Although the Santa Barbara area is on a south-facing coastline, the swell window to the S and SW is entirely blocked by the presence of the four large Channel Islands. Point Conception further narrows the window of opportunity to W and NW swells that wrap around the cape and bend into Santa Barbara. When this happens, what's lacking in quantity is made up in quality at an unrivalled series of right pointbreaks. This set-up is the best in California on a medium to large SW-W swell. Straddling both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, this south facing coast is tricky; you can burn a lot of miles chasing a wave. The east part of Ventura from 'C' Street to Oxnard is clear of island shadows on direct S swells. On the extreme west end of the area, the Hollister and Bixby ranch areas near Point Conception are clear of the islands and pick up swells from due S to full N, depending on the spot. North of Conception, the west facing coast is exposed to prevailing winds and more swell, making spots like Jalama, Surf Beach and Point Sal classic for S wind or early morning sessions.