MagicSeaweed forecast was for waves of 2-2.5’. When I checked the NOAA buoy this morning, we were getting waves in the 4’ plus range, beautifully cleaned up by a light diagonal offshore wind. Would have been a lot of fun with the waveski. Since I had already loaded the Sterling Progression longboat on the car from the night before, I decided to just go with it.
In the higher quality surf spots which attract more advanced surfers (and “locals”), good control of the surf craft and good etiquette are the the “coins to the realm.”
Without these, one will encounter “stink eyes” at best. It can devolve into other surfers “snaking” (stealing your waves) or “dropping in” (disregarding your right of way/wave). Or worse. I’ve seen these happen at my relatively small homebreak.
Beach breaks are more forgiving. There generally are not many set peaks for any great lengths of time because the topography of the underlying sand bars, rips and channels shifts constantly. So, the tendency is for surfers to spread out. More beginners are expected. Some minor accidents are tolerated, as long as these aren’t catastrophic for the board or surfer being hit. (Getting run over full on is generally catastrophic because surf fins are like underwater knives.)
Pretty dramatic rescue out in San Diego. When you are trapped between breaking waves and a hard place… Good chance of drowning or, if you are lucky, being the rescuee of the lifeguards!
The storms generating the wave action out west are headed our way this weekend. Surf safe - know your break, your skills and stamina, and when not to go out!!! We don’t have lifeguards on our beaches this time of year…
I don’t think I would have picked Windandsea as the best spot to surf this swell, for just this reason, impossible to get back out of the water. I think he may have got washed down in this direction trying to get out of rips. He definitely was experienced since he kept duck diving and using the rip to keep him off of the rocks . Inexperienced would not last long. (I’ve never surfed right at Windansea, it’s a very notorious beach for localism and no SUPs or kayaks). There are very good spots in either direction. I’m still sitting out the big swells, possibly going out after lunch this afternoon, more storm waves headed this way later in the day.
This video is shot by a non local who says it’s the biggest swell in 15 years at Blacks Beach, I don’t think that is right but it was pretty big, and most of the surfers going for it were not big wave experts.
Well I made it out for the first surf of the year. Driving down the mesa area at UCSD to LaJolla beach area I could see perfect refracting lines of big swells marching infor miles across the Pacific, pretty impressive. Skeletons of ancient San Diegans ca 9500 years old were found at the UCSD president’s residence’s yard on the bluff above Blacks Beach; I’ve often wondered if they sat there and watched the huge waves roll in from the cliffs. I chose a spot with small surf, and I could see pretty big waves breaking at the point in Lajolla. With the dominant swell direction he bigger sets tend to close out clear accross the beach all at once, so not really primo surfing. The sets kept getting bigger and bigger and I was the only one at the spot so when the five and six footers started coming I decided to head in. Huge sets of 12 -16’ faces at Torrey Pines and South Cardiff, Seaside reef was spitting a double overhead barrel, no surfers going for them though, tons of whitewater. Surf is supposed to get bigger tonight.
I can imagine that being true. When I take walks along the breaks, I can get transfixed even watching lines of small swells rolling in.
Sounds like you had a good session, with more to come (with appropriate break selection).
All those west coast storms have been making it across and setting us up for waves, albeit on a much smaller scale. Headed out tomorrow for small building up waves. Supposed to be head to head plus by Sunday with 25 knots plus diagonal winds. That’s too much for me.
Being still of mind and in the present. Focusing on listening, seeing, smelling, tasting and feeling are the best way for me to limit my internal dialogue. It isn’t easy as a running dialogue becomes a reinforced habit. Focusing on my senses leaves little room for the dialogue. If I am always listening to my internal dialogue, I am only partially in the moment or not at all. It really limits my perception. I value this state as an outdoorsman observing nature.
You know it’s BIG when the big wave riders say, “Let’s get the nine foot ‘guns’ and inflatable vests…”
I love the line, “Big swells… rearrange our relationship with where we surf. We think we know the take off zone at a local spot and all of a sudden it is 100 yards out and to the left…” And, your mind goes "BOOM!!! Where am I?!?
Meanwhile, locally, Boston Buoy is registering 8’ plus with intervals of 6-8 seconds, and winds of 24-29 knots. Got to just wait for the winds to settle into the right direction and a lengthening of the wave period…
When I was leaving the water a younger guy asked me if he could ask about how to get down to the surf at Devil’s Slide in the cove. I told him we all just paddle down from the Marine room, and I told him it was a very bad idea to surf there right then because the left side as you are coming in is full of razor sharp rocks you can’t see . Any way when I got to my car he was unpacking his “gun” so I figured I would share with him where to set up with huge surf since he was going to go anyway, Set up about 1000 ft out where you can see the rings from the first reef boiling and go right and kick out to paddle back out through the channel but not too far right or you’ll get thrown on the cliffs. The rocks are covered with mussels and will scrape the flesh off of you if you get washed up into them. If the waves are breaking over the top of the seacaves turn around and head Northwest as fast as you can. He looked a little less confident at that point but off he went. I’m guessing he lived, I’m also guessing he had some personal relationships with some very nasty rocks.
I’ve paddled seakayaks out to Killer’s at Todo Santos three times in the summer with Aqua Adventures. Those waves look awfully huge in the video, actually give me a bad feeling just watching. There is a break across from the channel from Killers called Chicken Shits that we surfed in a large ( but much smaller) summer swell in long boats. I remember looking at the light house and radio towers as I was climbing up a 12 footer, I flew over the top and burrowed into the backside, that was enough adrenaline for me.