Travel: VW Vanagon and RWB Porsche Continue Their Coastal Surfing Tour

VW Vanagon and RWB Porsche Continue Their Coastal Surfing Tour

By Petrolicious
May 23, 2017

Story and photography courtesy of VAST Life: this is a continuation of their west coast surfing road trip from Southern California up to Vancouver, B.C. You can read the first part here.

If you’ve eschewed the background article in hopes there’d be an overview at the top of this one, you’re in luck! The essence is thus: this is what happens when a group dedicated to surfing gets their hands on the ultimate convoy for a month-long adventure taking place all along North America’s west coast. With their trusty VW Syncro paired up with an unlikely road tripper in the form of an ultra-wide RWB-ized Porsche, VAST is hunting good surf in utmost style, and making good friends along the way.

San Francisco

For those who don’t already know, San Francisco is a beautiful city situated right on the water, so its no surprise that its surf culture is a long and storied one. It’s also one of the most laid back spots in the United States. With that in mind, we swept into a “Fog City” that was living up to its nickname sometime in the late afternoon, and after a quick siesta to recharge after the drive, we headed out to the Castro District.

The sight of a Vanagon Syncro and a surf-style RWB Porsche tooling around the streets of SF is an outrageous duo to see in the wild, and we generated a lot of attention because of it. Still exhausted after our day getting here, we eat dinner and then spend a relaxing night doing laundry and organizing our gear for the next day.

We rose early the next morning for dawn patrol, with the idea to hit Ocean Beach for a nice wake-up session. But the notoriously fickle shoreline’s conditions looked beyond messy, so instead we opt to drive around and take some photos. First stop of course: underneath the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point, on the very tip of the peninsula. 

Upon arrival, we are very pleasantly surprised to find that the point is breaking with perfect glassy waves about shoulder-high. We snap a few pictures, and the results are so instantly beautiful that it feels like a Photoshop whiz has already had his way with them. More importantly though, there are only three people out in the sublime water, so we bust out the boards and get in there. It’s like we have endless waves in this spot, under the imposing shadow of the magnificent Golden Gate. A memorable set of moments to say the least.

Glowing from the perfect conditions we’d just experienced, we drive down to San Mateo for an afternoon meet-up with Mark Arcenal. He’s an amazing guy who founded both the online magazine and retailer Fatlace, as well as the streetwear brand illest, among other endeavors. Not only that, but Mark is a massive automotive and surfing fan as well, so we obviously spent most of our meeting with him vibing out about the the Between Waves RWB Porsche and surfing and nature and, well, everything.

Our time in San Francisco was coming quickly to a close though, so we start to think about our next move. We’re expecting colder and wetter weather after Sacramento, so we need to put the hardtop on the Porsche unfortunately. Mark is kind enough to let us use the Fatlace Paddock shop space to swap out the Speedster convertible soft top for the fixed-roof piece.

Point Reyes

At breakfast, we still can’t stop talking about our insane Fort Point luck under the Golden Gate, so we decide to try for one more dawn patrol sesh before finally leaving San Francisco. The swell has died down a little bit since the other day, but it’s still looking good. The wind must have whispered the secret of the perfect waves, because the word was out, and there were a few more local folks in the water this time too. We stay and chat and surf for about an hour, before getting on our way back up the coast for a few hours until we reach Point Reyes.

Actually, it takes us a bit longer to get up there than expected, because this stretch of the coast is an unbelievably scenic journey through the mountains and along the pristine blue water. We pull over the Porsche and Syncro to snap photos and just take in the scenes. The two-hour drive quickly turns into four, but with these views and roads, no one’s complaining. 

Eventually we make it to Point Reyes in the mid-afternoon, and we set about setting up camp early today. Believe it our not, it’s our first time unpacking and setting up in the daylight since starting the trip! It’s hard to overstate how much easier it is to pop a tent and prep a meal with ample lighting, so it takes us no time at all, and all of a sudden, we have some time to kill.

We decide to check out a tree tunnel we had heard about, and let me tell you: I’m so glad we did that instead of rushing to the beach. The tunnel is about a quarter-mile of Cypress trees reaching into the sky on the sides of a loose gravel road. At the tippy-top, the trees’ branches join together to make an amazing natural tunnel. The golden sunset peeks through the trunks and branches, making nature’s version of a light diffuser. I can’t even fathom how gorgeous it is, during or after the fact. We just hang out for a while in this magical place until the sun’s snuffed out, and then we reluctantly make our way back to camp, where we barbecue and eat until we’re too full for another bite, and then we hang out by the fire until we’re too tired to keep our eyes open. 

The next morning, we rise early in search of the famous Point Reyes surf, but it seems we completely missed the swells. There are some other spots we wanted to check out, but the hike in is too far and we need to make it to Sacramento to meet our friends at All Good. Point Reyes deserves it’s own trip though, and we’ll be back soon to give it the attention it deserves.


After breaking down our camp, we drive through the hills and head inland towards Sacramento. Along the way, we pull over a couple times for some photos of the idyllic landscape of farms and ranches.

When we arrive in Sac-Town and pull up to the All Good store, we are greeted by the founder, Jason Maggio. Jason had a couple of prime parking spots for our Porsche and Syncro right in front, and even had a barbecue waiting for us too! He gave us a quick tour around the shop as well as the office/warehouse in the back, and our crew had the chance to meet his team; a mingling of like-minds. The shop and collection are amazing as well: functional and technical, yet fun and well-styled. 

We cooked up our food right in front of the shop, and while we ate, we chatted about the trip, our brands, and, of course, the surfing lifestyle. The vibe is definitely “all good” (sorry!). Jason offered to take us around the area and show us Sacramento, but it’d been a few long days with not much sleep at this point, and we needed to reorganize our stuff, do some laundry, and the documentarians needed to archive and go through the hundreds of photos and hours of footage. We find a comfortable Airbnb to shack up in so everyone can recharge.  

That night though, we met up again with Jason, and go to Tank House BBQ & Bar for some more barbecue. It’s almost like we can’t get enough at this point. The food there was incredible, and we fill our bellies with all sorts of braised and seared goodness before walking around the Midtown area and checking out some local hangouts. Sacramento was a lot cooler than our expectations would have led us to believe, which is a really nice surprise that only makes the whole experience with our friends all the more enjoyable. Soon though, the time to get back on the northward path is again upon us.



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Denial Smith
Denial Smith
3 years ago

Thank you for your article. I love these minivans that can accommodate a lot of surfboards and gear. This helps to travel well and not waste time. I purchased new equipment on the site and now I’m looking for a suitable van that can hold three boards and other things for a group of people

7 years ago

That is a lovely hard top though, it almost looks like a coupe. Is that OEM or a special type of hard top?

7 years ago
Reply to  darahan

Looks like a D.Moris hardtop. Got one of those for my 993…

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