Monday, December 31, 2007

Surf on New Years Day

Happy New Years Eve! Hope you guys have a good party lined up tonight…anyway on to the surf.

The surf looks only OK on Tuesday…nothing to get super excited about. We will have a mix of NW and SW swells in the water both of which are fading very slowly. Most spots throughout SoCal will be in the knee-waist high+ range while the better NW facing breaks, mostly in Ventura and San Diego, will have some chest-shoulder high sets.

Winds look good through the morning…mostly light to moderate offshore. Winds go slightly ESE-SE by the evening but stay on the light side.

I think you should probably give yourself a slow start on Tuesday…the surf isn’t going to be spectacular, there will be crowds because it is a holiday, and it will be pretty chilly early in the morning. Personally I think the better winter beach breaks, mid-morning, will be the best call…you can find a less crowded sandbar, maybe break out the longboard if the tide is too high.

Later this week looks really stormy…lots of new W-WNW storm swell but a lot of junky S-SW winds and rain as well. I am expecting overhead surf by Friday/Saturday but with poor conditions. There may be a few protected spots but water quality is definitely going to be an issue again. More details on the weekend as we move closer.

Have a great 2008 everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Waves for the weekend – New NW swell on Sunday

Looks like this weekend will be fun…weather will be a bit iffy on Saturday but winds should shift back offshore on Sunday.

Swellwise we will see fading surf on Saturday. Most spots will drop to about knee-waist high. San Diego spots (and maybe some South Bay breaks) will have some chest high+ sets.

Sunday we see new NW swell (290-300+) start moving in. This sort of swell angle is only going to show at some spots…look for the best waves from this swell to show in Southern Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego (from La Jolla southward). Those expose areas will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range with a few of the best breaks hitting head high on the sets. San Diego may start off a little slow in the morning as well…should be better by the afternoon and into Monday.

Other lesser exposed areas will be closer to knee-waist high off a mix of local windswell and leftover S-SW swell.

To me it looks like Saturday is going to be a longboard day…winds may not even be that good…so it will be a sleep-in, check the cameras, see if I have anything else to do, and then longboard sort of morning.

Sunday is looking better…particularly if you are up in Ventura or the South Bay. San Diego will be bigger as well but the swell will take a while to fill in down there. I am not sure if this swell will really be worth driving that far, but it is a holiday weekend so you might feel like you have the time.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Friday’s Surf – More waves and an online store (just in time for Christmas)

Friday will start off as another surf day.

Our swell mix will be the same as Thursday…with a little less windswell and smaller SSW swell. Most spots will be in the waist high+ range while the standout NW/Combo spots (in SD, parts of OC, Southern Ventura, and the South Bay) see some chest to occasionally shoulder high sets.

Conditions will start off clean with mostly light/variable winds. Expect more onshore W-WSW texture during the afternoon…and watch out for some light showers as we head into Friday evening.

The best surf is going to be at the high-tide spots in San Diego. The other good combo breaks, in the other areas, will be smaller but should still have some rideable sets. Expect northern LA and Santa Barbara to be pretty weak. The high-tide peak will continue to mush out shape through mid-morning…so you might want to get on it pretty early…or cross your fingers and hope winds stay light through the afternoon.

On another note…I built a little online store with There are some shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and hats…some stickers too.

Check it out when you get a chance. Here is the link.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thursday’s Surf – Some waves with a side of high-tide

Thursday looks pretty surfable...our NW and SSW swells will continue to send in some waves in the chest-high+ range while standout spots see bigger sets. The Wind, which is expected to blow onshore throughout Wednesday night (adding some windswell to the swell mix), will switch back to the N-NE and will help to clean up conditions.

About the only bummer is the 5’+ high tide that rolls through mid-morning. That high of a tide will bog down a lot of areas and push the surf up close to the beach giving it near shorebreak shape.

Expect the biggest and best surf at breaks in San Diego, The South Bay, and parts of OC that can handle the higher tide (good sandbars, reefs, or points). Other spots will be smaller and less consistent…particularly up towards Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Surf on Wednesday – Some assembly required?

Ok Wednesday is looking like a surf day but conditions could be a little funky.

There will be plenty of swell on Wednesday…we have both a steep NW swell and some new, very out of season, SSW swell. Most spots will be in the chest-shoulder high+ range while the standouts, particularly San Diego, Ventura and parts of OC, will have some head high+ sets on the better parts of the tide swing.

Unfortunately it looks like the nice offshore conditions that we had on Christmas will break down a touch on Wednesday. Forecasts are calling for building onshore flow as a weak cold front rolls over the area…these winds will be fairly strong by the afternoon.

Ok here is the skinny as I see it…even though we have swell in the water I would probably do a cam check in the morning, (unless you are still on vacation, in which case I say uh…bite me…hahahaha). I would take a look at the camera just because the of the wind forecast…there is a good chance that the day will start off clean, especially if your break is a little protected, but the front could slide in a little early and why waste gas and time if you don’t have to.

On a whole different note…most of you dads will appreciate this. I busted open the box to put this bad-boy together at like 11:30pm last night. I think that the term “some assembly required” on the instructions was written with a certain amount of sarcasm.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mountain to the Ocean – Snowboarding and Surfing in the same day

Snowboarding and surfing on the same day…as a kid when I was growing up in SoCal it used to be a pretty easy thing to pull off. A lot of the 909 (and 951) hadn’t been built out yet, most of it was either open space, orange groves, or ranches and the 91 freeway hadn’t completely turned into a parking lot. I remember going to the mountains on those good santa ana days and then being able to make it home in the afternoon in time to get a few waves off a building swell in Newport.

So on Friday (Dec 21) the combination of work schedule, recent snowfall, and weather conditions appeared to line up, I called a couple of friends and we decided to give the Snow/Surf thing a shot.

It was a blast to try and we managed to pull it off…snowboarding at Snow Summit and then surfing 52nd street in Newport in the afternoon. The winds didn’t really cooperate as well as I wanted… so the surf was a bit side-shore and chunky when we actually got in the water…but there were a couple of decent sized sets lurking around.

In the process I did learn a couple of things

1. I don’t bounce back from physical punishment as fast as I did when I was 18. (this I actually knew before I went…but for some reason I always managed to lie to myself)

2. Boarding in the local mountains is really hard on your body…unless they just had a ton of snow expect to be hurting at the end of the day. You may even want to invest in a good helmet.

3. When you are really sore getting into a cold, damp wetsuit is just stupid.

Anyway here are a few pictures of the Snow/Ski trip…

Monday’s surf - are you done shopping yet?

Hey gang…sorry I missed the last couple of days. I am still sore from snowboarding on Friday (maybe the feeling in my fingers will come back some day) and also a little laid up by that never ending round of the bird flu that everyone seems to be passing back and forth.

That being said there were a few little waves at the beach today thanks to a mix of fading WNW windswell and some small S swell. It looked fun and the weather couldn’t be beat.

Monday looks very similar so it should be pretty fun, particularly because it is a holiday. In the water there will be a touch more S swell and a little bit more WNW energy. Most breaks will hold around waist high+ while the best combo breaks see some chest-high+ sets. Conditions should be clean again with just some light onshore texture in the afternoon.

I think your best bet for waves will probably be the well exposed combo beach breaks…they won’t be stellar but there should be enough peaks to spread out the crowd and a little more size than you would see at a spot that only picks up one of the swells. I think that San Diego and parts of OC will be the best call…no worth driving very far for but fun if you need some waves.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friday’s Surf – Looks fun

On Friday our surf starts to look a little more appealing than it has for the last few days. There will be a new WNW wind/ground swell combo, and some small SW swell in the background. Most breaks will hold around waist-chest high while the standouts see some shoulder-head high sets.

Winds are looking better too…it looks like light N winds (even slightly NE) for the morning, particularly through Santa Barbara, Ventura, and LA.

OC and SD will have a little more side-texture to it but I think winds will be on the light side so conditions should be clean enough to surf.

I would look for the best waves at the beach breaks on this swell mix…the points and reefs will be fun too but the more open beach breaks will let you get a few waves to yourself (hopefully).

Personally I am going to shoot for surfing in the afternoon…I am going to make a Snow Summit snowboard run…then if I get back in time, and the winds hold, maybe hit the local beach break. I love SoCal…one of the only places where you can hit the mountains and the surf in the same day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thursday’s Surf – Unstable weather and more poo water

I don’t think Thursday is really going to be a surf day…for a couple of reasons.

1. Winds are still pretty suspect. Mostly they should be onshore or light onshore…there will be a few pockets of cleanliness here and there but they will be pretty unstable and probably won’t last that long.

2. Water quality is not going to be good. LA and Ventura got a decent amount of rain…and even OC and SD had a bit as well. These showers are going to continue overnight and all the nasty run-off will still be making its way down to the beach for the next couple of days.

On the positive side there will be some waves…we will have a mix of WNW wind and ground swell in the water and a touch of SW swell blipping in the background. Most breaks will be close to waist-chest high while the standout combo breaks see some shoulder-head high sets. Biggest surf will continue to show in Ventura and San Diego…but a few of the better combo breaks in the other areas should see similar sizes as well.

Personally I am just getting over a nasty case of the bird flu so I am going to avoid the run-off...but if you are jonesing for a surf you might check the cams in the morning.

X-mas swell update:
The swell for next week is still looking pretty good…forecast charts are even showing the potential for more WNW swell after the x-mas swell. (around the 26-27th)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Surf on Wednesday - Looks a little breezy

Our weather is not looking very good on Wednesday. At this point winds are expected to be out of the SW around 10-15 knots through the morning and then strengthen out of the W around 15-20+ knots by the afternoon.

There really aren’t any breaks that are protected from these wind directions so most spots are going to be pretty sloppy. Surf will be around waist-shoulder high (bigger in SD and Ventura) if you absolutely have to paddle out…but don’t expect much in the way of shape.

As usual on days like these I recommend that you check the cameras in the morning…there is always a possibility that a little nugget of cleanliness may sneak through at some of the more protected breaks.

Swell Alert - New WNW swell for the Christmas Holiday

It looks like Mother Nature is going to be giving California surfers a Christmas present this year.

There is some new storm activity brewing up underneath the Aleutians, close to the Gulf of Alaska, that will likely send a good-sized WNW swell (280-300+) to California on December 24-25th.

Northern and Central California (basically any spot north of Point Conception) will see very large surf from this system, with wave heights easily breaking the double- to triple-overhead range at the exposed breaks. Standout deepwater breaks will see even bigger waves. Because this region is a little closer to the storm it will actually start seeing this swell arrive on the 23rd and then peak the 24th and 25th.

Southern California will see a smaller version of this swell. At this point this swell looks good for easy shoulder-head high surf at the NW facing breaks while the standout winter spots have overhead sets. Conditions are looking good too…looks like sunny skies and light to moderate offshore winds as the swell arrives. Look for this swell to build in on the 24th…and then peak in the afternoon into the 25th.

Make sure to check back...I will have more details on this swell, as we move closer to the holiday.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tuesday’s surf – more waves and more weather

The surf will come up more on Tuesday…but it looks like rain…and maybe some S-SW winds will start to wreck it by the afternoon.

If you were in the water (or checking it) on Monday you probably noticed that a there was a little more WNW swell in the water. A few spots around Ventura and the South Bay looked like they had some decent surf during the dawn patrol.

This new burst of WNW swell will actually peak early Tuesday morning and should hold waves throughout the day. Most spots will be around waist-chest high+ while the standout NW facing breaks in the good winter areas (San Diego, Ventura, South Bay, and North OC) will have some shoulder-head high surf. Best spots may be a little bigger.
Winds are looking light through the morning but we may have a bit of a S-SE texture to it. SW winds in the 10-15 knot range will move through during the afternoon.

Your best bet for waves will be those winter spots that are protected from S-SE winds…the South Bay, parts of Central OC, Parts of Southern Ventura, and the La Jolla area all have breaks that stay clean on the southerly winds. Points and reefs if you can find them will probably have the best shape...beach breaks will be fun but probably not working quite as well.Unless you are on vacation and have all your Christmas shopping done I wouldn’t waste too much time driving anywhere. I think it will be worth checking your local spots but not sitting in traffic for an unreasonable amount of time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Surf over the weekend

Looks like we will have some small, but playful surf over the weekend.

I actually got out for a surf today and while it wasn’t great there were some playful corners that snuck through every once in a while.

The weekend’s surf will be very similar to Friday. We will have a mix of WNW (285-300) and SW swell (190-210) that will keep wave heights in the knee-waist high+ range at the average exposed breaks while the standouts spots…mostly in San Diego, parts of Southern Ventura, and Southern OC…see some chest-shoulder high sets. There are a couple of little swell pulses that overlap for the next couple of days so wave heights will stay pretty steady...maybe even get a bit more consistent by Sunday.

Tides will still be an issue so expect soft shape at times. Winds on the other hand look light for the next couple of days so you can probably wait for the tide to swing around and still get decent shape.

I think your best bet for surf this weekend will be at the combo beach breaks. Biggest waves will be in San Diego but it won’t be worth driving very far. Again check the cams in the morning…mostly to make sure the tide hasn’t shut it down.

Have a good weekend everybody…my next update will probably be on Sunday night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Surf for Friday – High Tide Swamptacular!

I checked the surf at lunch here on Thursday…it had picked up from the morning but it was still tide-swamped and inconsistent so I couldn’t bring myself to paddle out.

The good news is that this swell will fill in a little more and get a little more consistent on Friday.

The bad news is that the high tide that peaks mid-morning will continue to keep most of the day soft and slow…unless you don’t mind surfing shorebreak or have a really good sandbar hidden somewhere. After seeing how badly the tide is abusing this swell mix I think I may have overestimated its potential funness.

In the water we will have a mix of WNW and SW energy, which will be good for knee-waist high surf at most breaks…and a few chest high+ sets at the standouts. Not a very impressive swell mix…but better than being totally flat. San Diego will probably be the biggest and most consistent…north county will probably be the most fun. (fun being a relative term)

Check out the CDIP swell model…hmm almost makes me want to take a nap.

Friday I will probably do the cam thing in the morning. If it looks like it isn’t just shorebreak then I may take a drive to check it in person. Unless you are really desperate to surf, or to taste saltwater or something, don’t waste you time driving very far. It may be worth keeping an eye on it for the afternoon...the winds look look light and the tide will be lower so there may be a chance of getting some waves late in the day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday’s Surf – Finally a few rideable waves

Surf comes up a little on Thursday. We have a mix of new WNW swell and some new SW swell. As I have said in the forecasts before, neither of them are looking particularly strong but the combo of swells, clean conditions, and total lack of surf over the last couple of days could make them seem fun.

Most breaks will see surf in the knee-waist high range. Standout spots will be in the waist-chest high+ range. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few shoulder high sets but I think they are going to be pretty rate.

The tide is going to be an issue…there is a 5’+ high tide that rolls through right in mid-morning (around 10-11am)…so expect shape to be on the slow side. You are going to want to look at breaks that can handle a higher tide. Fortunately winds are going to be light for most of the day, which could give us a chance to get a few waves on the lower tide in the afternoon.

Personally I am going to check the cams in the morning because I am little worried that there won’t be enough swell showing for the dawn patrol to push through the fat high tide. I will probably make sure to look right at sunrise…then head out if I see some waves showing. If for some reason it doesn’t pull together for the dawn patrol I will be checking it again at lunch.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Art Show - JOHN SEVERSON: Days of Surf Glory

Hey gang...since there isn't any surf...and I like to help out my is another art show up at the Surf Gallery. As usual Will puts together a good time. Besides who can turn down free wine?

Here are the details.


JOHN SEVERSON: Days of Surf Glory
An exhibition of paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints and photographs. Several pieces priced under $250 for gifts!

Saturday, December 15, 2007
Stop by for a glass of wine and to check out the latest body of work by John Severson - champion surfer and founder of Surfer Magazine!

@ The Surf Gallery in Laguna Beach
911 S. Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Surf (or lack there of) on Wednesday

Not much is going to change on Wednesday. We will continue to have mostly clean small surf.

There will be a little bit of leftover windswell and some very small background pulses of NW and SW swell…these are so small that I wouldn’t even mention it if we had a real swell in the water.

Wave heights will hold around ankle-knee high…a few of the better beach breaks will have some waist high+ sets. Conditions will be clean but the building tide…and lack of swell…will keep shape soft, slow, and (in my opinion) on the poor side.

Things do pick up a touch on Thursday and Friday. There will be a little increase in both WNW and SW swell…neither look like very significant swells but there should be enough energy for us to get out and surf. I am expecting most spots to build into knee-waist high+ surf while the standouts…mostly in San Diego and OC (maybe a couple of parts of the South Bay and Ventura too) see some waist-chest high+ sets on the lower tides.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tuesday’s surf – you’ll freeze your nipples off

Well no…it won’t really be that cold. It will be chilly though, thanks to brisk morning air-temps, water temps around 57-59 degrees, and very little surf to get the blood moving.

The surf will be about ankle-waist high off a mix of fading NW windswell and some weak background pulses from both the WNW and SW. The tide fills in fast through the morning…so expect very slow, very soft shape. Winds will be light offshore for most of the morning…and then go light/variable in the afternoon.

Personally I will probably stay in bed…it will be nice and warm there and surfing my pillows will be more fun than dragging my longboard around only to ride knee high shorebreak.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Monday’s Surf – Smaller and Cleaner

Monday will have clean conditions and small playful surf. We will have a mix of rapidly dropping windswell and leftover WNW-NW energy in the water. Most spots will stay around knee-waist high+. The standout winter beach breaks, mostly in SD, will have some bigger chest-high+ sets.

Conditions will be clean…winds will be light to moderate offshore through the morning and will stay on the light side through the day. It will be freaking cold in the morning…so pack your booties and your beanie if you head out for the dawn patrol.

I think it will be fun…probably better for longboarding (or your small wave board)…but personally I am going to wait for the sun to be up for a couple of hours before I seriously consider surfing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Surfing for the weekend – Some waves on Sunday

Saturday is pretty much a write-off. There will be waves in the form of fading W swell and lots of local windswell. Unfortunately winds will be out of the SW and W around 15-20+ knots…there is no real protection from that wind direction so pretty much every break will be blown out. I would plan on sleeping in, or doing chores, or staring at the wall…because all of it will likely be better than surfing. Water quality will be pretty bad too so just add that to another reason not to surf.

Sunday on the other hand is looking better. Winds are expected to shift around to the N and drop to about 10 knots as the front moves out. Water quality will still be an issue…so keep that in mind.

At this point Sunday’s wave heights will depend a lot on how much windswell is still in the water as the storm moves off. In the morning I expect most breaks to continue to see waist-shoulder high surf through the morning with some bigger sets at the standout W facing breaks (in the usual suspects in Ventura, South Bay, and SD). Expect size and consistency to drop as you head into the afternoon/evening. The surf will continue to drop as we head into Monday too.

I think I will take a look at the surf on Sunday…probably look at the cams first and then if it looks semi-decent actually take a drive down the beach. I wouldn’t drive very far…but if you are stir-crazy and don’t mind a little hepatitis from the water you might be able to pick off a few waves early Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friday's Surf - Stormin

Friday is looking like a stay in bed morning…and when the bad weather gets going you will probably want to stay in bed all day.

Surf is looking pretty horrible. A new storm moves over us tonight and is expected to strengthen S-SW winds to about 15-25 knots through the morning and bring in some more rain. Those winds are expected to get worse through the afternoon…and the forecast is actually calling for waterspout warnings in the coastal waters.

About the only chance for surf tomorrow, (and there will be plenty of leftover W swell from early in the week and some new local windswell from this cold front), will be if the front stalls and sets up SE winds for the morning. The chances of this happening are not likely…but you can check this cool tool…it is usually running an hour or so behind real-time. Southern California Wind Analysis

If winds are SE there are a handful of spots in Ventura, the South Bay, Mid-South OC, and the La Jolla area in San Diego that will be clean…and potentially surfable.

More than likely it will just be messy and blown out. Personally I am going to hit the snooze button and then eat some Captain Crunch

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thursday’s Surf – Get some while you can

Overall Thursday is looking much, much smaller than Wednesday. The W-WNW pulse will be dropping quick and will fade to a more playful size by late in the day. Expect overhead waves at most spots through the morning. Santa Barbara and Ventura will start to fade out by mid-morning…so expect the points/reefs to get quite a bit smaller through the afternoon. San Diego will have the most staying power and should see consistently overhead surf through most of the day.

Our weather will likely start to change on Thursday as well. A new cold front is approaching and is expected to bring bad weather to SoCal on Friday and Saturday. Thursday is expected to start off with light S-SE winds around 0-10 knots…then shift more S-SW 10-20 knots by the afternoon/evening. Rain (and waterspouts according to the National Weather Service) are expected on Friday and Saturday.

Surfwise…if you are looking to surf “big” waves on Thursday you will have pretty much missed the boat. There will still be some overhead stuff at the well exposed breaks through the morning but it will drop to more manageable sizes by the afternoon. Personally I would get on it early for the dawn patrol…conditions look like they fall apart by the afternoon/evening and then stay pretty bad through the weekend.

Long-range…forecasts last week were showing another decent sized swell for this upcoming weekend…unfortunately that is no longer the case. It looks like the storm will move over SoCal before generating much surf…so we will get the bad weather without the benefit of the waves beforehand. We can expect some bumpy and blown out storm swell driving up wave heights on Saturday (and then dropping Sunday) but not much of it will be rideable and water quality will be questionable as well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wednesday’s Surf – More W swell for everyone.

The W swell will peak on Wednesday. I am sticking to the forecast that I posted earlier, which basically is calling for W-facing breaks to have overhead to well overhead sets. Top breaks will have double-overhead sets…and then standouts in San Diego and Ventura will have some almost triple-overhead waves.

Weather is looking decent again on Wednesday…winds are expected to be light/variable or even a little light SE for some areas. Look for W-NW winds 10-15 knots through the afternoon.

For the best surf…here is a copy paste from an earlier forecast

“If you are not interested in big waves you do have a few options…I would definitely check the S-facing summer spots…sometimes on W swells you will get some of the energy to wrap in a break that wouldn’t normally pick it up. In the process of wrapping in the swell loses a lot of energy and will be much more manageable sizewise when it finally arrives.”

Some Photos from Tuesday 12.04.07

Here are a few photos I took up at Rincon today...the quality isn’t great since I was illegally parked on the freeway and it is a little unnerving to try and take photos while semis are roaring by. So I just snapped off a few

This is in between sets on the draining tide.

Monday, December 3, 2007

THE COUNTDOWN: New Year's Eve @ Orange County Museum of Art!

Hey is a bit of news not related to the W-swell. But it is still surf related.

Will, down at the Surf Gallery, is putting on a New Years Event, called "The Countdown" at the Orange County Museum of Art.

Here are the details. Check it out if you get a chance.



About: Art/Film/Music festival from the creators of The Happening @ Orange County Museum of Art > Newport Beach, CA

Music: Rocco Deluca & The Burden, The Growlers, PawnShop Kings, DJ Jesse C.

Art by: legendary rock & roll / surf poster artist John Van Hamersveld.

Short films by: the Malloys.

Dates: December 31, 2007


Surfing on Tuesday – the big W-WNW’er starts to arrive

Tuesday will be a good surf day…but it may get too big for most people’s comfort level (including mine) by the end of the day.

The first part of the new W-WNW swell begins arriving on Tuesday and will build quickly through the day, eventually peaking overnight into Wednesday. Look for this swell to fill in fast in areas like Santa Barbara and Ventura (which are actually located a little more to the West and so will get the swell earlier). LA County, OC, and San Diego will start off slower but will see a big jump by the afternoon.

Sizewise as this swell really gets going (particularly as it peaks into early Wednesday) we can expect most W-facing spots to see consistently overhead to well overhead surf…standout W-facing breaks will go double-overhead+ and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some nearly triple-overhead sets at breaks that focus these types of swell. Needless to say shape will be pretty raw, stacked up, and we can expect a lot of current to paddle against at the more exposed spots.

If you are not interested in big waves you do have a few options…I would definitely check the S-facing summer spots…sometimes on W swells you will get some of the energy to wrap in a break that wouldn’t normally pick it up. In the process of wrapping in the swell loses a lot of energy and will be much more manageable sizewise when it finally arrives.

Weather is looking decent, particularly for the morning. Winds are expected to be light/variable to light offshore through the morning…then shift a little more onshore out of the NW around 10 knots during the afternoon.

Here is a cool satellite photo of the storm sending in this swell…look how long the fetch is!

Check out the NWS satellite loop to see this bad boy in action.
Link to NWS NPAC Satellite Loop.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Monday’s waves – get warmed up for the W swell

Monday looks fun, not great or big, just sort of playful. Water quality will still be an issue…I think you will want to avoid the rivers and storm-drains if you want to stay healthy but it will be cleaner than the weekend. (You can always check out for the water quality report card).

Surfwise we will have a mix of new W-WNW swell moving in…this one is sort of a combo of energy from that swell that hit Hawaii over the weekend and the initial formation of the system that will crank out the bigger W-WNW swell in a couple of days. What does that really mean from a surf standpoint? Well that I am a weather-nerd of the first degree…oh and that we will get a slight increase in wave heights at the winter spots throughout the day.

Waves will start off on the small side…mostly waist-chest high for most areas, with some slightly bigger sets in San Diego and Ventura. By the afternoon average spots will be closer to shoulder high while the standouts in Ventura see some inconsistent head high sets mixing in.

Weather looks ok…winds will be light in the morning but expect increasing NW winds 10-15+ knots by the end of the day.

Big WNW swell update: Things are still looking good for the swell on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think we should get a pretty big jump in swell on Tuesday but the meat of the swell will still really arrive overnight and into Wednesday. That being said…winds are looking decent on Tuesday and with that swell starting to fill in as we move throughout the day…I am seriously considering heading northward and trying to pick off a few waves as it arrives.

Here is a random WAM (Nave WWIII wave heights) picture showing the significant wave heights in the North Pacific.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Surfing for the Weekend – Weird Weather and Poo Water

I think that if you can stand staying out of the water you may want to avoid surfing this weekend. We will have waves thanks to a mix of WNW swell and local windswell but the combination of junky winds and poor water quality will make things pretty nasty.

Expect poor-shaped waist-shoulder high surf for W facing beaches on Saturday. W winds will be blowing 10-20+ knots through the morning and then gradually taper off through the late afternoon. The rain should have passed through as well by the end of the day.

Sunday winds are looking better but overall wave heights will drop as the WNW’er fades and the windswell drops off fast. Most spots slip back into the knee-waist high+ range. Plus, even though conditions will be better water quality will still be very poor thanks to the rain-runoff making its way down to the beach.

Most Health groups recommend that you wait at least 72 hours after a heavy rain before going in the ocean…spots near storm-drains and river mouths can take even longer to get back to safe levels.

I think I will stick to watching football this weekend…I may look at the surf but I don’t have any plans to paddle out…I think I will wait for that bigger W-WNW’er that hits next week.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday’s Surf

Our WNW swell came up a notch on Thursday and it will continue to slowly build into Friday. We will also have some small SW swell and some increasing local windswell in the water.

Expect surf in the waist high+ range at most spots…while standout WNW-NW spots see some chest-shoulder high+ waves on either side of the high tide. Like the last few days the biggest waves will be in San Diego and parts of Ventura.

Winds are expected to stay on the light side through the morning but a new cold front starts pushing through the area in the afternoon and will increase onshore winds out of the W-WSW (and bring in a chance of showers).

I think it will be worth a check in the morning (don’t drive very far)…but watch the tides and the winds as we head into the afternoon.

First real W-WNW swell of the season arrives next week!

Looks like SoCal will have its first solid W-WNW swell of the winter next week.

A new storm is forecast to form between Hawaii and California in about 2-3 days and then, as it tracks up into the Gulf of Alaska, kick out a fairly strong W-WNW swell (270-290+300) for Southern California.

There will already be some WNW swell in the water when this new one starts to arrive so most spots will already have waves…but expect the more northerly SoCal regions (Santa Barbara and Ventura) to start seeing a fairly significant increase in size late on Tuesday (Dec 4th). The southerly regions…mostly OC and San Diego may see a slight bump before sundown but not as much as spots further up the coast.

It looks like the bulk of the swell will start to push in overnight and peak on Wednesday Dec 5th.

Like I said this swell is looking pretty strong. At this point, (and this is me staying on the conservative side), I think most exposed W-facing breaks will see overhead+ surf. Standout W facing breaks in both Ventura and San Diego will be consistently several feet overhead and probably have sets nearing double-overhead mix in at times.

Weather may be an issue for this swell, or at least the wind may be a problem…the storm moves near the California coast and we may see some of it spill over into our local conditions. At this point it looks surfable but a lot depends on how the system behaves after it actually forms.

Finding the best surf:
W-WNW swells, like this one, send waves to almost all areas in SoCal…finding the right spot depends a lot on what sort of wave you like to surf. If winds cooperate this swell will be worth driving for…probably even taking off work if you have to.

Shapewise if you are looking for big dumpy beach breaks or heavy reefs…then San Diego and Southern Ventura will be good areas to check out. If you are looking for long, but likely very crowded, point-breaks then head to Santa Barbara. LA and OC will also have a decent mix of waves, even some heavy spots, but expect a lot of closeouts unless you have a reef, point, or sandbar to break up the swell.

This is just the initial heads up so make sure to check back for more updates as we get closer to the swell arriving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Surfing on Thursday - New WNW swell

We start to get a little more size to the surf on Thursday as the new WNW-NW swell arrives and a small SW swell moves into the background. After looking at the buoys this afternoon it looks like a lot of the WNW-NW energy will get blocked by Point Conception but we should have some fun surf (particularly by the afternoon) at the best NW facing spots.

All areas will have knee-waist high waves with some chest high sets. Standout winter spots (in San Diego and Ventura) will see some chest-shoulder high surf through the morning and then start seeing some head high sets on the lower tide later in the afternoon.

Tides will still be a bit of a problem…the high peaks through mid-morning…so you are going to want to find an exposed spot that likes a little more water. Weather looks good though…winds will stay light to light offshore in the morning with some light onshores in the afternoon.

This doesn’t look like a swell that will be worth driving very far for…but it will definitely be bigger than the last couple of days. I would give the cams a quick check in the morning before heading out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wednesday's Surf

Wednesday is looking rideable…but personally I don’t think it looks all that fun.

We will have the leftover WNW and background SW swell (think very background…basically I wouldn’t even mention it if we had any real swell in the water). Wave heights will be around knee high for most spots, while standouts in San Diego see some waist-chest high sets.

We will see a solid high tide build in around 10-11am which will swamp out most spots as well.

About the only thing we have going for us is the wind…which is expected to be offshore in the morning and evening and light/variable through the middle of the day.

I will probably sleep through the dawn patrol…or go walk my horse-dog or something.

Long-range is looking better…more WNW swell is due on Thursday and that will get reinforced by similar sized WNW pulses (and some small SW energy) Friday and into the weekend.

Random Forecast: Big waves for Hawaii

Storm action in the North Pacific has cranked it up a couple of notches over the last few days. New storms near the western Aleutian's are kicking out a couple of decent-sized WNW swells for the Hawaiian Islands.

Looks like an initial shot of WNW swell (320-335) started to arrive today and will peak into tomorrow (Wed Nov 28th). This one looks good for 8-10’+ of deepwater swell at about 13-15 second periods, face size will probably be around 10-12-feet with some occasional 15-footers lurking in the big sets.

The second WNW swell (320-340+) hits on Saturday (Dec 1st) and looks like it will come in a bit stronger…deepwater wave heights will be closer to 14-15’ and periods will be around 15-16 seconds. I would look for the standout North Shore spots to see 12-15’ faces with some 18-20’ bombs mixing in at times.

Weather-wise things may get a little chunky on Saturday’s swell…winds are expected to shift Westerly around 10+ knots but there may be some SW flow to it, which would let Kona spots get really fun.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Surfing on Tuesday – Fading WNW swell

Tuesday will be smaller than Monday. The mix of WNW swell will be fading and the small SW background swell will continue to be…uh…small and in the background. In general most winter spots will see knee-waist high waves. Standouts, mostly through San Diego will have some chest high sets.

Tides will continue to be an issue but the dawn-patrol window is opening a little as the peak of the high tide moves further toward mid-morning.

Conditions look good for all areas…winds are expected to be light offshore through most of the morning…and then turn onshore, but stay light, through the afternoon.

If you live outside of SD I think you will need to take your small wave gear to the beach. The combo of higher tide and limited exposure to the swell mix means a lot more longboarding. San Diego spots, and a few Ventura and South Bay breaks, will have some playful sizes but personally I don’t think it will be good enough to drive very far.

There is a lot of storm activity moving around in the North Pacific…so even though there is nothing powerful in the forecast…things are looking a bit more fun and playful for the second half of the week and into this upcoming weekend.

Random Swell Period Question

This was actually directed to the forecasts on but I thought I would post it here too.


I new to surf forecasting and I'm trying to get a better handle on wave period. From my reading I have found out that any swell with a period longer than 13 seconds is considered sizable. However when I review your surf forecasts for period the scale starts at 15 seconds. If you can help me out that would be greatly appreciated.



My response:


I am stoked that you are getting into Surf Forecasting...and that you are paying attention to the swell period. Personally I think swell-period is sometimes the most overlooked and underrated attribute of a swell, and in many cases it can really "make or break" the surf shape of an incoming swell.

To answer your specific question...yes a 13-second swell can be a substantial swell, but you have to combine in the other factors, namely the distance of the storm, swell-size, and swell-direction.

For example, if you have a very closely located storm sending you surf it is possible to get a very large swell but with very short-periods. Since the storm is so close the waves don't have a chance to decay, (which is when they bleed off energy as friction as they move through long-distances in the ocean), and so you get the large, but usually disorganized, waves.

On the other end it is possible to have a very small swell with long periods. Sometimes when a storm is very far away you can have the "meat" of the swell decay completely away leaving you with just the long-period forerunners. So even though the swell is coming in at 18- or 19-seconds it doesn't actually produce much surf...or is very inconsistent in the few waves it does produce.

The very over-simplistic and general rule of thumb for forecasting (and swell period) is this...the bigger the swell-height AND the longer the swell-period the bigger the waves will be on the beach.

Hope this helps,


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Monday’s Surf

I was a little disappointed with the quality of surf over the holiday weekend…There were some fun periods but, at least in the North OC area, the combo of waves and weather never really jelled all that well. Either the swell was too small, or the tide to high, or the winds picked up just a tad to much. Oh well I hope all of you had better luck in your areas.

Monday looks pretty similar to what we had over the weekend. We will have a slowly fading NW swell and some local windswell showing through the day. Wave heights in most exposed areas will be around knee-waist high+…while standout areas see some chest high+ sets. We have another surf-swallowing high tide in the morning which is a bummer…so if you have to surf the dawn patrol it would be best to check breaks that can handle the high tide.

Conditions will be a little off…winds are expected to be light but with a slight southerly texture to it. Look for W winds around 10-15 knots to build in through the afternoon.

Personally I will probably shine surfing tomorrow morning unless winds are completely calm when I check the dawn patrol…I have a whole list of excuses: the tide will be too high, there really won’t be enough swell making it into most of HB, and ect…but really it just boils down to the conditions not really motivating me much.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving surf report

Hey Gang!

Well the website is down this morning, but they are working on getting it up shortly.

Anyway I just thought I would post the morning report here... This applies to pretty much everywere...but expect slightly bigger morning surf in San Diego.

Posted Thursday at 7:15am
Happy Thanksgiving! For the surf this morning we are seeing a mix of WNW energy...both longer-period and local windswell. Unfotunately the tide is burying most of it. Average spots are holding in the knee-high+ range while the best standouts are seeing some waist-chest high+ sets.

There is a new NW swell moving down the coast that will start filling in through the afternoon. Look for it to reach SB/Ventura around mid-afternoon and the rest of SoCal by the evening. Looks like it will show the best waves on Friday.

Conditions: Clean and glassy with mostly light variable winds. Look for light winds around 10-knots to develop through the afternoon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Surfing on Thanksgiving

This update is going to be pretty light on the info. Basically you should surf on are the reasons.

1. We have some WNW swell...nothing huge but fun and playful at the exposed breaks.
2. Winds will be light through most of the day...even a little offshore in the morning.
3. You have the day off
4. You will likely have about 12,000 calories of thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon and a little exercise is definitely not going to hurt.

(oh and the biggest waves will be in San Diego and Ventura)

Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wednesday's Surf - More playful WNW swell

Wednesday will see a little more energy. A new pulse of WNW swell blends in with our current WNW/fading SW/Local NW windswell mix. Most spots will see waist-chest high surf. Standout NW breaks…mostly in SD and Ventura…see some shoulder high sets, on the lower tides.

There will be a “light” eddy on Wednesday so expect clean but slightly crumbly conditions at the more open breaks. You will be able to find cleaner conditions at spots that are protected from southerly winds.

This is starting to sound like a broken record but the best surf will continue to show through San Diego and Ventura…those areas will be more consistent, they will have more exposed reefs and points than other areas, and both counties have a few spots that can handle a little morning texture. Other regions will still have some waves but you will have to be a little selective when you pick your break.

I think it will be worth at least checking the surf on Wednesday…personally I am going to check it at lunch when the tide is low…but it should be fun through most of the morning.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Surf on Tuesday (only 2 days till Turkey!)

Tuesday is looking fun…very similar to Monday…just a little smaller and probably a little cleaner.

We will have a mix of holding/slowly dropping WNW swell and some background SW swell. Most areas will have waves around waist-chest high. Standout WNW spots…mostly good winter breaks…will have some shoulder high sets.
Winds look good too…expect mostly light SE-ESE winds in the morning with some light onshore texture in the afternoon. There may be some patchy fog in the morning too but it may break up later in the day.

Your best bet for surf will be the “winter” spots in Ventura, San Diego, the South Bay, and North OC. I think the beach breaks in those areas…particularly ones with decent sandbars…will have the best shape. I would watch out for the high tide in the morning. It will bog things down for the dawn patrol…mid-morning through lunchtime may be a better call.

Looks like another little boost of WNW energy will come through on we should have fun playful surf…and decent conditions through the middle of the week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ocean Science 101 (armchair forecasting!)

Hey guys,

In this post I will start my first installment of what I would like to call “Lazy Forecasting”. Basically I will offer some really simple tips and resources that will help you learn how to surf forecast without having to pay for some one else to do it.

Lazy Forecasting 101: How to get a reasonably accurate North Pacific forecast for California...(and here is the best part)…using only the weather satellite photo in the paper, and buoy readings.

Syllabus: I will cheat a little in this one because lets face it, print is pretty much dead, and the clarity of the images you can find directly from NOAA are far superior to what we would see in the paper…and don’t even get me started about the live buoy feeds that you can get directly from NOAA and Scripps…especially compared to the robots that read the info on the old buoy radio. Here is a good link to an animated satellite loop showing the NPAC photos from the last several hours.


1. Find yourself (physically not spiritually…but it is amazing how those go hand in hand). Find your location on the Paper’s sat photo.
2. Find the location of the storms in the North Pacific
3. Determine distance between you and the storm.
4. Estimate the storm strength.
5. Hurt your brain with math.
6. Wait for swell, drink, look at buoys, drink some more. Rinse/Repeat.
7. See buoys pick up swell.
8. Start Packing.

Materials – On NOAA Map + access to live buoy information.

OK this is a great map of the North Pacific, stolen from NOAA’s satellite group, It has a mix of infrared and visual data (the majority of the map is current showing infrared imagery.

It also has lat-long coordinates which is great for eye-balling storm fetch. Infrared is nice because it lets you see the particularly intense sections of the storm. When you are looking at a visual shot you can loose a lot of information in the cloud cover.

First Step: Determine if there are any storms in your swell window

1. Look for something that appears to be spinning. Now if looks like it is spinning counterclockwise then you have found a low pressure (aka a storm)

2. Look at it’s present location.
A. If it below the 50N Latitude (the bright red bar). then there is a good chance Northern California will get swell from this storm
B. If it is below the 45N Latitude then it is the swell window for both Northern and Central California
C. If it is below the green line then it is in the window for Southern California (along with Northern and Central California)

Things to remember
1. (L) Low pressures spin counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere
2. (H) High Pressures spin clockwise in the northern hemisphere
3. The stronger the difference in pressure between the high and low the stronger the winds will be in that area
4. The more intense the winds the bigger the surf. The more intense the winds that are aimed at you the bigger the surf that you are going to get.

Getting Started

Step 1. Find Yourself – (Yeah you should probably get a map)

Step 2. Find your storm. Storms are caused by Low-pressure…so most weather maps will label storm centers with a giant “L”. Circle any L’s that look promising.

Step 3. Determine if there are any huge islands, counties, or continents in between you and the storm. (If the answer is yes…pick another storm). It the answer is no then try and determine distance between the two spots (either use the map scale…or just eyeball it…generally 1-degree of lat/lon is about 60 miles. So every 10 degrees is about 600 miles.

Step 4. Estimate wind speeds (this one is a little tricky) if you are seeing wide solid slabs of clouds it is probably not moving more than 10-20 knots. If the clouds look shredded...almost like popcorn then the wind is tearing it up with winds around 30-40 knots. Now if you see a swirling vortex of terror that is pulling in little snaking clouds and crushing them into oblivion and it is surrounded by a big swatch of those “popcorn” clouds that look like they are worshipping the center. Yeah that one would probably have about 50-70 knots winds and would be close to reaching hurricane force levels.

5. Swell once it is created by the storm travels through the ocean at fairly predictable speeds. We measure the speeds in what we call “swell period” or “swell interval”. The general rule of Thumb is that swell with 17 second periods can travel about 600-700 miles in 24 hours. Shorter swell periods travel slower and longer-periods travel faster. So for this exercise we have a storm 2400 miles away and the swell is traveling in 17 second periods. That means it would arrive at our location in about 4 days. (I think I need to lay down)

6. If the storm is properly positioned and setting up some fetch towards you and your spot then you can assume the swell is on the way. Now we just sit and wait.

Usually swells show up on time…sometimes they lag. Personally when they are really lagging I drink, check the buoys every five minutes, and swear at things. (but I have a lot of anti-social behaviors).

Then when the swell hits the 46006 buoy I relax…then wait about 12 hours to see it showing on the 46059 buoy…if the swell comes in pretty large and without a lot of wind being reported by the buoy (which would indicated the wave heights have increased because the storm is moving right over the buoy)…then I know we are in good shape.

7. I pack my surf gear and drive to my favorite NW swell spot (get there early before the swell arrives) and that way you can grab a couple before every guy and his cousin who saw it on the camera that morning get down to the beach.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weekend Waves: Fun mix of swells

I think this weekend is going to be fun. We will have a mix of WNW swells on Saturday and then on Sunday a new SW’er will jump into the mix. None of these swells are looking huge but we will have consistent surf in the waist-chest high+ range while standout spots see shoulder-head high+ sets. Look for the swell mix to continue to hold similar surf into Monday before dropping.

Conditions look ok as well. Light winds are expected for the mornings and light-onshore winds build in through the afternoons. If you have a protected spot it should stay surfable most of the day.

Biggest, and probably best, waves will show through Ventura and San Diego counties on Saturday. Sunday more spots will gain a little size as the WNW energy gets a little more westerly and the new SW swell moves in to flesh out some of the shadowed breaks. On Sunday you should be able to find fun surf at most of the combo breaks throughout SoCal, while the biggest waves will be showing through most of San Diego (and Northern Baja).

Next update will be on Monday…have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friday's Surf...more NW funness-ness

The NW’er in the water was pretty fun on Thursday…I even got a little surf up in HB in the morning…sets were about chest-shoulder high but I heard that the pier and spots north of the pier were a little bigger.

Friday we will actually get a little more WNW swell (it is supposed to start showing in Ventura and maybe LA by sundown tonight…but now it looks like it will build in more overnight and actually be bigger early Friday). NW facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range. Standout spots will be bigger with some head high sets mixing in.

Biggest and best shaped surf will hit in Ventura and San Diego. I think points and reefs will be the most fun…but the swell period is short enough that the beach breaks will have some makeable sections as well. Personally I would check the points/reefs first…then if they are too crowded or too soft I would use the beachbreaks as a back-up.

If you don’t have time to get to V-town or SD then take a look at the LA South Bay and North OC both of those areas should be able to pull in some decent waves from this swell mix as well.

My Baja Mexico and NorCal forecasts have been updated too! Check 'em out when you get a chance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday's Surf - Best waves at NW spots

Thursday should be pretty fun…not a ton of swell in the water but enough that you can find a couple of shoulder high waves at the top spots.

We will actually have leftover NW swell showing in the morning and then a new, better-aimed WNW’er moving in late in the afternoon. Look for the better NW facing breaks in San Diego and Ventura to see waist-shoulder high surf with some inconsistent larger sets. Other areas will be smaller and less consistent.

Winds should be good as well…mostly light/variable through the morning and only light onshore through the afternoon.

The swell angle on the NW’er is pretty steep…so really look for the best surf at spots in San Diego and Ventura…and try and avoid areas like North LA and most of Santa Barbara, which will be shadowed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wolfgang Bloch, Joe Curren & David Lloyd @ The Surf Gallery

Hey Gang,

My friend Will owns the Surf Gallery down in Laguna Beach. I just got an email about his new art show featuring Wolfgang Bloch, Joe Curren & David Lloyd.

Will always puts on quality events and has a ton of great original art. If you are in the area and have a chance it is definitely worth stopping by. (Plus who can go wrong with free wine and free sushi!).

Here are the details.

Wolfgang Bloch, Joe Curren & David Lloyd! New oil paintings, photographs and mixed-media prints from three of The Surf Gallery's top artists.

Reception: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007 from 6-10 p.m.

Stop by to check out the group's latest work. Free wine & sushi.

@ The Surf Gallery
911 S. Coast Hwy.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Surfing on Wednesday

Wednesday’s surf will be very similar to Tuesday but with a little more juice in the water.

NW swell has crept up a little bit today and it should have more showing tomorrow. The majority of the swell is aimed at Northern/Central Cal…but there was just enough fetch in our window to send some waves to the well exposed breaks. Expect NW spots to have some knee-chest high waves while a couple of bigger sets sneak in at the top breaks.

Look for the biggest waves at breaks in both Ventura and San Diego. Other areas will generally be smaller but the standout winter breaks in those regions may still be fun. Shape will be fair…almost reminiscent of look for breaks that like a shorter swell period.

Winds and weather are looking decent. Mostly light to light-offshore conditions in the morning…and light onshore winds around 10+ knots during the afternoon.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Expanding the coverage

Hey guys I just wanted to give you a quick heads up…I have expanded the coverage of my forecasts to include both Northern California and Baja Mexico.

You can find links to the new blogs on the Socal Forecast blog page…or you can go to them directly.

Northern California Surf Forecast Blog
Baja Mexico Surf Forecast Blog

Please share with your friends… :)

Have fun!


WNW swell for this week (yeah it isn’t going to really show in SoCal)

Looks like our NPAC storms that were forecast to form over the weekend didn’t really live up to expectations. We will still be getting some more WNW energy this week but I am going to knock down wave heights just a touch from what I was thinking late last week.

At this point Northern and Central California still look pretty good. The swell arrives there tomorrow and should peak into Wednesday with 6-10’ surf at most breaks. Standouts will be bigger at times. Conditions look pretty good too.

SoCal will see a slow waist-high+ increase on Wednesday. Then it will build a bit further on Thursday and eventually peak on Friday with waist-chest high+ surf at the better exposed areas. Maybe a few shoulder high waves showing through San Diego.

There is some potential for a better swell later in the upcoming weekend but it looks like weather could be an issue as well. I will let you know as things come together.

Surfing on Tuesday (another small day)

If you are a small wave enthusiast then Tuesday looks like a good day for you. If you like your surf to be more consistently above waist high then you may want to stay in bed.

We will have a mix of background SW energy, small local NW windswell, and a touch of WNW swell in the water…none of which will amount to much. I am expecting most beaches to see surf in the knee-high range with inconsistent waist high sets. The morning tide will bog even those sizes down further.

The biggest surf will be in San Diego…particularly at beaches that do well on the WNW-NW swell directions, and that can handle a higher tide. There may even be some chest high sets lurking around the La Jolla/PB/Mission Beach /Ocean Beach areas. I would definitely bring your small wave gear (longboard or fish). If you are not into small waves I would even consider checking the cams before driving anywhere.

Weather should be nice…similar to Monday. Light morning conditions, even light offshore. W winds build in around 10-knots through the afternoon.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Surfing for the weekend (AKA argh #@$% stupid weather!)

If I were looking at just the surf I would have said that this weekend will be “playful”. Unfortunately when I factor in the weather I think it is going to be “disorganized.”

We will have leftover SW swell slowly fading through the weekend and a bit of increasing WNW energy in the form of both windswell and some longer-period swell. Wave heights will average around waist-chest high but there may be a few bigger sets lurking at the top combo spots on the better parts of the tide.

Weatherwise there is a cold front approaching that is forecast to move through SoCal late on Sunday…but it starts altering the weather pattern as early as Saturday afternoon. Winds will get squirrelly, shifting from SW to W and will probably range from 0 to 15 knots. We will probably have some fog/drizzle move through as well.

The best surf on both Saturday and Sunday will come in little pockets…with the biggest stretch of halfway decent surf showing on Saturday morning. If you can, you should find a spot that cooperates with the tide and has a little protection from the wind. Biggest surf will be in North San Diego and South Orange County. By Sunday evening, as the SW’er fades and the NW swell becomes more prominent, look for the biggest waves at winter spots in San Diego.

Personally I will probably go out and try and find a couple of waves on Saturday morning…but on Sunday I will take a look at the cams before driving anywhere.

(if I somehow end up standing to close to a computer over the weekend I may throw a quick update about the NW swells coming in next week…so keep an eye out for updates)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Friday’s Surf (looking a little blah)

Friday’s surf is looking a little blah…thanks mostly to local wind conditions and the morning high tide.

We will still have plenty of SW swell in the water leftover from early in the week so expect surfable size. Unfortunately there is a weak cold front that is expected to push down through SoCal on Friday setting up SW to W winds around 10 knots. Now the National Weather Service is calling for the front to move through later in the day so there may be some cleaner surfable pockets in the morning…but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Definitely check the cameras in the morning…if you are seeing a lot of bump (or trees blowing around) then I would probably go back to bed. If you don’t mind some bump and crumble…then I would probably head for a beach that is at least partially protected from the S-SW winds.

Strong NW swell for next week? (Probably not that strong for SoCal)

Things are starting to get rolling in the North Pacific. High-pressure had been doing a decent job globbing up the storm track for the last several days but now, thanks to an infusion of warm tropical moisture jumping latitudes over by Japan, it looks like the high is going to move out of the way enough to let a couple decent sized storms move into our swell window.

At this point it looks like a strong WNW swell will move into Northern and Central California on the 12th and peak in those areas on the 13-14th. Wave heights will likely be double-overhead+, maybe bigger.

Southern California would see the beginning of that swell showing late on the 13th and likely peak on the 15th. Wave heights south of Point Conception will be quite a bit smaller…more in the waist-head high range for areas exposed to the NW and probably some bigger sets at the standouts.

This storm is about 4-5 days from forming so keep checking back for updates as we get closer.

Here is the WavewatchIII animation from the US Navy…

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thursday’s surf

Surfing on Thursday will be almost exactly like surfing on Wednesday. The SW swell will be past its peak but should still be going strong. There still won’t be enough other swell in the water to break it up…so beach breaks will be pretty walled up (with a few corners here and there). And again the best call will be the SW facing points and reefs that like a good-sized SW swell and a higher morning tide.

If you are going to hunt around for waves…you will find the biggest surf in OC and San Diego, basically between Newport Beach and La Jolla. Other areas will still be fun but they will miss that last little bit of energy that OC and SD are seeing.

The top points/reefs are going to be pretty crowded (stupid surf forecasters!) but I think there is still enough energy in this swell that it may be worth looking at the B and C-class waves as well…there is probably a good chance that you could find a couple of corners coming through without to many people out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Surfing on Wednesday (the new SW swell peaks)

Wednesday will see the peak of our new SW swell (it will actually start peaking late on Tuesday night but since most of us don’t have night vision goggles it doesn’t really count.)

SW facing, traditionally summer points and reef breaks will have the best shape on this swell…particularly points and reefs that can handle a little more size and higher tides. Biggest waves will show through San Diego and Orange County but expect some playful+ sizes at the top summer spots in the other regions as well.

Unfortunately the more open beach breaks will be fairly walled with a lot of current to paddle against, which is not sounding like a lot of fun. Now if you have a ridiculously large sand bar or some sort of jetty/pier/crashed-container ship/rock/or sunken pirate galleon or something nearby it may be worth a check…it probably won’t be as good as the summer points but it may have a few corners as the tide switches around.

Hey if you get some good pictures of this swell send them my way…I will post them (will full credit to you of course) on the blog somewhere.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tuesday’s Surf

Our new SW swell starts showing tomorrow. It will actually be mixing with some of the SW and WNW swell leftover from the weekend.

We will be seeing some real long-periods from this one as it starts filling in but the bulk of the waves, and peak of the swell, will actually be in the 16-17 second period range (which arrives on Wednesday/Thursday).

On Tuesday your best bet for waves will be at the summer spots, with OC and San Diego seeing the biggest size. It may be fairly slow and soft in the morning thanks to the higher tide and the fact that the swell is just starting to arrive. Winds are not looking great either…it is possible that the more exposed areas will have some morning sickness. I think Tuesday is going to be a “check the cams” sort of morning.

More size and better winds are expected Wednesday and Thursday…

Saturday, November 3, 2007

SW swell update!

Just a quick update on the SW swell that is approaching for next week.

I am seeing really good numbers on the Christmas Island Buoy (#51028), which is really the only buoy that is set up to give us advance warning of swells coming from the South Pacific. Anyway you can see in the picture that the buoy is running nearly 11-12’ with a dominant swell period of 17-seconds.

(Get the live buoy information at )

Now the “combined” wave heights of the buoy are 11-12’ but about half of that is local swell…the other half though, about 5-6’ feet, is almost pure deepwater SW swell. The swell will lose a little steam as it travels over the next 4-5 days but I am still expecting it to arrive with about 3’+ of deepwater swell when it hits Southern California.

The peak of the swell is going to be on 7th…but we should start seeing new waves from this swell on the 6th. These waves will hold strong through the 8th and continue to send in surf all the way through the following weekend.

Wave heights are looking pretty solid too…most spots will take the deepwater heights and after shoaling will be 1.5- to 2-times the size, so average breaks will be running consistently in the shoulder-overhead range. Standout SW breaks do better than that…I expect those spots to have sets going 2-3’ overhead. Top SW facing breaks will probably see bigger sets.

More updates next week…have a good weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Surfing this weekend

Our waves look fun this weekend…nothing too big…but not totally gutless either. We will have a mix of NW and SW energy in the water, wave heights will be in the waist-chest high range at most breaks. Standout combo spots will be a little bigger, around shoulder high on sets. Saturday and Sunday look very similar so I am not expecting much change in size day to day. Conditions should be good as well…mostly light winds in the morning and evenings, just a touch of onshore flow in the afternoons.

Since the mix of swells is fairly democratic you should be able to find surf pretty much anywhere. San Diego and parts of Orange County will have the biggest waves just because they are a little more exposed to the swell mix. LA and Ventura counties will have decent waves too but the bigger sets may be less consistent. Santa Barbara is sort of out of luck and will be shadowed from both swells and will be on the smaller side.

I am going to head down to the beach for a surf on Saturday, (Sunday I have to go to a marathon…WTF!...sometimes I am not sure how I get roped into some of the things I do). I will probably aim for mid-morning and let the tide drop a little from the high that comes through in the morning.

Friday's foreacsts are posted

Friday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for the weekend) have been posted.

Looks like we will have some good conditions and playful waves over the next few days. (and more swell next week!)

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Surfing on Friday

Friday morning will be a surf day. Winds will be light through most of the day…probably light offshore in the morning. We will have a mix of SW and NW swell in the water, and a new slightly better aimed WNW swell will move in slowly throughout the day.

You should be able to pick and choose your surf spot in the morning since most breaks will be rideable. I would still aim for breaks or areas that can handle a higher tide…that way you should have more surf time before the building tide shuts it down.

Like I said above winds are expected to remain on the light side through most of the day…cross your fingers, we may get a chance to surf in the afternoon as the tide drops.

The big SW’er for next week: Is still looking good…satellite passes are showing a lot of swell moving out of where the storm generated most of the heavy seas. Tahiti is already seeing some pretty big surf and Hawaii should get a decent dose in a couple of days. If I had unlimited funds (and a private jet…but those things usually go hand in hand), I would take a shot at getting some waves in Baja, Mainland Mexico, or Central America…it looks like a lot of energy is going to move into those regions. Oh and SoCal should have some decent size to…

Thursday's forecasts are up on

Thurday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Friday) have been posted.

Looks like some fun waves for the weekend. (and next week!)

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The surf on Thursday (or dealing with the post-Halloween candy shakes)

Thursday is looking playful…and probably fun on the right tide. The SW swell that started to arrive on Wednesday actually came in a little punchier than I thought it would so there is some ok size and consistency.

It is fairly SW in swell angle which means that Catalina and San Clemente Islands block the swell from North OC and the Channel Islands block the swell from a lot of Ventura and Santa Barbara. You will find the biggest surf if you hunt around South OC and most of San Diego. There is also some NW energy out in the water as well so the more exposed beach breaks should be fun as well as the points and reefs that like the SW swell.

Since North OC is my main stomping ground I will probably look for some waves somewhere south of HB. Winds and tides should be ok in the morning…so go hunt around at the exposed breaks…you should be able to find a couple of workable peaks tomorrow.

Wednesday's Forecasts are posted

Wednesday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Thursday) have been posted. Eat lots of candy tonight!

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and fun Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Strong late-season SW swell for Nov 6-8th

The South Pacific has managed to crank out a strong late season storm…and that storm, while partially shadowed by Tahiti and the South Pacific islands, looks like it will send a decent-sized swell to breaks from SoCal to Central America.

Look for this swell to start arriving slowly on the 6th…but really peaking on the 7th and into the 8th (yeah happy birthday to me!).

You can see that the storm has nearly 40-foot seas cranking in the key portions of fetch aimed towards us. Based on this chart, and some of the other forecast charts that I look at, I am expecting a decent round of overhead+ surf at the top SW facing spots.

Keep checking back…I will post some more details on this one as we closer to the swell arriving.

Surfing on Wednesday

Surfwise Wednesday looks a little better than Tuesday. Don’t get me wrong it still won’t be great…but at least we will have more swell energy in the water, tides will be lower in the morning, and winds should be light and variable for the dawn patrol.

In general I am still expecting the surf to be on the playful side with the biggest and best waves showing at the well exposed beach breaks through OC, San Diego, a few parts of Southern Ventura and the South Bay. I would bring gear that is more suited to small waves but could still pick off a section if you get a set wave. It should be a fun morning if you are still learning to surf or aren’t into big waves.

Personally I think it will be a “check the cam” morning unless you live close to the beach (you know like you can see it from your window or drive past it on your way to work, or something like that).

Tuesday's forecasts are posted

Tuesday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Wednesday) have been posted.

No large swells expected this week but there should be plenty of playful sized pulses from both the WNW and the SW. Looks like there will be a bigger SW'er on tap for around the 6-8th of November. I will be putting more details together on that one soon :)

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Monday, October 29, 2007

Surfing on Tuesday

I think Tuesday is going to be one of those “wait and see” mornings.

Overall weather is looking a little unstable. There is a cold front pushing down the coast and while it is expected to weaken as it moves into SoCal, it will likely destabilize the wind pattern. I think we will have some morning NW wind texture showing at the exposed breaks…and if it isn’t coming out of the NW the winds will likely eddy back and come in out of the SW, which is just as bad for most breaks.

Add to that the mix of windswell, and small southern hemi pulses, isn’t particularly strong. I think the surf will have a hard time powering through the higher morning tide.

So Tuesday is showing the potential for slow, soft, and possibly crumbly surf…not really something that I am going to shoot out of bed for in the morning. Personally I will check the cams for the dawn patrol…if it looks like we may have hit a little window of halfway decent surf I may drive down to check it in person, but I am not holding my breath.

Monday's forecasts are up.

Monday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Tuesday) have been posted.

No large swells expected this week but there should be plenty of playful sized pulses from both the WNW and the SW.

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Friday, October 26, 2007

Surfing over the weekend (the eddy returns)

Saturday is looking only OK…there will be a bit of an eddy, which means light S-SW winds in the morning very similar to what we saw on Friday. We also have another high-tide coming through mid-morning which is going to shut down a lot of spots.

If you get up early to surf you will likely find slow and crumbly surf at most breaks. It won’t be totally blown out but personally after the surf we had earlier this week it is going to look pretty dismal.

I do think there will be a couple of pockets here and there. The best looking (best looking being a relative term) spots will be breaks that can handle the mix of high morning tide, S-SW winds, and predominately W-NW short-period swell. I can actually think of several spots in all of the different SoCal regions that might be worth checking. I don’t like to name spots in forecasts (hahaha I mean what if it is my home break? Or worse your home break?)…but if you pull out a map they should be pretty easy to find. (Think South Ventura, the LA South Bay, Mid-South OC, and Mid San Diego).

Sunday is looking a little better. Winds are expected to be lighter…and the highest part of the tide moves a little further toward midday. We also will have a mix of new S swell and holding windswell so most spots will have some sort of waves on the better parts of the tide. Conditions are a little unstable so I would probably check the cams in the morning before driving a considerable distance.

Next update will be on Monday…have a great weekend!

Forecasts for the weekend are posted

Friday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Saturday and Sunday) have been posted. Go away high tides!

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Surfing on Friday (Morning high tide swamptastic!)

Friday will see mostly small and leftover swells. We will have a holding but weak WNW swell and fading S-SW energy still hanging on from earlier in the week. The real killer though will be the 6.8’ high tide that rolls through around 9:30am. That tide is pretty much going to swamp out most breaks…maybe a few really good sandbars and reefs will work but it looks like lots of slow and rolly surf on tap through the morning.

Unless you live near a break that likes the high tide I would probably skip the dawn patrol, which is likely to be a lesson in frustration. If you absolutely do have to surf in the morning get there early and make sure to bring a board, like a longboard or fish, that can help you get into soft surf.

Personally I will probably sleep in and then try and not get pwn’d on Halo3, which is usually the case.

(Fear the purple tinted armor...)

Thursday's forecasts are up

Thursday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Friday) have been posted. Now with more details on the weekend! Hmmm extra favorite!

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:

Santa Barbara / Ventura

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thursday’s Surf: Clean and Fun

While Thursday won’t be as big (or as windy) as it was earlier in the week, it should still be plenty of fun. Our S-SW swell will be dropping but a small reinforcement from the WNW will move in to help prop up waves at the winter spots. Conditions are forecast to be clean with light-variable winds on tap for most of the day with slight onshore texture in the afternoon.

It will be surfable for the dawn patrol but we have a pretty high tide coming through right in the middle of the morning which could swamp out many spots. If you are surfing early look for a break that likes a little more water, most points will be working along with high tide reefs, or good sandbars. Overall it should be fun, nothing super critical, but if you catch it on the right tide there could be some playful sections.

Personally I will be heading out in the morning and will probably take along a friend who is still learning. I figure that with the dropping, but still fun, swell and tide swamp there should be something for both of us to ride.

Wednesday's forecasts are posted

Wednesday's SoCal Surf Forecasts (for Thursday) have been posted.

Not much change in the forecast from yesterday...the long-range forecast models are all saying different things so I am not putting a lot of faith in them right now.

Go to to read the latest update.

Here are the links to go directly to the forecast regions:
Santa Barbara / Ventura
Los Angeles
Orange County
San Diego

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Surfing on Wednesday

Wednesday the swell mix will continue to back down. It looks like it will start to be small enough that the higher tides will start make a considerable difference in shape and power. S-SW swell will continue to be the stronger swell but there should be a few rideable waves at WNW spots on the lower tides.

Conditions look really good for Wednesday, particularly through OC and San Diego, winds are expected to remain light to light-offshore through most of the morning with some light onshore texture right before sundown.

While not as big as it has been the combo of lighter winds and playful sized swell should be fun at most spots…though I think the S facing points/reefs (and really good sandbars) will have the best shape on the lower tides.

If you can I would think that surfing during lunch would be a good call…if you can’t swing a lunch session then plan on hitting a spot that can handle the higher morning tide.