days; we drove up for the State Fair, and to go through several of the various museums that are scattered throughout the area. I'll be home tomorrow, and I'll probably put a few more shots up tomorrow evening. I'll put up a few shots that captured the other side of the cliffs that day, too. There were a lot of very decent swells rolling through, that day. The Surfing Museum is roughly 100 feet or so to the west of where I do all of my Steamer Lane shooting.

JeeForce's avatar

JeeForce Jul 26, 2010 Rating: 0

Great photo - scary how big the backwash is! Do you have any more from the same day, it would be good to see.

Bruce Anderson's avatar

Bruce Anderson Jul 28, 2010 Rating: 1

I just up-loaded eight more shots from that day; two were taken from the same spot as this one; one (from the Steamer Lane side of the cliffs) shows a view of two surfers on the cliff above a favored drop-off point used by many surfers to enter the water: the other five shots are surfing shots taken from the Steamer Lane side of the cliffs (rougly a quarter mile to the NE of where the first two shots were taken).