Watch: Cliff Collapses at Iconic Santa Cruz Surf Spot

An iconic Santa Cruz, CA surf spot is under threat.

Steamer Lane, the famed righthander off the bulging West Cliff Drive headland, is quite literally crumbling. Well, at least, the cliffside is. But the wave may be impacted, too.

Over the past couple weeks, multiple chunks of rock have fallen off the bluff and into the ocean, even as surfers were riding waves below. Check out the footage here:

Needless to say, it’s a dangerous, potentially catastrophic situation.

Speaking to the hazard factor, and the possible effects on the wave, Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve gave this breakdown in addition to sharing the videos:

“CAUTION: The cliff at Steamer Lane is currently very unstable. Avoid the cliff edge and the below area in the lineup.

Related: Iconic California Surf Spot Crumbling into Ocean Amid Huge Surf (Clip)

“The recent erosion may negatively impact the wave quality for high tide south swells at Steamer Lane due to the rocks falling directly into the area where waves typically break during these surfing conditions.

"Coastal erosion is natural and created the conditions for the great waves at Steamer Lane in the first place. While it’s unfortunate that the recent erosion has affected the wave quality for south swells in the short term, the long-term effects on wave quality are still unknown.”

Related: Clip: Huge Waves Destroy Popular San Diego Surf Spot Parking Lot

Fueled by a super El Niño season, the California coast has taken a beating this winter season. On one hand, there’s been loads of swell for surfers; on the other, the nonstop waves, coupled with atmospheric rivers, have caused coastal infrastructure damage.

In Santa Cruz, both the negative and positive effects of El Niño are unfolding in realtime. For more on the situation, Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve added:

“If you are in the Santa Cruz area this Thursday from 5:30PM-7:30 PM, join the City’s Community Conversation at the London Nelson Community Center. The event will discuss the City’s 50-year vision plan for West Cliff and the options for managing our dynamic coast with these evergoing erosion events.”


Don't miss another headline from SURFER! Subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Instagram, and stay connected with the latest happenings in the world of surfing. We're always on the lookout for amusing, interesting and engaging surf-related videos to feature on our channels.

Whether you're a professional surfer or just an amateur, we want to see your best footage and help you share it with the world. Submit your video for a chance to be featured on SURFER and our social channels. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch high-quality surf videos.