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Southwest Mobile Storage - Best Mobile Storage & Office Containers In Hermosa Beach, CA

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers is unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. Hermosa Beach, CA offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether your need is for storage, office space, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back. Here's how:

Storage Containers Hermosa Beach, CA



We bring your storage container to you for convenient, easy access at your home, business or jobsite. Plus, you'll get more choice in storage space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of a pod or add on building, saving money and energy.


Not enough room to keep a storage container at your business, home or construction site? No problem - we can store it for you. Plus, you get 70% more space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of public storage units.


Need a permanent storage solution for your business, residence or construction? We sell new and used shipping containers in many sizes with a variety of add-ons. Or customize a container to your specific storage needs with our certified fabrication experts.


Take your time packing with our moving containers. We'll deliver to your business or home and pick it up whenever you're ready to move. So, you don't have to stress about moving or making multiple trips in one day, like if you rented a moving truck.


Our moving container solutions ensure the long-distance move of your home or business is highly efficient and affordable throughout the southwest. In fact, we usually cost 20%-40% less than full-service movers.


We understand move-in and move-out dates might be different. We can store your moving container at our highly secure facilities until you're ready to move to your new home or business location, and you can conveniently access it at any time.


Whether you need a workspace, conference room, or other office requirement, our ground-mounted mobile offices meet any and all of your business needs. Plus, it's faster and easier than building additions.


If you need your shipping container to serve multiple uses, such as office-storage combos, breakrooms and even utilities, we've got you covered. We'll modify a custom container to fit your business needs and bring your business to the next level


We'll create a custom container to fit your unique needs anywhere in the US. With our container modification expertise, we make any idea a reality. From pop-up stores to multi-story structures, our unrivaled facilities and fabrication experts do it all.

You'll get your own dedicated storage and container expert to serve as your one point of contact for easy, convenient service you can trust.
With our wide selection of intermodal containers for sale and rent, you'll find exactly what you need, from size, to type and condition.
We maintain our rental fleet to the highest standard - our integrity depends on it.
Our certified, experienced Conex container modification experts have more than 500 years combined experience modifying ISO containers.
All of our containers come with high security dual-locking system for no additional charge, so you can rest assured your stored items stay safe and that you don't have to pay extra for it.
At our unrivaled 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility, ensuring your custom shipping container is made exactly to your specifications.
With our level of service, quality and expertise, you won't find a better value anywhere else.
Our portable offices include lighting and electrical outlets, internet hookups, HVAC and were crafted by our in-house steel container fabrication experts for top-quality construction.

Premium Quality - High Security

With Southwest Mobile Storage, you get much more than a POD or typical Conex box. You also get high security, unparalleled service and unmatched container modification expertise and facilities. No other company offers that much.

Shipping containers and storage containers come in a range of sizes. The most common external lengths are 20ft and 40ft with a width of 8ft. ISO Containers are typically 8ft 6in tall, but high cube containers are 9ft 6in tall. We also have steel containers in a variety of sizes from 10ft long to 45ft long to rent or buy, and we can modify shipping containers into any size you want.

 Rent Storage Containers Hermosa Beach, CA

SMS Mobile Storage Containers have these high quality features:

1/8" thick steel plate bottom side rails
High strength steel supporting cross members
1 1/8" thick hardwood floor with galvanized self-tapping screws
16-gauge corrugated steel walls
16-gauge roof
270-degree swing cargo door(s)
High security dual-locking system*
Spot-grinded, primed & repainted with a beige high-grade water reducible alkyd direct-to-metal enamel*
* Comes standard on all rental units

SMS portable workspace containers have these structural features:

High security window bars, lever & deadbolt set with lock box
Studs & R-19 Insulation covered with wood paneling
1 1/8" marine board floor is covered with a durable single part gray epoxy coating
Dual pane low-E horizontal sliding windows with screens and miniblinds
18 Gauge steel polystyrene core 3-hour fire rated personnel door
All of our workspaces are manufactured in-house and arrive new or restored to factory specifications
Exterior load center operating on 100 Amp single phase 230 Volt power
Light switch, receptacles and 4' light fixtures; all wiring is Romex 12/2
CAT-6 voice and data lines with electrical junction box
HVAC units ranging from 1 ton to 2 ton on rentals; ability to customize up to 10 tons of cooling

Having flexible storage containers options is important, but security is crucial to protect your peace of mind and your possessions.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we don't believe in leaving things to chance. We want you to rest easy knowing your inventory, documents, tools, equipment and other items are safe 24/7. That is why we equip SMS high-security slide bolt locking systems and lockboxes on our entire fleet of rental freight containers.


High-security slide-bolt locking system and extra-long lock box, giving you twice the security and peace of mind.
No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and water-tight.
No rust for your safety.
14-gauge corrugated steel for strength and reinforcement.

Contact us to speak with a helpful, friendly representative to better understand our full range of capabilities. We are happy to answer any questions you have, go over pricing and set up a time and place to deliver your Conex box. Our quotes are 100% free and you are under no obligation to pay for your consultation.


When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market, like the many caused by the pandemic.

Renting storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. Steel containers with roll up doors make storing and retrieving items faster and easier. Auto repair shops and other businesses that need easy access throughout the workday to secure storage for tools, parts, equipment or supplies find renting shipping containers to be the best solution for their business storage needs. Southwest Mobile Storage has your back.

 Storage Containers For Rent Hermosa Beach, CA

Renting portable offices gives your business more workspace, breakrooms, pop up stores, security booths and more, without the cost and red tape associated with constructing building additions. Plus, a steel storage container fits neatly into one parking space and provides much stronger security than Pods and way more convenience than self-storage units.

If you have a specific need, we can modify shipping containers to build whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's a portable workspace to run your business, like a pop-up container bar, or a durable facility for scientific research, like a container laboratory, or even a container gym, our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification experts got you covered. Our full-time, in-house staff of certified welders, engineers, electricians, carpenters and painters have over 500 years combined experience modifying thousands of container projects for just about any business use you can imagine.


Offsite storage alternatives cause a mess of hassles and headaches. Expanding office space and storage capacity at your location saves time, money and hassle of making multiple trips offsite.
We offer more choice in security, size and features in steel Conex boxes or ISO shipping containers than a public storage unit or Pod for less cost and far greater service.
We offer flexible, month-to-month rental agreements and prorate by the day after your first 28-day billing cycle.
With us, you get a dedicated account manager you can rely on, so you can focus on running your business than waste time with a different person every time you call that doesn't know or care as much.
While other companies may have some staff for modifying containers, most outsource the work, so you don't know who is actually doing the modifications or how much they're marking up the price.
 Mobile Storage Containers Hermosa Beach, CA
When you modify a shipping container for your business, you won't have to worry about expensive, lengthy and complicated construction.
We have modified thousands of containers nationwide and internationally for more than 25 years for NASA, US Navy, GCP Applied Technologies, Helix and Sundt to name a few. And rent containers to Amazon, Walmart and many of other nationally recognized brands.
Our extensive staff makes it possible to custom build multiple projects simultaneously and our 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility prevents contaminants from interfering with fabrication, which delivers better quality and precision.


Building additions to your home can be very expensive and requires going through the hassle of securing permits and waiting for construction. You can save money, time and stress by modifying a shipping container instead. Whether you need additional space for a home gym, recreation or storage, we can convert steel containers into anything you can imagine. Our custom container gyms, man-caves or she-sheds, garages and more give you the extra space you need without the hassle, cost and wait that comes with home renovation.

Renting shipping containers for temporary storage, either when moving or dealing with restoration from a fire or flood, provides a secure, convenient way to keep your belongings close for accessing them whenever you need to. Plus, renting mobile storage containers for moving costs less than traditional movers and allows you to take your time packing, reducing the stress that comes from moving. You can also rent portable offices for your home to make working remotely distraction-free.

 Rent Shipping Containers Hermosa Beach, CA


With an extensive in-house staff and 90,000 sq ft container modification facility, we're able to deliver consistently high quality and work on multiple projects simultaneously for a fast turnaround.

Other companies don't have the facility, staff or resources to modify shipping containers and will outsource the work to various shops who may not have the special experience or tools needed to modify the right way.

You can rest assured knowing your custom container is safe in our hands. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.

Renting a moving container from us makes your move much less stressful because you won't have to rush to pack your whole house into a moving truck in one day. Instead, you can take your time packing over the course of a month.

Our ISO shipping containers are weatherproof and come with vault-like security, so you don't have to worry about theft or damage to your belongings.

You won't get that level of security from U-Haul or other moving truck companies.

Renting a storage container at your home keeps your belongings close and gives you convenient 24/7 access, so you're always able to retrieve the contents of your container when you need to.

We know move in and move out dates don't always line up. We can store your packed rental container at our secure facility until your new home is ready.

With our mobile storage containers for rent in Hermosa Beach, CA, you can save up to 40% when compared to full-service long-distance movers, while gaining more flexibility in your schedule.


We know your needs may change suddenly. With our extensive inventory and variety of sizes of portable offices and shipping containers to rent, buy or modify in Hermosa Beach, CA, we provide fast service and the best value possible so it's easy for you to get whatever you need when you need it.

Renting storage containers and portable offices from us gives you more flexibility when it comes to your schedule and options. If you don't have enough space at your current location or simply would prefer offsite storage, you can keep your rental storage and office containers at your location or ours - whichever is most convenient for you. You also get more options to choose from when it comes to size and features, like portable offices with divided rooms for private meetings or office/storage combos for storage and office space in one container. All while costing a fraction of the price of a pod or self-storage facility.

You can also buy new or used freight containers from us and choose from a variety of add-ons, including lights, electricity, doors and windows. Or fully customize a shipping container to save time, money and energy by skipping the expensive, lengthy process of constructing building additions. We can modify a Conex box into whatever you can imagine for any use you need, from construction tool cribs to office buildings, monitoring stations, mobile communication towers and much more. The possibilities are endless.


You'll never face hidden fees or surprises with us. We give you transparent billing up front at the best prices.

With us, you get a reliable, dedicated point of contact, who keeps you updated every step of the way. You can rest assured knowing you'll always get what you need, when you need it.

No other company has the breadth and depth of staff and experience that we do when it comes to modifying shipping containers. Our certified welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters have more than 500 years of combined experience in fabricating custom steel containers.

We prorate your rent by the day after the first 28-day billing cycle, so you don't have to pay for a full month when you only have your mobile containers and offices for a few days.

While other companies may be able to do small container modifications, most don't have an in-house fabrication staff or 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility like we do. As a result, they outsource the work on your custom container, so you don't know who's actually building it.

Rest assured knowing your modified shipping container will be built to the highest quality standards. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors check every step of the fabrication process to ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications.


Whether you're in need of a storage container for your commercial business, a portable office for your construction site, or a moving container for your home, our process is simple and straightforward.

Choose Your Container

Choose the mobile storage solution that works best for your needs. In this step, you will let us know the number of containers you need, their sizes and what types of doors to equip.

Choose Your Options

Let us know if you would like to add any of our rental options, like a folding table or shelving.

Choose Your Security

Choose from padlocks, puck locks and other enhanced security options. All of our storage containers come standard with dual-locking, vault-like security.

Choose Your Delivery Timeframe

You can expect standard delivery within 3-5 days of your order. If you need expedited delivery, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

Pick-Up Planning

Do you need to keep your shipping container at our location? Prefer to have our team deliver your packed container to a location of your choice? Let us know, and we'll be by your side to work out the logistics.




Let our team know where we should deliver your mobile storage container for rent in Hermosa Beach, CA. Be sure to let us know if there are any special conditions that might prevent our drivers from entering your chosen destination. Before you schedule your delivery, let us know which direction you would like the doors of your container to face.



Our drivers can deliver your storage container Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6AM and 2PM local time. Our two-hour delivery window is the most precise in the industry. If you desire another delivery time outside of our standard delivery options, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. As a courtesy, our driver will call you at least 30 minutes before they arrive at your drop-off destination.



Before we deliver your Conex box, prepare your delivery area by ensuring that there are no low overhangs, arches, wires, trees or any other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery. It's a good idea to mark the space where you would like your steel container placed.



When our driver arrives, they will back our truck into the space where you would like your shipping container placed. Once we arrive, we will ensure that your container is delivered safely and securely. If placed on asphalt or pavement, we will use wood dunnage pads to make sure your ground surface is protected and the container is level.


Check out our FAQ page or reach out to our helpful customer service team today @


Latest News in Hermosa Beach, CA

Cal Poly Beach Volleyball Signs Three to National Letters of Intent

Kyle Calzia / Cal Poly Athletics SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly beach volleyball head coach Todd Rogers announced that three recruits have signed with the Mustangs to continue their athletic and academic careers with the Mustangs. All three will arrive on campus in the fall of 2023.The signees include Alexis Donovan (Encinitas, CA), Erin Inskeep (Hermosa Beach, CA), and Sydney Terrell (Newpor...

Kyle Calzia / Cal Poly Athletics

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly beach volleyball head coach Todd Rogers announced that three recruits have signed with the Mustangs to continue their athletic and academic careers with the Mustangs. All three will arrive on campus in the fall of 2023.

The signees include Alexis Donovan (Encinitas, CA), Erin Inskeep (Hermosa Beach, CA), and Sydney Terrell (Newport Beach, CA).

More about the signees:

Alexis Donovan Encinitas, CA

Plays for WAVE Beach Volleyball Club where she took third at the 2021 BVCA Showcase Event and earned her AA rating in August of 2022.

She played three years of indoor volleyball at La Costa Canyon High School as an outside hitter and for WAVE Indoor Volleyball Club where she helped them place third at the 2018 USA Volleyball Junior Nationals and win the JVA West Coast Cup in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Coach Rogers comment: "Lexi came over to the beach side of the sport a little bit later than most but has been playing indoor volleyball for the WAVE indoor club team at the highest levels. She is an elite athlete with length and athletic ability that has and will continue to transfer over to the beach side of the game in college. About two years ago she decided to focus entirely on the beach side of the sport and transferred over from WAVE Indoor Club to the WAVE Beach Club. She plays for former pro players Matt Olson and Mike Placek at Wave down in San Diego. I'm looking forward to continuing to help develop Lexi's beach game at Poly next year and beyond."

Erin Inskeep Hermosa Beach, CA

Inskeep has played four years of indoor volleyball and will play four years of beach volleyball at Mira Costa High School. She's played club for MBSand where she was named the 2021 AAU National Player of the Year and was a 2022 AAU U18 Jr. National champion.

She was previously a U14 and U15 AAU national champion as well as a 2021 IBVL pairs champion and three-time CBVA Cal Cup champion. She also helped Mira Costa High School win an IBVL team championship.

Inskeep, whose dad is a Cal Poly alum, said she chose Cal Poly because of the academic reputation, beach volleyball program success and coaching staff, and her family's ties to Cal Poly.

Coach Rogers comment: "Erin has won pretty much every major juniors event there is to win and at times even winning two age divisions on the same weekend. In a word, I would describe Erin as a winner! She has been a beach rat growing up on the sands of Hermosa Beach playing against anyone and everyone who will play. That includes old pros in four-person games on the beach and even six's like in the Manhattan Beach 6-man/woman event. She plays for former pro beach player Patty Dodd at MBSand and has an understanding of the game well beyond her years. It should be fun to see how she uses that knowledge against the next level."

Sydney Terrell Newport Beach, CA

Terrell has played for Danger Beach Volleyball Club for the last two years. Prior to that, she played for Sand Soul Beach Volleyball Club for two years. For high school, she attended Forest Trail Academy, an online school.

Her dad, Jim Terrell, was a four-time U.S. Olympian for canoe paddling and was No. 1 in the country for almost 20 years and was a national champion from 1984-1999.

Coach Rogers comment: "Sydney is an explosive athlete who can get off the sand and I would use the beach endearment term of describing her as a 'sand flea' on defense. Nothing goes down against her! She has arguably some of the most intense workouts I have ever seen a juniors player do much less a collegiate or pro player, running the length of a pool underwater carrying a 20 pound kettle bell without going up for air is pretty impressive. Sydney plays for former pro beach player Dane Selznick at Club Danger down in the Laguna Beach area."

Incumbents Bholat, Chun, challenger Martin vie for two BCHD board seats

by Garth MeyerTwo incumbents and a challenger compete for two seats on the Beach Cities Health District Board of Directors in the November 8 election.Dr. Michelle Bholat is up for consideration for her third, four-year term, while Dr. Noel Chun has served on the board since 2006. The challenger is Michael Kelly Martin, a retired aerospace systems engineer/manager.The Beach Cities Health District, originally formed as the Beach Cities Hospital District in 1955 to build the former South Bay Hospital, is a non-profit entity...

by Garth Meyer

Two incumbents and a challenger compete for two seats on the Beach Cities Health District Board of Directors in the November 8 election.

Dr. Michelle Bholat is up for consideration for her third, four-year term, while Dr. Noel Chun has served on the board since 2006. The challenger is Michael Kelly Martin, a retired aerospace systems engineer/manager.

The Beach Cities Health District, originally formed as the Beach Cities Hospital District in 1955 to build the former South Bay Hospital, is a non-profit entity focused on preventive health in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach.

Dr. Michelle Bholat, incumbent

Dr. Bholat, a professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine in Family Practice – and a physician in Santa Monica – has been on the BCHD board since 2014.

Bholat lives in the North Redondo Beach home her grandfather built in 1940.

She graduated from Aviation High School, went to Cal State Long Beach for a degree in zoology and chemistry and U.C. Irvine for medical school.

She began serving the BCHD on the Strategic Planning Committee.

“I didn’t know a lot about the Health District but I knew about the hospital,” Bholat said. “I thought it was a brilliant move to (convert) it to a health district.”

She cites BCHD accomplishments such as reducing obesity in schools; helping senior citizens through Blue Zones, walking groups and the Center for Health and Fitness; and addressing substance abuse in adolescents (working with South Bay Families Connected). She described the BCHD’s allcove youth mental health facility, which opened November 1, as an important addition to the district.

“This pilot project will be able to help kids with their personal crises,” she said.

Bholat is also interested in middle-age groups.

“A person trying to navigate their lives and what can we do to help them specifically,” she said.

What might that be?

“Finding tribes, if you will, I see the opportunity through volunteerism,” Bholat said. “We want to reinvigorate our volunteer services. It helps people’s health and wellbeing to become part of something.”

Bholat’s time on the board has included developing plans for the proposed Healthy Living Campus.

“We’ve been at it for a while and we’ll continue going through the process,” she said. “We’ve listened to public input and will now determine where our best next steps are.”

“I would like to see our community come together, and be behind whatever development will occur (for the Campus). The unification of the community,” she said. “Nobody wants to bring harm. That is what this is really about.”

The project – which would replace the old hospital buildings at the site on Prospect Avenue in Redondo Beach – has a board-approved Environmental Impact Report and next goes in front of the city’s planning commission.

It would include assisted living units, medical offices, greenspace and more.

“In my mind, we’re still exploring,” Bholat said. “I’m still very open to hearing and thinking through this process.”

She added a comment on the overall mission of Beach Cities Health District.

“Our job is to augment health services,” said Bholat. “We are at the crossroads of personal health, public health and social determinants of health… We are a great convener of the community.”

She said the BCHD most used services are the Center for Health and Fitness, the “Health Services” phone line, Adventureplex, “and now allcove.”

Dr. Noel Chun, incumbent

Dr. Noel Chun is seeking a fifth term on the board.

“BCHD is a very unique public service that most cities don’t have,” he said. “It provides a lot of preventive care and wellness services…”

The Healthy Living Campus would be its biggest project since the hospital.

“The overhead to maintain the (former hospital) building is very large, and it’s becoming basically unsustainable,” said Chun. “(It needs to be redeveloped) to ensure the financial future of the district. In the absence of redevelopment, we would need to substantially downsize the district and cut services.”

Dr. Chun, an anesthesiologist, works for UCLA Health at Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Westwood.

Originally from Dubuque, Iowa, the son of a thoracic surgeon, Chun went to medical school at University of Iowa and did his internship at University of Arkansas. His anesthesiology residency followed at Columbia University in New York.

He initially ran for the Beach Cities Health District board 16 years ago, he said, because he had gained seniority in his career, and had more time for community involvement. Chun and his wife, also an anesthesiologist, previously ran a practice in Beverly Hills and the South Bay, which they sold.

“I felt I had the qualifications to make a contribution,” he said of joining the BCHD board.

What he like to happen in his next term, if re-elected?

“I would like to see Phase I of the Healthy Living Campus completed,” he said. “ … It really is critical to the financial stability of the district.”

He mentions the significance of the BCHD’s programs in helping to prevent obesity, high blood pressure and dementia.

What about the criticisms of the Healthy Living Campus? These include concerns about construction, traffic, sight lines, who will benefit from it and more.

“We’ve already gone through three to four iterations of the master plan,” Dr. Chun said. “It’s a 60-year-old building. An obsolete building that needs to be redeveloped.”

He said some people who live nearby would like to see the old hospital torn down, and for it to be just a park.

“That would be to their benefit, at the sacrifice of the majority of the district,” said Chun. “We’ve done everything to mitigate concerns. If you don’t redevelop, it’ll end up a big, empty mall like you see across America.”

Chun notes his actions and votes on the board are all accessible on the BCHD’s website.

“Rather than run on promises, I can run on my record,” he said.

Mike Martin, challenger

Mike Martin is a first-time candidate for the Beach Cities Health District Board.

The retired systems engineer/manager, with a PHd from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now serves on the BCHD property advisory committee. He spent much of his career working with Boeing defense contracts – under accompanying federal rules and regulations.

He questions how the Beach Cities Health District came to stay in existence after its founding mission to build a hospital ended in 1998, with the closing of South Bay Hospital.

“The hospital failed and the government agency kept on going. Just on the principle of government bureaucracy should continue forever,” Martin said. “If you follow the money, it’s really a real estate empire funded by (property) taxes. It’s an example of bad governance.”

Martin said he would like to see term limits for BCHD board members, and for them to represent districts rather than serve “at-large.”

He questions the work BCHD does and how it is funded.

“The stuff they do is more akin to social work, which is fine, but I don’t need a government agency to do that,” he said. “I would take a look at exactly what they are doing. They should go out and get grants for their funding. None of this is easy, by the way.”

Martin also suggests BCHD would be better as a public health department, similar to Pasadena’s.

He contends the board is not listening to public opposition against The Healthy Living Campus.

“Because they don’t have to,” Martin said. “The internal mandate is to self-perpetuate and even grow. My reading is that the board is captive to the staff. I think that they think they know better, they think they’re doing good. In the diplomatic corps, they call it going native.”

Martin is against the Campus.

“It is a highly inappropriate use of public land. Beach Cities resident quality of life should always take first priority,” he said. “Revenue generation to support an entrenched bureaucracy should never be treated as the prime directive.”

He comes back to the original BCHD mission and how it relates to now.

“The voters gave the Beach Cities Health District one job: give us a hospital. When the hospital was done, the district should’ve been done too,” he said. “In the ’50s, they didn’t know to include a sunset provision. To ask, ‘what if it fails?’” ER

comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.

Nick Christensen was power surfer, gentle man

Nick Christensen still throwing buckets during a 2012 South Bay Boardriders contest in El Porto. Photo by Mike BalzerNick Christensen was known as a power surfer when he competed on the pro tour. He remained a powerful and respected member of the beach community until his passingEditor’s note: Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame inductee, and former former pro surfer Nick Christensen, of Manhattan Beach, passed away this past weekend, after a valiant battle against cancer. Christensen was know...

Nick Christensen still throwing buckets during a 2012 South Bay Boardriders contest in El Porto. Photo by Mike Balzer

Nick Christensen was known as a power surfer when he competed on the pro tour. He remained a powerful and respected member of the beach community until his passing

Editor’s note: Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame inductee, and former former pro surfer Nick Christensen, of Manhattan Beach, passed away this past weekend, after a valiant battle against cancer. Christensen was known as a power surfer throughout his life, a successful businessman, and a very kind man who showed respect to all. The following story appeared in Easy Reader shortly before Christensen’s induction into the Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame last April.

by Mike Purpus

Nick Christensen started surfing at 11 when he lived in Westchester and his friend Mike Muno took him out at Playa Del Rey. His parents were not thrilled. They told him he had to get Bs or better on his report card to surf. He got 13 As on his next report card.

“I learned to surf pretty much on my own. People around me just pointed the nose of my board toward the beach and away I went. Westchester High School did not have a surf team. But they had a surfing PE class.

“After graduating in 1979, I was off to Bali. I stayed five months, and came home a much better surfer,” he said.

That year he finished second at Hermosa, and third at Oceanside, and Malibu in the amateur WSA (World Surfing Association) contests, surfing for the Channel Island surf team.

After enrolling in Santa Monica College, he was named captain of the National Scholastic Surfing Association team, which included fellow South Bay surfers Ted Robinson, Chris Frohoff and Kelly Gibson, whom he joined on the Hermosa Beach Surfers Walk of Fame in 2022. The team was coached by former world champion Peter Townend, and Towend’s fellow Australian pro, Ian Cairns.

Like Cairns, Christensen was known as a power surfer.

“We surfed against teams from all over the world. We went everywhere, including Hawaii, Brazil, Australia, and South Africa,” Christensen said.

In 1984, he joined the WCT (World Championship Tour). During his second year on the tour, he finished 33rd in the Huntington Beach Ocean Pacific Surfing Championship. He was eliminated by Bud Lamas, California’s top ranked surfer. Next, he finished 17th in the Gunston 500 Surfing Championship in South Africa. There he was eliminated by South African world champion Shaun Tomson.

Christensen was ranked a respectable 44th on the pro tour. But he decided to go back to school.

“The writing was on the wall. I knew I could only get so far on the pro tour, and it wouldn’t be far enough to make a living,” he said.

He enrolled at UCLA, where he earned a bachelor degree in history

His best friend at UCLA was a fellow surfer named Sean Collins.

“In 1987, we started Wave Track, a 976-Surf phone number that cost 90 cents. Sean would get up at daybreak and call phone booths to get surf reports from locals up and down the coast. He had one of those Rod Serling kind of voices that was perfect for the surf report.

“I sent flyers, and a $1 bill to every surf shop in California, saying the first call was on us. Wave Track caught fire and became Surfine, which today, thanks to the internet, is the biggest name in surfing. Over one million surfers a day log in, and we employ over 300 people,” Christensen said.

“Sean Collins passed away 10 years ago but is still remembered as the main force behind Surfline,” he said.

Upon graduating from college in 1986, he joined CBRE as a commercial Realtor. But he remained with Surfline as a consultant and investor until 2021 when he accepted a buyout offer from Surfline investor and CEO Jeff Berg.

Christensen’s oldest son, Cole, played for the Mira Costa water polo team, and his second son Akea played on the Mira Costa volleyball team. He and his wife Ricilla also have two daughters, Zoey, 13, and Candice, 9.

Nick Christensen throwing buckets in 2013, tops and getting barrelled in 2011 at Tavarua, Fiji. Photos courtesy of Nick Christensen.

A year ago Nick went in for a physical exam because of joint pain. The doctors discovered lung cancer.

“It has been a rough, and scary journey. I want to thank all the wonderful friends and my family for their prayers,” he said shortly before his Hermosa Beach Surfer Walk of Fame induction. ER

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Savoring The Spot vegetarian restaurant in Hermosa Beach

Tonya with her daughters, Amber and Tai, who both help out at The Spot, and granddaughter, Royalty. Photos by Bethany Willettsby Bethany WillettsWhen Tonya Beaudet, and her late husband, Maurice, took over The Spot in 1981, it was one of three vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Los Angeles.“We closed on Tuesdays to visit LA’s only other two vegan restaurants, The Golden Temple next to the old Farmer’s Market; an...

Tonya with her daughters, Amber and Tai, who both help out at The Spot, and granddaughter, Royalty. Photos by Bethany Willetts

by Bethany Willetts

When Tonya Beaudet, and her late husband, Maurice, took over The Spot in 1981, it was one of three vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Los Angeles.

“We closed on Tuesdays to visit LA’s only other two vegan restaurants, The Golden Temple next to the old Farmer’s Market; and Follow Your Heart Cafe, in the Valley,” Beaudet recalled.

In recent years, the choice of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the Beach Cities, alone, has expanded to include il’ Vegerie, Green Temple, Pura Vita, Veggie Grill, and Grain Cafe.

Despite the competition, The Spot continues to attract old and new customers with Beaudet’s original menu, based on her Southern grandmother’s use of beans, collard greens, and whole grains. Her few notable additions to the menu are tofu; tempeh; agave for sweetness; and organic wine and beer.

Customers speak reverentially about The Spot’s savory sauce, served generously with many of the entrees, including the savory spud baked potato, savory presto pasta, and savory steamers (vegetables and brown rice.) The Spot Veggie Burger has been featured in the Travel Channel’s “Hamburger Paradise Round-up;” and their mainstay comfort food, the Mushroom Walnut Loaf, is Sir Paul McCartney’s go-to take-out order.

McCartney has been a Spot regular since the Beatles performed at the Forum, where Beaudet would hang out backstage with McCartney’s son James.

The one change Beaudet has struggled to weather is the pandemic. When businesses were ordered to close in early 2020, The Spot, like most other restaurants, focused on take-out orders. And like other restaurants, benefited from financial programs designed to help small businesses wait out the pandemic.

Among those programs was the The California Arrearage Payment Program, or CAPP, a state program that deferred payment of, but did not dismiss utility bills, during the pandemic.

In spring 2022, while Beaudet was still recovering from the pandemic, she received a $30,000 utility bill.

“Just at a time when we were getting back on our feet, post-pandemic, then we were hit with this,” said Beaudet, who was under the impression the pandemic-period utility bills would be forgiven.

Her repayment plan with Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas requires she pay $2,000 a month against the old bill.

SCE spokesperson Ron Gales said he couldn’t address a specific customer’s case. But he said, “Our business customer division is doing analysis for customers to see if they are on the right billing plan. If there is a plan that is more beneficial to them, SCE will reach out to them.”

“In March 2020,” Gales noted, “in response to the emergency of the pandemic, Southern California Edison suspended collections on outstanding payments and suspended disconnections for two and a half years…”

Beaudet’s customers aren’t waiting for SCE to propose a new plan.

In June, a GoFundMe page was started by close friend Deanna Cherry, whom Tonya met 25 years ago when the two were adopting their children.

The response has been heartening. Bob Goldberg, CEO of the plant-based alternative brand, Follow Your Heart, posted a donation plea for The Spot on his social media.

“Tonya’s humble passion for loving animals, and feeding people food created with love has been a powerful force for good in Southern California, spanning decades, and generations. I make her recipes almost daily. You got this, Tonya,” Michael Garcia commented on The Spot GoFundMe page.

“The Spot has donated lunches to the Cancer Support Center South Bay for years to accompany lectures…. May abundance and prosperity return to her soon,” commented Valerie Hooton

“It’s the kind of place that makes a neighborhood special,” commented Jane Smith.

Beadeut was 26 in 1981, when she and her husband bought The Spot. They planned to keep the restaurant until its lease ran out, in three years. Four decades later she is determined to keep its legacy alive.

“We are an institution, and we mean something. People depend on us. Failure is not an option,” she said.

To contribute to The Spot, visit ER

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Modern Monk – Gen Ripga arrives in Hermosa Beach

Gen Rigpa is the new teacher in residence at the Hermosa Beach Mahamudra Kadampa Meditation Center. Photo by NKTby Gavin HeaneyWith his shaved head and traditional gold and red robes, Gen Rigpa stands out in the South Bay like a lightning bolt.At first sight, one might expect him to speak in haiku or impart cryptical zen koans like Yoda, but you’d be surprised to find how relatable he is. He’s a modern monk living in a modern world with the rest of us. He has an iPhone to keep track of his me...

Gen Rigpa is the new teacher in residence at the Hermosa Beach Mahamudra Kadampa Meditation Center. Photo by NKT

by Gavin Heaney

With his shaved head and traditional gold and red robes, Gen Rigpa stands out in the South Bay like a lightning bolt.

At first sight, one might expect him to speak in haiku or impart cryptical zen koans like Yoda, but you’d be surprised to find how relatable he is. He’s a modern monk living in a modern world with the rest of us. He has an iPhone to keep track of his meetings and appearances and he travels the world teaching meditation to people who are seeking solutions to their modern-day dilemmas.

“Meditation is perfect for modern people, because modern people face a lot of problems,” Rigpa said in an interview. “It teaches you how to deal with them, but also how to use them to become a better human being. Whatever the things are in your life that upset you, meditation can teach you how to look at them in a different way. Then the very things that used to upset you, gradually don’t upset you anymore, and in time, are the causes of you developing really beautiful qualities like patient acceptance, or compassion, love, or a wish to help others.”

Gen Rigpa is the resident teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Center in Los Angeles, and the Western U.S. National Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition. He is also the current teacher in residence at The Hermosa Beach Mahamudra Kadampa Meditation Center on Cypress Avenue. The Hermosa center was established in 2011 by local fixture Gen Tangpa, who taught meditation in the South Bay for 20 years before relocating. Both are close disciples of 91-year-old Tibetan Buddhist master Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, the founder of the tradition and contemporary of the Dalai Lama.

Gen Rigpa grew up in Long Island, New York and was raised Catholic. He was always fascinated by the human mind and completed grad school for psychology, but soon felt dissatisfied.

“When I came out of grad school, I realized I was filled with information, but I wasn’t much happier, and that was really depressing.” He said. “I just started reading everything I could get my hands on from self-help to Eastern philosophy.”

It was then that he discovered Kadampa Buddhist meditation, a method that he found practical for establishing a peaceful mind and finding the contentment he lacked.

Buddhism is one of the world’s major religions, but its use of meditation as a philosophical and psychological method has become widely adopted by modern westerners. The old cliche that you need to abandon all worldly possessions and wander the Earth in order to practice Buddhist meditation is long outdated.

“You definitely don’t have to become a monk or a nun. That’s not at all a prerequisite,” Rigpa said. “Only a small percentage of people decide to adopt certain vows to guide the rest of their life spiritually. For most people it’s philosophy — it just has some nice ideas that they’d like to adopt in their life. Buddhist psychology can help you solve your mental problems, and for a lot of people, that’s the level at which they access it. People are welcome to connect to the teachings at whatever level works for them, it’s utilitarian and flexible in that way.”

Through his meditation practice, Gen Rigpa learned that if his mind was in a mess, such as in a state of anger or longing, that happiness and contentment couldn’t gain a foothold. No matter how perfect his outer world was going, if his inner world was in crisis, he couldn’t enjoy it.

“Many people have very good conditions in their life, but they’re very anxious, They’re depressed, bored, lonely. They’re addicted. Even if they have more than most people in the world, like here in The South Bay, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re happy.” He said. “Your mind determines your world. If you change your mind, you change your experience of everyone, and everything in your life. Your mind is the single most important factor in determining whether or not you’re a happy person or a sad person, a person with fulfillment and meaning in their life, or someone who is bored or depressed.”

In order to enjoy our world, Rigpa suggests that we first need peace of mind. This can be achieved through meditation.

“The technical definition of meditation in our tradition is that meditation is a mind that concentrates on something virtuous, and that is the main cause of inner peace,” Rigpa said. “There are primary or main causes of inner peace, and happiness, and there are other things that are more like secondary causes, like chocolate, movies and cool cars. They can help you be happy, but they’re only a secondary cause. If the main cause of happiness in your mind isn’t there, you won’t be happy, even if you have these amazing external conditions. Meditation teaches people how to be happy from the inside out. But it doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy our outer conditions; it means we enjoy them completely by developing a good state of mind first.”

The idea that each of us can develop a happy state of mind, regardless of ever-changing outer conditions, is appealing to Americans navigating the complications of modern living. The future is unpredictable and there is no certainty. Pandemics, inflation, global warming, social unrest and war in the daily headlines all contribute to our worries. Rigpa wants to examine how we can use our mind to control itself, instead of it constantly interfering with our happiness.

“Meditation is designed to practically solve the problems we experience in our everyday life, like relationship problems, money problems, politics and social issues,” he explained. “It is a method for controlling the mind and mixing it with virtue or positivity. The more our mind is mixed with virtue or goodness, the calmer and more peaceful and happier we become, and everybody wants to be happy.”

Gen Rigpa will be giving a public talk in Hermosa Beach in September to give an introduction to meditation and practical advice for transforming our modern world problems into the path to our happiness.

“In this talk, we’ll look at simple and practical methods that we can use to begin to change our mind and move it in the direction of experiencing things in a more positive, harmonious, balanced, peaceful way,” he said. “Which is something I think this world really needs.”

Buddhist Monk Gen Rigpa will give a public talk on September 17, 5 to 7 p.m. at The Hermosa Beach Community Center. More info at ER

Gen Tsoglam out front of the Mahamudra kadampa Meditation Center, where she is the newly appointed resident teacher. Photo by Kevin Cody

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