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The real Surf City? It's Santa Cruz, says magazine

June 16, 2009 | 10:41 am

 A surfer takes off on a wave at Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz 

Huntington Beach may have the legal right to call itself Surf City, but Santa Cruz is the real deal, according to Surfer magazine, which rates the top 10 surf towns in its latest issue. 

The two coastal towns have scrapped and sued over the Surf City title, with the Orange County city insisting it was the place the authors of "Surf City" surely had in mind when they wrote the Jan and Dean hit song.

But Surfer magazine proclaims Santa Cruz to be “The Real Surf City, USA,” after it considered the surf, food and vibe of the nations' best known surf towns.

“Huntington Beach may have won the right to the name ‘Surf City, USA’ in the California courts, but any surfer who’s ever paddled out at Steamer Lane knows the judge got it wrong,” the magazine noted, referring to the city’s famous break.

And Huntington Beach? It doesn’t even get a mention in the top 10 list, though San Clemente comes in at No. 5 and Malibu is listed at No. 7. Encinitas, the only other California beach city on the list, weighs in at No. 3.

-- Steve Marble

Photo: A surfer takes off on a wave at Steamer Lane near Santa Cruz. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times