The MAD Outdoors

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir

With Angie McAdams at Linda Mar Beach

A goofy-footed Angie McAdams carves up the Linda Mar surf at twilight.

In this issue’s “The MAD Outdoors,” MAD trainee Angie McAdams discusses her passion for surfing and her love of Linda Mar Beach. Next we provide some information on the intriguing features of Linda Mar Beach. Then, we link to an article which reinforces Angie’s claim of the health benefits of surfing, and finally, for the vast majority of us who enjoy the beach but prefer to admire the ocean from the relative safety of the shore, we link to another article which touts the health benefits of all those negative ions in the ocean air.

Angie McAdams, hoopster, carving up Wildcat opponents on Drucker Court in S.I.’s McCullough Gymnasium

If one were only familiar with Angie McAdams from having watched her prowl the hardwood for the S.I. Girls Varsity Basketball Team, it would be understandable to think of her as primarily a basketball player. After all, she plays with an admirable tenacity, and there is no denying that Angie’s got game. In fact, last year, after his first season working with MAD’s Mind, Body, Skill Curriculum, S.I. Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach Mike Mulkerrins created an annual Mind, Body, Spirit Award and acknowledged McAdam’s accomplishments by naming her as its first recipient. However, Angie is one of those talented, multi-sport athletes, and basketball is not even her first sport.

At home, on the Linda Mar break, Angie hones her skills.

From the time Angie McAdams first dipped her toe in the waters of Linda Mar Beach with a surfboard in hand, surfing has been her passion. At the age of eight, she attended her first Surf Camp in Pacifica and instantly fell in love with surfing and the thrill of the sport. Since then, surfing, Surf Camp, and Linda Mar Beach have been regular fixtures in her life. Angie attended Surf Camp for several years until she learned all that camp had to offer becoming an accomplished local surfer in her own right.

One session of 2019 campers poses with Angie and her fellow Surf Camp counselors on Linda Mar Beach.

When she was 15, Angie returned to Surf Camp as a volunteer. The following year, Surf Camp hired her as a Junior Counselor, a position which she has held for the past three summers. Angie enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with the beginning surfers. In addition to surfing skills, the camp teaches oceanography which encompasses ocean dynamics, marine life, and ecology. One of Angie’s favorite activities is taking the young campers to the north end of the beach where they can study the tides and currents and observe the diversity of aquatic life in the tide pools.

During their morning beach walk at Surf Camp, Angie and fellow counselor Alana take a break with their 6-8 year old campers on the Linda Mar sand.

As a result of her surfing experience, Angie has become a passionate environmentalist. Surf Camp teaches its students to respect the ocean by not littering and by reducing their plastic waste. She is proud of the fact that on Wednesdays, during Surf Camp’s morning walk, both campers and staff pick up the beach. She believes it is important to instill the young surfers with a sense of stewardship for nature in general and for the beaches and the oceans in particular.

Angie and teammate/classmate/fellow surf camp counselor/neighbor/and great friend Maddie hit the water as they compete for their beloved Pedro Point Surf Club at Churches near San Onofre.

When Angie is not mentoring the future surfers of the world at Surf Camp, she is either honing her surfing skills on the Linda Mar break or representing her surf teams in one of the many West Coast surf competitions. She competes for the Pedro Point Surf Club and the Half Moon Bay Surf Team. Whereas the Half Moon Bay Surf Team is strictly for high school students, the Pedro Point Surf Club Team is a coalition team whose members range in age from 5 to 80. The surf tournaments are held year round, and Angie enjoys traveling to the events at various California beaches where sometimes they camp right on the beach.

Competing for the Half Moon Bay Surf Team at the California High School State Surfing Championship, Angie poses with her teammates Maddie and Tessa in front of the judges grandstand at Oceanside.

Despite all the demands that surfing placed on her time and energy this summer, Angie was gracious enough to answer some questions for “The MAD Outdoors.”

TMO: Why do you like to surf?

Angie: I love to surf because it is something I can rely on to either calm me down or to get my adrenaline rushing. Surfing is a constant in my life. If nothing is going well, I can always count on surfing to gather my thoughts and to make me happy. I like to surf because I don’t feel much pressure, unless I am surfing competitively. I like the uncertainty of the ocean, and how for this sport, you have to rely on natural causes like tides, swell and wind. But I also like that each wave I get up on is different from the last. I also like surfing because of the people I have met and the community of surfing.

TMO: What was your summer like teaching surfing?

Angie: Being an instructor at surf camp played a big part of my summer. I worked all summer long with only two weeks off. This meant that I would be in the ocean for most of my summer. This results in bad wetsuit tans, but also a very good feel for the ocean. Teaching surfing all summer makes me a better surfer because of my time spent in the ocean and observing the waves. At surf camp I teach basic oceanography and have noticed that my understanding of the ocean has increased tremendously, also making me a better surfer.

TMO: What are the health benefits of surfing?

Angie: My health benefits from surfing are happiness, relaxation and also a fit mind and body. Although I don’t look at surfing as a workout, it is. I tend to be sore after long sessions, and I notice that I use muscles that I would never use if it were not for surfing. For example, even if I haven’t done weight training in a while, my body stays in good shape because of surfing. I also notice that surfing makes me happier and puts me in a better state mentally.

TMO: What role you expect surfing to play in your future?

Angie: I plan to go to college on the coast so I can continue surfing in college. I think that the rest of my life I will be surfing, and I hope to remain a part of the surfing community.

Angie McAdams with fellow surfers/teammates/classmates/great friends at Linda Mar Beach

You can read more about Angie and some of her fellow surfers/classmates/teammates/great friends pictured above in the story “Four SI surfers collect honors at Big Chill Out surf contest” featured in S.I.’s Genesis magazine.

Although its official name is Pacifica State Beach, Angie McAdams’ home beach is known almost universally as Linda Mar Beach.

Although Angie enjoys surfing other California beaches, particularly Pleasure Point and Jacks in Santa Cruz, her home beach is Linda Mar, and home is where her heart is. Located just five minutes from her house, she loves its convenience, but she treasures the Linda Mar surfing community most of all.

The Linda Mar waters are often brimming with surfers who swell the line-up.

The beach’s relatively forgiving surf makes it a great place for newbies and also for those surf veterans who want to refine their skills, and consequently, the water is often brimming with surfers who swell the lines. Angie has approached the beach’s congested waters as an opportunity to meet lots of different people. Consequently, she has made many good friends spanning all generations, and now she has established herself as one of the locals.

Angie is particularly fond of the beach’s north end where beachcombers can climb on and among the rocks and find cool marine life in the tidepools.

Although the beach serves as a haven for surfers, Angie points out that Linda Mar has much to offer non-surfers too. A popular destination with a friendly vibe, it is a large beach that can accommodate lots of people. In addition to its forgiving surf and its infamous Taco Bell restaurant, located right on the beach and ranked as the world’s most beautiful Taco Bell, the beach is flanked by cliffs at both ends just waiting to be explored. Angie is particularly fond of the beach’s north end where beachcombers can climb on and among the rocks and find cool marine life in the tide pools.

Located right on the sands of Linda Mar Beach, this fast food restaurant is ranked as the most beautiful Taco Bell in the world and is the source of the beach’s nickname “Taco Bell Beach.”

Popularly referred to as Linda Mar Beach, and also known as Taco Bell Beach, the beach’s official name is Pacifica State Beach, and it is part of the California State Parks system though it is managed by the City of Pacifica. At the beach’s southern end, San Pedro Creek cuts through the sand, and the northern half is backed by a wide dune crossed with trails that lead to Rockaway Point above.

Internationally renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk consulted on the design of the Pacifica Skate Park located just a stones throw across Highway 1 from Linda Mar Beach.

Behind the beach, along Highway 1, there is a large multi-use trail that runs far to the north for bikers, and across the highway, just north of Linda Mar Blvd. lies the expansive Pacifica Skate Park. Pacifica State Beach boasts a large parking lot with nice facilities including restrooms and showers,and if Taco Bell cuisine is not to your liking, there are plenty of restaurants and stores just across the highway in the Linda Mar Shopping Center and surrounding neighborhood.

The 110 and the 118 SamTrans bus lines will take riders from the Daly City Bart station all the way to Linda Mar Beach. Above a SamTrans bus waits in the Linda Mar Shopping Center a short walk across Highway 1 to the beach.

Heading south on Highway 1, the beach is only a 20 minute drive from San Francisco. For those who don’t drive or are trying to reduce their carbon footprints, Linda Mar is also accessible by public transportation. From San Francisco, riders can take Muni’s 28 bus to the Daly City Bart Station. From there, they can transfer to either Samtrans’ 110 bus or 118 bus. Either bus line will take riders all the way to Linda Mar Beach. For future reference, the 110 can also take hikers to San Pedro Valley Park, where they can wander the valley trails or access the trailhead to the top of Montara Mt. - more on that in a future article.

Related Articles on Outdoor Health Benefits


By Tyler Connaghan

March 4, 2019

The health benefits of surfing touted by Angie are supported by a host of online articles most of which cite even more of the sport’s salutary effects. TMO chose to link to “Health Benefits Of Surfing” on the FinBin website because the site specializes in educating consumers about surf sports, and because its author Tyler Connaghan covered the topic comprehensively.

How Negative Ions Produce Positive Vibes

By Bruce A. Mason

December 11, 2017

For most of us who do not surf, the ocean still has plenty of health benefits. In this article, TMO chose to focus on the positive effects of the sea water’s negative ions and link to articles addressing this topic. For those unfamiliar with negative ions and how they promote human health, the above article “How Negative Ions Produce Positive Vibes,” written by Bruce A. Mason and posted on the Huffington Post website, offers a succinct summary of the subject matter. Those who are already acquainted with negative ions and their seemingly magical powers might enjoy “Health Benefits of the Ocean” which was posted on the Medium website and is linked below. In this article, author Nick Mak discusses negative ions at greater length and in greater detail than the article above.

Health Benefits of the Ocean

By Nick Mak

June 3, 2017

Rules, Regulations, Recommendations & Guidelines

It always pays to read the signs and heed their warnings. The National Park Service has posted this sign at Ocean Beach.

Finally, when one ventures out into the wilds, it is good to go equipped with some safety guidelines so we have linked to the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s page on Hiking Safety . In addition to the State Park’s safety rules, we have a few suggestions of our own.

  1. Always check the weather before you go out into nature. The difference between being prepared for weather conditions and not being prepared ranges from a pleasant adventure, a miserable outing, and disaster.

  2. Be on the lookout for signs or bulletin boards where directions, warnings, and rules are posted. When you find any of these, read them.

  3. Obey all rules and heed all warnings. Most accidents that occur outdoors result from a failure to do so.

  4. Live by the universal rule of the great outdoors: Leave it better than you found it! Many people pick up a set number of pieces of trash each time they visit nature. They view this as a gesture of respect and gratitude for mother nature - a way of giving back. This would not be a bad habit to adopt.

That’s it for the rules and information. Now it’s time to get up and get out into nature. So be safe, have fun, and let us know how it goes.

In the words of the great naturalist John Muir, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks.”

Murray Athletic Development

Go out to go in!