Battle for the Ranch

If you surf in California you’ve heard of The Ranch. It’s as mythical as any stretch of sand in California and for good reasons: beautiful weather, pristine landscape, and, of course, perfect waves. It may not always be that way. Developers have been pressing (and mostly failing)  to cash in on the landscape for decades by putting large developments and golf courses over the rolling hills north of Santa Barbara. For years, the Surfrider Foundation has been there to fight them.

The Twenty, an upcoming documentary from Surfrider, explores the Gaviota coast and tells the story of the fight to protect some of the last undeveloped coastline in Southern California. While it may be a bit dramatic, it provides some serious food for thought. For more discussion, check out an interview with filmmaker Scott Walker about the movie on

For more info, visit:

–Will Taylor

Tags: ,

  • Just Sayin’

    This is a good thing to preserve 100%. The Ranch is so awesome and beautiful it should be a national park. The only wrinkle i find in this, is that the Ranch is private. I’ve surfed there 2 times in my life and when i did the vibe was a bit grumpy and it is a mission to get there at that. They are asking the world to help defend “our” land. But only a few lucky homeowner and parcel owners can enjoy it anyway. This clip says for our children to enjoy for generations but most surfers and surfers to come will never get to surf or see this magical stretch. Help defend against progress but it really only benefits the residents that live there. I can see that being an issue when it comes to any court case.

  • fuggedaboudit

    never been there but heard all about it-Just sayin has a great point-personally i hope it stays private but it would be cool to have some sort of zone that actually had a few good surf spots opened up for the public that were willing to make the trek.

  • mjg827

    It is a beautiful stretch, but every break here is fickle & difficult to access even for land owners due to the cliffs. My Ex’s family had a parcel up there, so I was lucky to have road access, but I only surfed there 6 times in 3 years and only 2 of those days were close to epic. As far as carrying a SUP to the water, it would be a trek. During the winter months, there is a grumpy old guy that lives up there who just leaves his 10′ longboard in the bag by the foot of the trail at 1st point (Hope point?) so he doesn’t have to lug it up the trail as often.
    As you can guess, land owners are super defensive. I got the 20 questions from grumpy old long board guy and a few other locs who were trying to determine if I was there legitimately, but once I dropped a name and pointed in the direction of dad-in-law’s parcel everyone was cool. Dad-in-law told me that outsiders used to launch small boats from Gaviota pier & drop anchor on the outside to surf the ranch. The locs would paddle out & cut the anchor ropes.
    If any of this sounds worth it and you have the dough, land prices are mostly in 7 figures, most parcels for sale are undeveloped & if you buy a parcel without an existing structure, good luck with the coastal commission & SB Dpt. of Building & Safety.

  • ItsPrivateSoUseYourOwnMoney

    Also agree with sentiment of this is private land so they should not be begging the public for help. Its multi-million dollar private land. Emphasis on PRIVATE. Its great they would like to keep it undeveloped and pure but the truth is they don’t want you anywhere near it. The idea of protect it for generations to come is complete garbage. You can’t use or see this place… much less surf there. So why donate to keep it this way?? So a few very wealthy people get to live and relax in natural California??

Related Posts: