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