don't mess with the board

Surfers Battle for CA's Beaches

It wouldn’t be Cali if the day didn’t start with a surf, right? Park among the campervans lining the cliffs of Cowell Beach and join the many surfers who’ve come to blow the morning cobwebs away. Picture perfect, with its wharf and boardwalk, Cowell’s just a short hop from downtown Santa Cruz. Very chilled, the slow summer rollers are great one for learner legs, or those who’ve indulged in a little beach-partying the night before.

Laid-back surfer-types aren't much for fights, but when it comes to their waves, there's no holding back. A new documentary looks at California's Martin's Beach, which is owned by a billionaire venture capitalist, and the surfers and beach-goers battling for the right to use it. The California Constitution "guarantees public access to the state's beaches," and the surfers' have launched a lawsuit on the grounds that the property’s locked gate violates the California Coastal Act of 1976. Known as the "Martin's Five," the wave-loving group was arrested for trespassing on the beach. Although charges against them were dropped, they have decided to pursue their case for the right to hang five.