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PADDLE WITH A PURPOSE
Gaviota surfers head to Mexico in the name of preservation
Photos: Branden Aroyan
SURF NEWS Paddle with a Purpose
July 15, 2009
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If you think the couple hundred-yard paddle up the point when the swell is running is an arm burner, try spending the better part of a month making your way from Gaviota to Mexico one stroke at a time. That is exactly what Santa Barbara-based surfers/alaia shapers Chadd Konig and Nole Cossart did with their Spring.
 
Departing just past sunrise on May 12 from a virtually empty Gaviota State Park, the duo spent the next three weeks and 320 miles headed south, rocking up at the Mexican border -- and receiving an obligatory border patrol shakedown -- on the first weekend of June.
From nightly covert camping on private stretches of sand and super sketchy harbor mouth crossings to epic south swell scores and countless ride alongs with dolphins and seals, the mission was a classic throwback to the days of adventure, self-reliance and untamed nature that were once the calling card of California.

"Naples... is a several hundred acre large slice of coastal heaven located at the eastern gate of the Gaviota and, if developer Matt Osgood gets his way, it will soon be home to some 71 mansions..."
-- In short, the reason why Chadd Konig and Nole Cossart decided to make the paddle
Even better, the paddle mission was more than just a Tom Sawyer-esque adventure for adventures sake. Besides harvesting stoke and spreading the giggle-inducing gospel of alaia surfing, Konig and Cossart were paddling in the name of preservation, hoping to raise awareness about the planned development of one of the more picturesque and surf-friendly stretches of the Gaviota Coast.

Santa Barbara Ranch, or Naples as it is popularly known, is a several hundred acre large slice of coastal heaven located at the eastern gate of the Gaviota and, if developer Matt Osgood gets his way, it will soon be home to some 71 mansions complete with guest houses, swimming pools, gated roads, an equestrian center and zero public access. For Chadd and Nole, the potential loss of this historic ranch to the "progress" of development was something they refused to take sitting down and, after partnering up with the preservation minded Naples Coalition, the young surfers had a means to that end.

While it remains to be seen what the fate of Naples will be, there is little doubt about the success of Cossart and Konig's paddle. Joined along the way by photographer Branden Aroyan, the boys had a trip of a lifetime.

For more info on the fight to save Naples check out www.savenaples.com.
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Comments: (2)    Add Your Comment
Tsgarlin 07/17/2009 09:30 AM
I hope the pair are successful in raising awareness about the planned development. I have surfed along the coast near Gaviota and it's a beautiful place -- serene, wild, and unique. To see it developed and closed down to the public would be a shame. Let's keep at least some of the California coast wild. Stop the development!
Fred Saunders 07/16/2009 05:19 PM   * PREMIUM MEMBER - Real Name
wow what a adventure.and i thought i did some crazy stuff when i was their age.nice job guys.
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