Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Question: Bolsa Chica - HB Cliffs swell directions

This is a question I got the other day. I thought I would share...feel free to drop me an email if you have similar questions.


Thanks again

Am I correct in thinking Bolsa is not a west facing beach...seems like the cliffs location is though

Cliffs or bolsa tomorrow?




Hey Bart!

Sorry it is taking me so long to respond...this got caught in my spam filter.

To answer your question...Bolsa is "sort" of a west facing beach...particularly the southward end of the beach near the new jetties. You just basically need the swell direction to be around 270-285 degrees. The more the swell direction moves to a pure W swell the more of the beach that will start to work. Really the best swells for bolsa are going to be a combo of both straight S swell (180-190) and a pure W swell (around 270-280). If you get a good mix of those swells, and good winds, Bolsa will fire.

The cliffs are always going to be bigger than bolsa thanks to some refraction that occurs in deeper water...NW swells, particularly long-period NW swells, have a tendency to focus around The Gap at the cliffs. When it gets bigger it starts to break further out...eventually hitting more at trollycars (some people call it boxcars). The cliffs can pull in the NW swells that are coming in below 295-degrees...anything above that and the refraction starts to shut down. Again the Cliffs, like Bolsa, will be the most fun when we get a little bit of S-SW swell moving in to break it up.

I think tomorrow (Jan 16) will be ok for both areas...not huge but at least head high on the sets (maybe some bigger ones)...there is a little SW swell in the water that is helping cross it up. You probably could get some fun ones at the cliffs on the lower tide.

Hope this helps... Thanks for shooting me an email


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