Thursday, July 31, 2008

Surf on Friday - A good reason for a 4 day work week.

That S swell continued to show pretty well on Thursday...I got a decent lunch session at the local beach break, and even with the midday higher tide there were still a few overhead sets sneaking in. It was even a bit more broken up than the last couple of days which was pretty nice as well. I got a few mixed reports from the points further north that said the tide and wind caused a few issues but that it was still pretty decent there as well. Anyway on to Friday…

Friday is looking like a surf day…the swell will be dropping but if you can time it right to take advantage of the tide swings it should be pretty fun.

We will have a mix of dropping S swell, some SW energy, and a bit of windswell from the WNW. Most spots will hold around waist-chest high…and get pretty soft during the high tides. The Standout S facing surf spots, particularly those in Orange County, will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range…with a few rare bigger sets in the morning.

Winds look pretty similar to Thursday…sort of eddy…sort of variable. Basically expect a little bit of texture at the really open beaches, and cleaner conditions at spots with a little shelter. W winds around 10-15 knots build in through the afternoon.

I think tomorrow will be fun…I wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow so that I could grab a couple of sessions as the tide shifts around. Is it really worth taking the day off? Probably not…well unless you are burned out, need some surf, and are currently field-stripping your AK-47 “to teach your co-workers a lesson in manners”…then yes you should probably take the day off and go surfing. It will be sunny, the surf will be playful, and the winds light…it is sort of going to suck staying indoors.

Here are a couple of random pics that I shot Wednesday night when the swell was hitting…

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thursday's Surf - see I told you...less earthquakes

Actually the S swell showed up as well on well as us having less earthquakes...which I sort of consider a win-win for everyone.

Thursday will be another surf day and hopefully earthquake free as well...(ok that was the last earthquake reference).

The S swell that we had roll in today will continue into Thursday and mix with some SW pulses as well as a bit of WNW energy. Most spots will see surf in the waist-chest high range with some shoulder high sets at breaks that get some of the S swell.

Standout S facing surf spots, mostly in Orange County, will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high and head high+ sets sneaking through on the lower tides.

Winds look good through the morning again...still some chance at a bit of weak eddy circulation at times...but mostly clean, maybe some slight onshore texture showing through SD and parts of OC. Expect onshore afternoon winds out of the W-NW around 10-15 knots.

Looks like OC, some parts of North LA, and the very southern areas of Ventura County, will be doing the best on this is a great graphic showing the southerly swell shadows/windows. You can really see the green/light-green load up on North OC, which (*tah-dah*) is generally the most exposed to this swell direction.

It is also worth checking out how South San Diego gets sort of hosed by the swell refraction...a lot of energy that should show through that area is pulled into Northern Baja.

Anyway this is a pretty decent swell...not worth taking work off for or anything...but definitely worth checking your local S facing standouts. Look for the biggest waves through the OC area...but playful sizes in the other exposed areas. The morning will be the cleanest but you are going to need to work around the tidal swing...the higher tides have been steamrolling the try and plan around both the tides and the wind if you can.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 Interview

Hey is some semi-randomness.

A few weeks ago (the Action Sports Job Board) came up and interviewed me...I guess I was just weird enough to be interesting (or it was a slow news day) and they ended up adding me to their industrial profile section.

Give it a quick read if you get a chance...oh and watch out for the "pubic perception" (hahahaa)

(also note that being as smooth as I am...I completely crushed that lawn chair about 15 seconds after the picture was taken, which was sort of a bummer because I had that chair for about 20 had been more places that most people go.)

Wednesday’s Waves – More S swell…less earthquakes

Wednesday will be a surf day.

We have more S swell (170-190) that has actually started arriving here on Tuesday evening and will be peaking on Wednesday. This is coming off of a South Pacific storm rather than a tropical system so there will be a bit more punch, but a little less consistency, than we saw over the last several days. We will also have a bit more NW windswell working its way into the combo spots…so hopefully a few of the better exposed areas will start to see a few more workable shoulders and less closeouts.

Most S facing spots and average combo breaks will be in the waist-chest high+ range with some shoulder high sets. Standout S facing spots and excellent combo spots will be closer to shoulder-head high with overhead sets mixing in at times.

Check out the buoys this afternoon…you can already see the new swell on the Oceanside Scripps Buoy. There is a lot of leftover energy still on the buoy but the new 18+ second stuff is showing.

Winds look good tomorrow with mostly light and variable conditions in the morning. Increasing onshore flow picks up around mid-morning and will top out in the 10-15 knot range by later in the afternoon.

Since we are seeing some longer swell periods and a little bit more of S swell direction (compared to a pure SE one) it looks like we should see a few more waves throughout SoCal, particularly as you mix in more NW windswell for the left-out winter spots and good combo breaks. The biggest surf will be in the OC areas and North San Diego, but expect some fun sets sneaking into the other S facing breaks as well. This swell is a bit borderline in terms of traveling/driving…I probably wouldn’t jump counties unless you are right on the border…or you live in a S swell-less land (*cough-santa-barbara-cough*)…but definitely check the S facing spots if you have one nearby.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Slow Drop

Tuesday will be a surf will be smaller than the last couple of days but still rideable at the S exposed breaks.

We are going to have a mix of quickly fading tropical S swell from the now dissipated Genevieve, some background southern hemi energy, and a touch of local windswell.

On average spots with some S exposure will be around waist high. Standout S facing spots, again mostly in North Orange County, will have some chest-shoulder high sets.

Winds will be light again in the early morning...with some light onshore texture at the more exposed areas. Look for onshore bump to increase steadily throughout the day and top out in the afternoon with 10-15+ knot winds at the more open beaches.

Despite the fatter morning tides I think that your best bet will be to get out and surf the dawn patrol. The combo of dropping swell, building morning tide, and increasing wind will make things a bit lame by mid-morning. North Orange County will continue to see the biggest, most consistent size but there should be some playful waves at the other exposed areas as well. I think that the points and reefs will still have the best shape but now that the swell is dropping a little we may have a few more workable corners at the beach breaks.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monday’s Surf – Still plenty of waves with only a 100th of the crowd.

Monday will be a surf day…and since the weekend is over and, in my neck of the woods, the US Open is over, the crowd size should drop nicely.

There will still be a decent mix of swell in the water on Monday…we are going to have peaking S-SE swell from Hurricane Genevieve, fading SSW swell from the southern hemisphere, and some minor local windswell.

Average S exposed spots will continue to see surf in the chest-high+ range on the sets. Standout S-SE facing areas, particularly in North Orange County, will have consistent shoulder-head high sets with some overhead sets mixing in at the top breaks.

We should have clean conditions in the morning…at least the forecasts are calling for light winds below 10 knots. Still there is a chance for a bit of an eddy to spin up…so keep an eye on the winds in the morning…we might have some southerly texture or bump to a few of the more exposed breaks.

I think that we will have plenty of waves for most areas (except in SB and some of the shadowed areas of the South Bay). It will be biggest in North OC, but still fun in North San Diego, and Northern LA County. From just watching a few sets roll through HB on Sunday I can see that there is not much crossing up this tropical swell/SSW swell mix…so the beach breaks are going to be a bit walled. Look for the best shape at the points and reefs hiding out in the areas I mentioned.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Waves for the Weekend - Lots of waves...plan on surfing

This will be a surf weekend with plenty of waves coming through both on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday we will see a mix of new SSW swell, some slowly building tropical SE swell, and it looks like a touch more local WNW windswell. Wave heights are going to be pretty similar to lots of the average spots will be around chest-shoulder high. The standout S facing breaks, mostly through North Orange County, will be in the shoulder-head high range with some bigger overhead sets sneaking through on the tide push.

Sunday the mix of swells will continue to push through similar sizes...but the SE tropical swell should actually start to strengthen by the afternoon (and hold into Monday). This swell will be aimed pretty SE at first but it does gradually turn more southward on Monday which will help a few more spots start to work.

Winds look good for the next couple of mornings...but sort of breezy by the afternoons. Plan on light and variable winds...with a little southerly texture at the more exposed breaks...early in the mornings. Afternoons will see W winds around 10-12+ knots with some areas seeing some 15-knot+ gusts.

There won't really be much of a change in the "best bets" this weekend...if you scored some surf over the last couple of days then I would check those same spots on both Saturday and Sunday. I would look for North OC (meaning surf areas North of Laguna Beach) will be the biggest this weekend...due mostly to its exposure to the tropical hurricane swells. I don't really think it will be worth driving around a ton though...there will be enough waves in the other regions (except maybe Santa Barbara and the deep South Bay area) to have some fun. Here I made a handy map as a reference guide to what I am talking about. See the subtle notes in red.

Remember that North OC will be teaming with a retarded amount of surfing talent this weekend as well thanks to the US Open of Surfing...and all of the pros, pro-wannabes, has-beens, sponsor reps, and Red Bull Girls that come with it. If you are into the contest scene or just like to watch freaky people...then I would recommend checking out the contest finals on Sunday.

Oh and as I proved earlier this week...stay on the lookout for overly amorous dolphins!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday's Surf - A little dolphin Love

Friday will be another surf won't be as big at the S facing spots as it has been over the last couple of days but I think it will be a bit more playful.

We are going to see a mix of fading S-SE tropical swell, slowly dropping SW energy, and building local NW windswell.

The average spots with some exposure to the swell mix will have waist-chest high surf with some shoulder high sets on the morning tide push.

Standout S facing spots, and the good combo breaks, will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets mixing in at times...I think the tide push will be particularly fun before too much water gets on top of things.

Winds will be very similar to the last couple of days with light/variable and clean conditions early. Afternoon winds build onshore around the 10-12+ knot range with some gusts around 15 knots at the more exposed breaks.

S-facing breaks will again be the best bet on Friday...but I think that thanks to the increasing windswell we are going to see a few more corners start to creep into the beach while shape will still be best at the points/reefs, the beach breaks should improve and help to bleed off some of the crowd. I would plan on hitting it in the morning for the cleanest shape...but you may see better surfing around midmorning as the tide starts to shift around.

On another random session note...I seem to be having some issues with surfing this week. First off I get sick of going left all the freaking time during the I sit around doing voodoo dances trying to get some windswell to break it up, which so far has been failing miserably during this last set of swells. Second I try and roast myself by wearing a retarded amount of rubber into near 70 degree water. Now today to add insult to injury, during the lunch session, I basically get molested by a family of dolphins. I have to say that nothing makes you feel lamer than to get humped by dolphins. (really though I didn't actually get humped but I could totally tell that one wanted to...the freak.). I may just shoot photos tomorrow.

What part of "no" don't you understand Flipper! (I think this is the one that almost got me)

TS Genevieve - total underachiever

I was checking out Genevieve...our only still active tropical storm in the EPAC...and it is still hard to get a read on her.

The National Hurricane Center has increased her intensity but hasn't quite pushed her into actual hurricane strength. At the same time she is showing some good rotation and a well-defined eye-wall on the latest satellite photos. Likely she is teetering on the edge between storm and hurricane.

She has moved into our swell window...but her track is still out west...and she is expected to start to weaken over the next few days. She isn’t the biggest storm either, which doesn't help swell production.

Here check out this sat photo and you can get a better "big-picture" perspective of her size.

Based on timing it looks like we are going to see some tropical swell from Genevieve arrive in SoCal over the weekend. There will be a slight pick-up in SE energy later on Saturday with the bulk of the SE swell (that slowly turns more southerly) arriving on Sunday.

At this point I am not expecting much over chest-shoulder high for the better spots...maybe a few bigger waves at the standouts. It will be in the 10-12 second period range so even the top spots will be sort of gutless and windswelly. Fortunately we will have some more SSW southern hemi swell on tap so we might see a halfway decent cross-up at the combo breaks.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thursday's Surf - I like waves

Thursday will be a surf day.

I actually got a few waves during lunch on Wednesday...surfed Northside HB around the Taco Bell reef...and there was some legit size coming in from the mix of SE Fausto swell and the new SSW'er coming in from the SPAC. It was still pretty walled and yet sort of soft at the same time, even the bigger overhead+ sets were on the gutless side (it was high tide)...and the current really blew but it wasn't any worse that I was expecting. The water was super warm too...and me being the genius that I am I left my trunks at home and brought my fullsuit. Yes this is the same suit that I surf in all winter. I basically got to be big-sweaty-gringo and tried to give myself heatstroke in near 68-70 degree water while floating down the beach pulling into close-out left after close-out left. Not the most fun...but it beats sitting at a desk. Next time I will just wear this it should be cooler.

Anyway...enough about my brilliance back to the forecast...Thursday will be plenty surfable with a lot of waves still coming through. We will have a mix of fading Fausto swell, SSW energy from the Southern Hemi, and some slowly increasing local windswell. At this point it looks like the Fausto swell will hang will be past its peak but there should still be some size in the morning on the tide push. Expect it to bleed out as we head through the afternoon.

Most S exposed breaks will continue to see chest-shoulder high surf...a few of the better SW facing standouts (not exposed to the SE swell) will have some head high sets mixing in on the lower tides.

Top S facing spots, again mostly in North Orange County, will have more consistent shoulder-head high sets...and even a few overhead waves in the morning.

Winds look ok...mostly light and variable through the morning and then moderate W around 10-12+15 knots by the afternoon.

The best bets are pretty similar to Wednesday's spots...if you found fun surf on Wednesday you should go back on Thursday. Stick with the better exposed S facing breaks...particularly ones that like to focus the shorter-period tropical swell. Points and reefs will have the best shape (and the most crowds)...but you can still have some fun at the beach breaks if they a good solid sandbar...or some jetties, or a pier, or some sort of random shipwreck or something.

Tropical Storm Genevieve - Looking a little better

I am still not totally sold on TS Genevieve in terms of her being a swell producer but she is starting to improve a little in the current forecast run.

The NHC and the NRL have both slowed down her rate of forward movement to about 6-8 knots which is much better than the 15-knots she was cruising at before. This gives her a little more time to produce waves before moving off the "sea-state" that she has generated.

Unfortunately her track is still very westward, which puts her at an oblique movement path to SoCal which isn't that great. Sort of a trade off between the storm speed and forecast track at this point. Check out the NRL forecast...

One point in her favor is that she is still supposed to strengthen into a Hurricane in the next couple of days...and do it inside of our swell window. If this occurs and we get a little more WNW out of her track I will get a little more it is I think SoCal is going to see some minor S-SE swell from her...most of which will mix in with a more dominant S swell from the Southern Hemi.

Check back I will have more details on her if she continues to improve.

Oh and here is one more pic from the satellite...which is sort of can see a lot of the "spin" in the image.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wednesday’s Surf – More S, SE, and SW swell

Wednesday will be a surf day…particularly at the S-SE facing breaks through SoCal, especially those in Orange County.

We will have new tropical SE swell showing from Fausto, at the same time we have fading energy from the S swell that hit over the weekend, and we are going to see a mix of new SW swell (and some local NW windswell) help to round us out tomorrow.

Average spots with some S swell exposure will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some inconsistent head high sets. Better spots with exposure to more of the swell mix will see more consistent shoulder-head high surf with some head high+ waves on the inconsistent sets. Standout surf breaks, mostly in Orange County (North OC that is), will be consistently in the shoulder-overhead range with a few sets going a couple of feet+ overhead on the larger sets. The standout breaks will be the ones that can really focus the shorter period SE swells as well as pull in energy from the S-SW.

Winds are forecast to be similar to Tuesday…so while they will be light/variable in the morning they will have a mostly onshore flow. Look for a little texture/lump to some of the more exposed breaks in San Diego and Orange County…and cleaner conditions as you move northward into LA, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. (Don’t go to SB though…not much surf going to show up that way).

Really I think your best bet will be the more classic hurricane swell spots of Orange County. It isn’t going to be massive…or even have all that great shape…but it will be consistently bigger than other spots. If you don’t feel like the drive then I would suggest the better S-SE facing points and reefs hidden in the exposed areas…they are going to hold shape a lot better than the beach breaks and you may even get a little less current to paddle against.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - fading surf...but it won't stay down for long

Tuesday will be a surf day...and even though it will be a bit smaller than the last few days there may be a little bit better shape as some of the more walled beach breaks start to open up a bit.

Swellwise we are going to see a mix of dropping S swell, some background tropical energy both from the S and SE, and a bit of local windswell. Most breaks with some exposure to the S swells will be in the waist-shoulder high range. Standout S facing surf spots, particularly in Orange County and North San Diego, will have some head high+ sets mixing in on the tide push.

Winds will be sort of similar to the last couple of days...light and variable early, with a few spots of light texture, and then onshore out of the W around 10-15 knots by the afternoon. If you live close to the beach it might even be worth keeping an eye on it late in the evening as well...winds have been backing off a bit before sunset. It doesn't get super clean...but better than the midday chop.

S facing spots, particularly ones that do well on the Southern Hemi swells, will be the call on Tuesday. I think that the points and reefs will continue to have the best shape...but the beach breaks may be a bit more workable with a few extra corners. Still expect a bit of current at the more open spots, but even that should back off a touch. I still think this swell is worth driving for...especially now that people are back at work for the week.

Here is the CDIP model for the afternoon...I like seeing a real swell visualized on these gives you a real clean picture of where the swell is working its way into.

Oh and a couple of random notes...the US Open is starting to move into full crazy mode. So if you were planning on surfing the HB pier this week you might want to just slam your head in a car will get the same effect and save a little gas. Also I saw "The Dark Knight" over the weekend...two words...freaking awesome.

Tropical Storm Fausto - Waves on the way

Fausto had a pretty good run over the weekend...and in fact he was just downgraded to a tropical storm this afternoon, so he had some legs.

We actually have 2 tropical systems cruising in the EPAC right...check out the latest NHC update...

TS Genevieve is still a ways to the SE and out of our swell window but Fausto has spent the last 24-30 hours cruising right on the edge of the SoCal SE window.

The most interesting thing is that Fausto made a more NW'erly jog on Sunday and strengthen up to Cat 2 while he was doing it. Both of these things are pretty good swell check out the University of Hawaii's Tropical Page...(the solid lines are actual storm track while the dotted lines are forecasted track and strength.)

With the NW'erly track, the increase in wind speeds, and the storms close proximity, I am looking for another decent shot of tropical S-SE swell (160-170) to arrive later this week. At this point I think that we will see a slight increase in tropical swell on Tuesday but the bulk of the swell energy won't arrive until Wednesday-Wednesday afternoon. About the only think limiting the swell will be how close the system was to the edge of our swell window, which basically translates to how much of the storm (and its swell producing winds) were being shadowed by the Baja Spur.

Sizewise I think that we are going to see another shoulder-high+ SE swell from Fausto, probably bigger (closer to overhead) in North OC, and it will peak Wednesday afternoon. At the same time we will have a new SW swell filling in from the SPAC so even the spots that aren't so exposed to the SE angle should have some waves coming through as well.

Tropcial Alert - Tropical Storm Genevieve

TS Genevieve formed this morning and is currently positioned about 300+ miles off the Coast of Southern Mainland Mexico. She is moving west at a pretty fast clip...almost 14-15 knots.

She is expected to intensify over the next few days...potentially becoming a hurricane later this week.

Right now forecasts are not really looking that good for swell production. Baja and the Tip will see waves from her but they won't be as good as what we had from Fausto.

Her fast movement, the westward movement track, and lower wind speeds are all going to hamper swell generation.

She is worth keeping an eye on...but at this point I am not expecting a ton of surf from her...particularly for Southern California.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Surf for the weekend – Tropical swell, S swell, and windswell…yea for waves!

The tropical SE swell from Elida finally started to fill in a bit more on Friday…I actually caught a few waves in Newport throughout the day…surfed about 10:30 and there were some shoulder high sets…by 2:30pm there were a few shoulder-head high sets through the river jetties…maybe a few bigger ones. Shape wasn’t that great, it was lined up and closing out on most of them, with crumbly texture as well. The water was nice and warm though so it was definitely better than sitting at a desk. Not sure if the swell made it into any other beaches at this point…so if you saw some waves in the other counties drop me an email or a comment. Here is a shot of the Dana Point Buoy…check out the 10-second energy.

Anyway on to the weekend.

We are going to have plenty of surf this weekend…both Saturday and Sunday will be surf days.

We are going to see a mix of building S swell (170-190), SE tropical swell from Elida (which may die out by Saturday evening), and the persistent background NW windswell.

Saturday will start slow overall except for areas that have some tropical swell showing already.

As the new S swell fills in through the day and into the afternoon most breaks without S exposure will be in the waist-high range. Spots with exposure to the S swell will be in the chest-shoulder high range. Good S facing beaches will be in the shoulder-head high+ range, while the standout breaks, mostly in Orange County and parts of Northern San Diego, see head-high to overhead+ surf with sets going a could of feet overhead at times as the swell starts to peak later Saturday evening and into Sunday. (I would expect a lot of this swell to hold into Monday as well).

Winds are forecast to be light through the mornings and only moderate for the afternoons. If it follows a similar pattern to the last couple of days we have even seen some clean-up in shape late in the day as we head toward dusk.

This swell will be worth driving around for…and you may have to hunt around to find some decent shape. Right now it looks like we are going to see a lot of walled up beach breaks in the top areas as well as a lot of S-to-N current to fight with. I think the best shape will be at the points and reefs that pick up the S swell…it will hold the waves better and will be less of a constant paddle. If you have to surf the beach break look for jetty, pier, rock, or really big-ass sandbar to help break it up.

Have fun this weekend...I will probably be posting some sort of update so check back if you get some computer time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday's Surf - Rideable but still waiting for the bigger S swell.

Friday will be surfable, definitely not great, but semi-rideable at most spots, and probably fun small surf at the top breaks.

Swellwise it looks like swell from Elida is sort of a is out there but it is lacking size and is a lot like a S windswell in shape and power. Friday we may have a touch more size, and a bit more of S angle (compared to SE) out of the tropical swell but I am not holding my breath that it will be all that good. We will also have a mix of S-SW energy coming in from the SPAC and some increasing local NW windswell.

Most spots will continue to run in the knee-waist high range. Standout spots, good S-SE facing beaches and excellent combo breaks, will see waist-chest high surf through the morning...and maybe a few bigger sets as we head towards the afternoon.

Winds will be similar to Thursday...mostly light and variable in the morning and then light-moderate onshore out of the W around 10-12 knots through the afternoon.

I would bring your small wave gear to the beach tomorrow...a fish might be fun but I think the longboard might be better for the swell mix. The S facing spots in North OC and parts of San Diego will be the biggest but not worth driving for at this point.

Here is the CDIP model from this afternoon…(a piddliy 1.1’ at 175-degrees)

A little further out: The new S swell (170-190) will begin to show on the buoys later in the afternoon...I am looking for some 20+ second energy to start to climb as we head into sundown. This will continue to build overnight and throughout the day on Saturday, eventually peaking Saturday evening into Sunday and holding through Monday. You can check out the other posts I had for this swell for more details...but the good S facing spots will be overhead+ on sets as the swell it should be pretty fun over the weekend and into early next week. More details tomorrow!

Random Thursday Morning Surf Report

I have been looking at the cameras, the buoys, and even made a run down to the beach (HB/Newport) to check it in person...and it doesn't look like much of that tropical swell is showing this morning.

Most of North OC, and really most of SoCal, is still in the knee-high+ range with some rare waist high sets. Conditions are clean but there isn't a lot to ride.

Now that I am back online the buoys are starting to shift around to show some of the tropical SE watch for that to fill in more as we move throughout the day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thursday's Surf - New Tropical S-SE swell

Wednesday's surf was pretty small throughout most of SoCal...the little SW swell and the windswell mix didn't really produce all that well...a lot of spots were in that ankle-knee high range. A few of the better-exposed breaks in South OC and North SD had some chest high sets but they were few and far between.

Fortunately it does look like we will have a few more waves moving in on Thursday...unfortunately this new swell is coming in from a pretty steep SE'erly swell angle, which really cuts down on the exposed breaks. I drew an ugly little map that sort of gives you a visual of what I am talking about...

The red line is the SE edge of the SoCal swell is drawn down from the OC area (which has one of the most open SE swell angles) down to the Baja "Spur"...which eliminates most of San Diego and even parts of South Orange County.

I also drew (that being a relative term for my crappy my old college advisors would be shaking their heads at how low this map takes my cartography skills) the shadowing that the rest of SoCal gets from the nearshore islands (Catalina, San Clemente, and the Channel Islands). You can see a couple of gaps hitting North LA and Southern Ventura County but even those areas will see the swell get knocked down a bunch comparatively to the more exposed breaks.

Now that you have a little back-story...I do think Thursday will be a surf day but only in select areas with exposure to the SE swell, namely North and Central Orange County.

Swellwise we are going to have a mix of tropical SE swell (that will gradually turn into more of a S swell, which is a reflection of Hurricane Elida's movement through our swell windown)...along with some leftover SW energy, and local windswell. Most spots will continue to see the ankle-knee-waist high surf that we saw on Wednesday. Spots with some SE exposure will be in the waist-chest high range. Standout SE facing spots in North OC will see chest-shoulder high sets.

Winds look nice and light again in the look for clean conditions early. W winds around 10-15 knots move in through the afternoon.

I don't think it will be worth driving very far for this swell...worth checking on the cameras? Sure, but not hopping into the car without a little visual confirmation. The swell will strengthen and turn more southerly as we move into the afternoon (and more into Friday) it is worth keeping an eye on it throughout the day as well. If you are close to North OC I would give the good SE facing spots a check if you see something you like on the cameras.

Random Note: I was just kidding about pulling the plug on the blog and going to Mexico...I actually just meant that I would go surfing in Mexico on this next S swell and then return to my incredible long-rambling blog posts rather than update over the weekend...sorry for the confusion.

Tropical Storm Fausto - Potential Wave Maker

Man I think we should go back to naming storms after the wives and girlfriends of the forecasters in the National Hurricane Center...Fausto is sort of a lame storm name. Better yet we should just name them after swear words...this one could be Tropical Storm Mother F-er or something. You have to admit that you would pay a lot closer attention to a Hurricane Asskicker than to a Fausto. (yeah I know I got some issues)

Anyway TS Fausto formed up here on Wednesday and is forecast to strengthen as it tracks to the WNW at around 13-14 knots.

Current forecasts have Fausto nearing Hurricane strength, possibly becoming a hurricane, somewhere late on Friday or early Saturday, which is also when they have the storm moving into the SoCal SE swell window.

So there is potential for Fausto to be a wave-maker but there are still a couple of days of development before that becomes reality.

It is in a better position to send waves to the Tip of Baja...and as it strengthens it likely will send in some building SE swell into the exposed breaks. At this point I would expect those waves to arrive on Saturday, peak on Sunday/Monday and then fade out. There will be a bigger S swell from the Southern Hemi hitting right around that time so it might be a good time to roll the dice for a trip.

Here is the latest NHC forecast for Fausto

And here is the latest Sat Pic from the NRL.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wednesday's Waves - wave heights still creeping up

Wednesday will be a surf will still be on the small side but it will be bigger than the last couple of days.

We will have a mix of SW swell, some minor S swell, and some local windswell. Most spots will start to settle into a more consistent waist high range with a few waist high+ sets. Standout surf breaks, mostly in San Diego and South Orange County, will see waist-chest high surf with a few rare chest-high+ waves.

Winds are forecast to be light and variable again in the morning...just some light texture here and there. W winds around 10-15 knots will fill in through the afternoon.

While it still isn't a great swell-mix in the water it will be more rideable than Monday/Tuesday. I would still recommend trying to hit up your local combo spot rather than driving any sort of real distance...your local spot may not be the biggest in SoCal but it won't be worth the gas to hunt down a wave only a foot or so bigger. You will have the most fun on your small wave gear, (fish and longboards). I actually think the combo beach breaks will be the most fun, particularly on the lower tides, just because you can still find a zippy section on the shallower sandbars.

Something brewing in the South Pacific - Waves on the way

So after watching the storm, and the swell it produced, for the last couple of days it looks like things are on track for a pretty decent run of swell throughout Central America, Mainland Mexico, Baja Mexico, and Southern California.

I revised the forecast a little from the one I issued a couple of days ago...not much size-wise but just a little on the timing.

Central America and Southern Mainland Mexico will be the biggest...look for easy well-overhead surf for most exposed areas. Top spots will go double-overhead and bigger as the swell peaks on the 18-19th. Deepwater breaks like Puerto Escondido will be even bigger, probably triple-overhead+ on the sets.

Northern Mainland Mexico will see the size drop off a bit...just due to the more southerly angle of the swell. Look for most spots in that area to see consistent surf in the head high to a couple of feet overhead range. Standout S facing spots will have sets going a few feet overhead as the swell peaks late on the 18 and into the 19th.

Baja Sur will see the swell move in and peak on the 19-20th...with the tip peaking a little earlier. Most spots will be running in the shoulder-overhead range as the swell starts really working. Standout spots, particularly breaks near the Tip, will have sets going a few feet overhead and a little bigger at the swell's peak.

Southern California and Baja Norte will have long-period energy from this S swell (170-190) showing late on Friday the 18th...this will build overnight and through Saturday, eventually peaking Saturday afternoon through Sunday, then slowly fading out on Monday. At this point we can expect the average S facing spots to see shoulder-head high+ surf while the standout S facing areas, particularly in North Orange County, see some overhead+ sets as the swell peaks. To top it off there will be some tropical energy still lingering around as leftovers from Elida slowly fade away...this energy should help to fill in the consistency gaps and put a lot of waves into the exposed areas throughout the weekend.

Make sure to check back...I will be talking about the swell some more in the Daily Update as we get closer...or I might bail to Mexico and leave you is about 50/50 right now (just kidding...well sort of).

Here are some links to the previous posts

Post 1
Post 2

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Slow pick up

Tuesday will be a small surf will be rideable but slow and a bit soft overall.

Swellwise we are going to see a mix of S-SW swells, (one fading and new one slowly filling in), and some local NW windswell.

Most spots with some exposure to the SW'er will be around knee high with some waist high sets. Spots that will be working off just the NW windswell will be mostly knee high and below.

Standout SW facing breaks and good combo surf spots in San Diego and Orange County will have surf more consistently around waist high...with some sets getting close to chest high on the lower tides.

Winds are looking good...mostly light and variable in the morning with some increasing W flow around midday that tops out close to 10-12 knots later in the afternoon.

Here is a look at the latest CDIP Model...this is showing the "Nowcast" from Monday afternoon. By tomorrow morning there will be a bit more SW swell leaking in to the exposed areas.

While it won't be really all that good it will have more "push" than the weekend, particularly at the standout OC and SD areas. Is it worth $4.49 a gallon to get to those spots? No not really...but if you are close by those will be best bet.

Really it might be nice to get out and start to shake the dust off from this latest flat spell...we have more surf, both from the Southern Hemisphere and the tropics, on tap later this week so look for increasing surf to start arriving by Thursday and building into the weekend.

Hurricane Elida - Sending waves for Baja and slowly reaching the SoCal Swell Window

Elida jumped to Category 1 Hurricane Strength last night and has held that level of intensity for most of the day. She has been in a good position to send swell to Baja Sur, in particular to Cabo and the East Cape...but not so much on the Pacific Side of Baja (yet, it is only a matter of time at this point).

Currently she is moving WNW (295-degrees) at about 12 knots, which means she has slowed down a touch and is giving herself a more time to churn out swell...

(remember that for all storms, and tropical systems in particular because of their smaller fetch, that the time that a storm's fetch spends over a patch water is as important as the movement track and the storm's intensity...if the storm is moving too fast the fetch has a limited amount of time to generate swell before it moves off to new water, expending its time/energy creating new favorable sea-state, rather than pure swell. Ideally you would want the storm to either move slowly toward you, or stay in place....check out the hurricane surf post I did at the beginning of the season for more details.)

Anyway at this point Elida is right on the edge of the SoCal Swell her current speed and track she is likely to reach it later tonight or early tomorrow...but really the swell producing portions of the storm won't fully move into our window until Tuesday-midmorning.

She isn't the largest storm either...current estimates only have her tropical storm strength winds extending out about 75 nautical miles from the core...and the majority of those in the NE quadrant.

Basically what this means is that currently she is not the greatest swell producer...Baja Sur (IE Cabo and the Tip) will do ok with overhead+ surf due to the track and positioning of the storm as it came together.

By the time it reaches the SoCal swell window it will begin to lose some steam as well as take a more westerly track. I am expecting some shoulder high surf at the standout SE facing spots, basically North Orange County, later on Thursday and into Friday. Since this will be mixing with a building S-SW swell it is going to be hard to tell the difference.

Here are a few images that I pulled on this storm.

This is from the Naval Research Laboratory

Here is a satellite image of the storm

And finally here is a image from the NHC...check out the next new tropical disturbance forming near Guatemala.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Monday’s Surf – Case of the Monday’s

Monday will actually be marginally surfable…in fact there will be a touch more swell than we saw over the weekend.

Now before you get all excited…it isn’t going to be a good surf day…in fact it will probably be on the lame side unless you really like the little waves…but like I said it will be better than the weekend with just a little more push as an inconsistent, and small, SW swell arrives and starts to overlap our leftovers.

Most spots will continue to see surf in the knee high range while the standout SW facing surf spots in South Orange County and North San Diego see some bigger waist and even rare chest high sets.

Conditions will be ok…there may be a touch of fugliness to the surf in the morning but overall winds will be light. Expect mostly variable onshore directions early then building W winds around 10+ knots developing through the afternoon.

There really isn’t enough swell to warrant a “best bet”…but I think the beach breaks, with exposure to the swell mix and some really shallow sandbars…will probably be the most fun.

Tropical Storm Elida – Update

Not much has changed in the short-range portion of the forecast for TS Elida.

She is still strengthening, she will still likely become a hurricane tomorrow, and she is still tracking out W around 14-16 knots.

As of this evening Elida does look like she make it into the SoCal swell window with a little more intensity than it looked like in previous forecasts. If this lives up to be the case then we may see a little bit of tropical swell as we head toward the end of next week…likely on Thursday or Friday.

It still doesn’t look like it will be a significant swell, maybe chest-high the top SSE spots…but these new tropical waves will be mixing with a stronger and more dominant S swell coming from the Southern Hemisphere, so then could ad some extra “pop” to the surf as we head into the weekend.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tropical Storm Elida - New storm formed on Saturday

Tropical Storm Elida formed just off the southern coasts of Mainland Mexico early on Saturday.

Elida jumped from a tropical disturbance to Tropical Storm strength in less than 12 hours and current NHC forecasts are showing that she may reach hurricane wind speeds by early next week (probably late on Monday). Currently Elida is tracking WNW at about 18 knots and has just started to move into the Tip of Baja’s swell window. Forecasts are calling for a slight shift to a more WNW’erly angle over the next day or so (300-degree track instead of a 290-295 degree one), which will be better for swell production for Baja.

Unfortunately it looks like Elida is going to hit cooler water and start and more westerly storm track before it gets to the Southern California swell window. The fact that it be losing intensity, taking a more oblique track, and is still forecast to be moving at nearly 15-18 knots is really going to hamper its ability to send swell our direction.

Check out the latest forecast track from NHC

When you get down to brass tacks from a surf perspective Cabo and the East Cape down in Baja will get some swell from Elida…likely it will be in the overhead range, (and maybe bigger) if the storm can intensify and slow down its movement westward. I would expect swell to begin showing on Monday (July 14th) strengthening through the day and then peaking on Tuesday and maybe into Wednesday before dropping off. I am not sure if it is really worth a trip down there unless you have some disposable income to burn, since it is still a roll-of-the-dice that the storm will get stronger and have a chance to generate much of a swell.

For SoCal, at this point, I am not expecting much from Elida. We may see some background SE energy from her if she can hang on long enough to make it to our swell window. Likely anything she produces will get lost in building swell that we have arriving from the Southern Hemisphere later next week.

If something changes for SoCal I will definitely let you guys know.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Weekend Surf - good beginners weekend or as I like to call it "pretty freaking small"

There will be a few waves this weekend but they will be small, soft, and not really all that rideable unless you are breaking out the big boards.

Swellwise we are going to limp through both Saturday and Sunday with small ankle-waist high waves at most of the average spots. Standout breaks will be in the knee-chest high range off the mix of S-SW leftovers and NW windswell.

Winds look ok...mostly light and variable in the mornings with some onshore bump around 10 knots for the afternoons. It looks like the combo of heavier, more humid, air and light winds through the afternoons may create the potential for cleaner conditions around sundown on both Saturday and Sunday...if only we had some waves to go with it.

From a surf-perspective there aren't a lot of reasons to paddle out this weekend...but on the other hand it will be being nice and warm and surfing is always better than doing chores or running in the head-to-head battle I think surfing wins. Just don't expect a ton from it and you can probably convince yourself that you are having fun.

Something Brewing in the South Pacific - Part 2

Things are still looking pretty good for this newly forming storm that is going to be sending some large S-SW surf for South America and Central America...and some decent sized waves for Mexico, Baja, and Southern California

The storm has actually just started the key portion of its development, where the colder low-pressure near Antarctica mixes with a warm/wet low-pressure from the mid-latitudes. Over the next couple of days the latent-heat energy of the warm air will be released as it cools in the colder low-pressure...this will help to supercharge wind speeds...and hopefully mean that we will get bigger surf down the road.

Here is a chart that shows a lot of it happening.

Here is a shot from the Quikscat satellite showing increasing wind speeds in the good part of the storms core.

And finally here is a shot of the WWIII swell model, which is showing the dominant swell you can see it has the new S-SW swell moving into Central America and Southern Mexico on the 18th, and that it will start showing in Baja on the 19th and finally arrive in SoCal on the 20th.

The storm still has some developing to do before we get concrete wave heights for SoCal but at this point it does look like the S facing spots will be around head high while the standout S facing standouts see some overhead sets, which sounds good to me after all of the flatness we have see over the last few days.

Here is a link to the old post if you haven't read it already

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday's Surf - Looking on the small side

Friday doesn't look like much of a surf day.

We will have a mostly leftover mix of S-SW swell still hanging on from earlier in the week...NW windswell will continue to hold in the background as well.

The combo of smaller swell and the decent sized tidal swings are really going to screw with the surf. Most spots will be in the knee-waist high range...with sort of poor+ shape. Expect weak and gutless surf breaking close to the beach.

Standout combo spots, mostly in San Diego and a few of the better exposed South OC spots will be slightly bigger with knee-chest high waves. Even with the slight increase in size the shape will be in the poor+ range...again mostly gutless, stacked up, and close to the beach.

Winds don't look so hot either...sort of variable/eddy for the morning. The more exposed areas will have some bump/texture, not blown out or anything but not glassy either. Expect those winds to shift onshore out of the W around 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

Here is the CDIP modeling from Thursday afternoon...and you can see there is a lot of craptacular blue on the picture which, if you haven't figured it out, is not what we want...well unless we are going scuba diving or something.

There aren't really any good options for surf tomorrow...longboards at dawn maybe. I think I am going to surf my pillow...maybe I will longboard at lunch or something if I get bored.

We sort of slipped into one of those brutal summer surf gaps where the SPAC took a little break in storm production and the tropics and the NPAC aren't active enough to pick up the slack. Fortunately it will end...check out the post on the new storm brewing in the South is still looking pretty good for new S swell to hit SoCal around the 20th...yea for waves!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thursday’s Surf – Isn’t it Friday yet? This week is taking forever

Thursday will be a surf day but it will be on the small side and there may be a little bit of texture to the more open spots.

Surfwise we are going to have a mix of S-SW leftovers and some local windswell (this is starting to sound like a broken record). Most spots will continue to see knee-waist high surf while the standout S facing breaks, particularly the better combo beach breaks, see some chest high sets.

Winds will be ok…mostly variable under 10 knots for the morning but with some slight southerly flow mixing in through OC and San Diego. Look for W winds around 10-12 knots for the afternoon. Basically we will have a light coastal eddy and all the fun that comes with one.

Really it won’t be worth driving that far for surf…I would stick to your local spots, try to hit it on the low tide, and bring your small wave gear. If you have a combo beach nearby it will probably be your best bet.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Something brewing in the South Pacific…(hmmm anyone feel like a Mexico/Central America/South America surf trip.)

While I am not quite ready to issue a swell alert for this storm I am definitely keeping a close eye on it as it develops.

Check out this animation and you can see what I mean (you may have to refresh the page to get the .gif to start playing from the beginning.)

As you can see there is a tight little nugget of a storm brewing up in the upper latitudes of the SPAC right near the Antarctic ice…what is really interesting is that the forecasts are showing the storm making a very solid shift from the upper to the mid-latitudes and that a lot of this movement is being powered by an infusion of warmer air/water-vapor that is being pushed down from tropical waters. It looks like this warmer air-mass is going to help supercharge the colder storm making it way more intense than it would have been on its own.

Forecasts are showing a great movement track for this storm…moving across the latitudes gives it a lot of extra time to generate waves and lines up a lot intense fetch for South America and Central America.

Also because of its movement the backside of the storm, that is being pushed by a ridge of high-pressure to the west, lines up fetch for Mainland Mexico, Baja Mexico, and Southern California. Check out this chart and you can see what I mean.

At first glance…and I will likely revise this as the storm actually forms in the next 3-4 days…this is what I see for each region.

South America is definitely going to be the biggest out of all of the areas affected by this swell…looks like Chile could be a little wet and wild as the storm itself pushes over about they same time the swell does. Peru looks like it could be a pretty good call if you are looking for some serious sized surf.

Central America will also get a good dose of swell…there may be a bit of blockage from the Galapagos Islands for the southern areas (Panama and Southern Costa Rica) but even the more shadowed spots will see consistent well-overhead+ surf from this one.

Mainland Mexico will also be well exposed to this swell…the further south you are the bigger it will be…expect to lose a lot of size as you move up the coast towards Baja.

Baja and SoCal will both likely see some decent sized surf from this storm as well but it is still a little spotty on exactly how much energy it will be able to send our way before it shifts out of our swell window. At this point I am expecting the swell to arrive in Southern Baja around the 19-20th and more on the 20-21st for SoCal.

Making Travel Plans

This storm has been a pretty consistent feature in the forecast for the last several days…so I am inclined to say that this may be a good time to roll the dice on a trip to Central America or Peru. The swell isn’t 100% locked in at this point but I think the odds are good that it will pull together over the next few days. If you are thinking about making travel plans to those areas I would try and give yourself a little fudge room on your dates…try get to Peru by the 15th and to Central America by the 16-17th...and then plan on the swell arriving a day or so after you get to your spots.

Summer Surf Movies at the Surfing Heritage Foundation

Hey gang…my friend Casey over at the Surfing Heritage Foundation sent over a pretty cool event. If you like to watch surf movies, especially movies with people who rip, then this sounds like it would be right up your alley.

From reading the poster it sounds like they have a couple of different movies, one in July and another in August. This one in July is going to have a few special guests and a bunch of cool prizes to raffle off as well.

Not sure if I am going to be able to make it down for this one but I thought I would pass it on to you.

Here is most of the official press-release.

Water Man to premiere at Surfing Heritage Foundation’s 3rd annual Summer Surf Film Series

SAN CLEMENTE, Ca. -July, 2008. Rainbow Sandals and Oxbow are pleased to partner with the Surfing Heritage Foundation for their third year of its Summer Surf Film Series. Starting on the evening of Friday, July 18th, the first film to be featured is the West Coast Premiere of Water Man, starring Laird Hamilton, Dave Kalama, Gerry Lopez, Rob Machado and the Malloy brothers; Keith, Chris and Dan. Water Man takes you on an iconic gathering of “watermen” as they venture into the heart of Indonesia, with some of the most influential surfers of our time as they bodysurf, paddle surf, hydrofoil, stand up surf and tow surf in the Indian Ocean. Water Man is directed by Sonny Miller, Don King and Jeff Hornbaker and produced by Jane Kachmer. Appearing in person will be Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama with other special guests.

The screenings are held outside at the Foundation’s cultural heritage facility located at 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, CA 92672. Show time is 8 pm and doors open to the general public at 7 pm. General admission is $10. VIP tickets, which include dinner, drinks and premiere seating, are available for $50. Proceeds from the event go to the Surfing Heritage Foundation and their ongoing work of preserving surf culture for the education and appreciation of current and future generations. For more information on tickets, call (949) 388-0313 or email

Make sure to check out their website as well

Wednesday's Surf - Clean and fun

Wednesday is looking like a surf day.

Our surf will drop a touch as we move into Wednesday and the mix of S-SW energy slowly fades and the local NW windswell backs off.

Most spots with some exposure will be in the knee-waist high range throughout the day with a few chest high sets on the morning tide push.

Top spots, mostly in OC and Northern San Diego, will have some waist-chest high waves with some chest-shoulder high sets on that same tide push.

Winds are forecast to be really light tomorrow...mostly light/variable to a little bit of light offshore flow in the morning. Afternoon winds are forecast to be light as well...coming in out of the W but staying below 10 knots for most of the day.

While it won't be huge I do think it is going to be sort of fun tomorrow...particularly with the right gear. I would try and get on it around the bottom of the low tide (around 8:30am) then surf for a little bit as the tide fills in and brings a few bigger and more consistent sets. The combo beach breaks with good sandbars will likely have the best shape but you may find a few fun ones on the better lower tide reefs as well. I would still try and bring the small wave gear...basically boards that work well in waist-chest high waves...that way you can make the most out of your session while you are waiting for the bigger sets.

As promised here are the pictures of the "ugly stick" it not beautiful?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Slow fade

Tuesday will be a surf day...but really it will be more of a surf day because it will be clean rather than any sort of significant surf, which is sort of a lame reason.

We will have a mix of S-SW swells (one fading and another holding in the background), and some local WNW windswell. Most spots will continue to see knee-waist high surf with the S-facing combo breaks seeing some bigger chest high sets on the lower tide. Standout S facing surf spots and the good combo breaks in Orange County and San Diego will be a little bigger with mostly waist-chest high waves and a couple of bigger sets sneaking through on the morning tide push.

Winds will be clean again in the morning with mostly light and variable conditions early and then 10-14 knot W winds during the afternoon.

Again I don't think it will be worth traveling very far for surf just won't be big or good enough to justify the time/gas suck. Personally, no matter what area you live in, you will want to try and hit up the combo beach breaks, particularly ones that have some good sandbars. I would aim for getting on it right at dawn, before the tide gets too low, or wait until a little after 8am when the tide starts to push back in. Boardwise you are going to want your small wave gear...maybe a fun fishy board if you are lighter surfer or a vintage death-log if you are a bigger guy. Not being a small guy I will have to bust out my longboard, which is affectionately known as the "ugly stick". (I will snap a couple of pictures of it tomorrow…)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Waves for Monday – Back to the Grind

Man it is hard to go back to work after a long weekend…makes me wish I still had summer vacation…anyway daydreaming doesn’t really pay the bills so on to the forecast.

Monday will be a surf day…again it won’t be huge or all that great…but it will be rideable and clean in the morning.

We will have a mix of SW swells (there are a lot of minor swells still mixing together), local WNW windswell, and some very minor tropical leftovers from a couple of weak areas of circulation down to the S of us.

Most spots will continue to see the knee-waist high+ surf while the standout S facing breaks of Orange County and North San Diego see some chest-high+ sets and maybe even a few shoulder high faces on the tide push through the morning.

Winds are expected to be light and variable in the morning and we should see nice clean conditions for most areas. W winds around 10+ knots build in through the afternoon.

It will definitely be surfable tomorrow morning as we work through the low tide…shape won’t be great but there will be some shwackable corners now and then on the bigger sets. I think your best bet is going to be either a good-sized sandbar that is exposed to the swell combo or a similar low-tide reef somewhere. The biggest waves will be in South OC and North San Diego but because it is on the small side I don’t think it will be worth driving very far to surf those areas.

Further out in the long-range forecast I am not seeing much for the next few days…just a slow dropping trend overall…it does look like better waves will be on tap towards the last third of the month (July 20-31) but those storms are still forming so nothing has been locked in. Closer to home we have a new tropical depression (TD-5E) that formed this morning…the NHC is still waffling on whether it will reach Tropcial Storm strength but it is worth keeping an eye on as well.

Here is the latest National Hurricane Center forecast track for you can see it has a lot of development and travel before it becomes a wave-maker for SoCal.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Waves for the weekend – Happy 4th of July!

Looks like it will be a surfable weekend…nothing huge on tap but there will be a few fun rideable waves at the better exposed spots. More importantly the weather and the winds should be pretty good…mostly light and variable throughout both days (just a little bump in the afternoons).

Surfwise we are going to have a mix of SW swells, some local windswell, and some very background leftover tropical energy.

Saturday will be a little bigger with a lot of waist-chest high waves at the average spots and some bigger chest-shoulder high sets at the standout S facing breaks and best combo spots.

Sunday will be closer to knee-waist high at the average spots and chest high+ at the standouts.

Looks like OC and San Diego will have the biggest surf this weekend…mostly South OC and North San Diego. It won’t really be worth fighting traffic to get to those areas so if you aren’t close already then you might want to just stick around your local breaks. With the light wind and S swell pushing in warmer water again it should make surfing smaller waves a bit more bearable. Try and get it on the tide push in the morning…you will have some better consistency (and are more likely to find parking).

That is about it for the next couple of days…have a great holiday!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Surfing on 4th of July - Crowds, Fireworks, Parades, and a few playful waves

Friday will be a surf day...but you are going to need to plan around the rest of the shenanigans that generally occur on the 4th of July.

We will have a mix of SW swell, background tropical energy, and a touch of local windswell.

Average spots will be in the waist to occasionally chest high range while the standout S facing spots see some chest-shoulder high sets on the morning tide push.

Winds are expected to be light and variable through the morning then come onshore around 10+ knots during the afternoon.

Really your best least in my opinion, the way to have the most to stick to your local break, surf what you have at your spot, and enjoy the beach. The surf isn't good enough to warrant hunting through a ton of spots to find the perfect wave. Layer on the fact that traffic and parking are probably going to suck, and that many areas will have restricted access and it makes even more sense to get up early, head to a close-by beach and ride a few before the zoo descends. Personally I am going to try and surf during the dawn patrol...then it will be off to the slip-n-slide by the time the crazy makes it to the beach.

Have a great holiday everyone...I will have an update for the weekend tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Surf on Thursday - Whose leftovers are those?

Thursday is looking like a semi-surf day...nothing great but if you are already on vacation it should be worth paddling out.

We will have a mix of SW swell, leftover tropical swell, and some local WNW windswell. Most spots will continue to hold in the waist-chest high range. Standout S facing spots and good combo breaks will have some chest-shoulder high sets. Like I said nothing to get excited about but rideable.

Winds are looking similar to Wednesday but I think they will be a bit lighter in the morning than we have seen over the last couple of days. Expect light and variable winds for most spots in the morning with a couple of patches of light WNW flow around Santa Barbara and Ventura. OC and San Diego should be fairly clean but there may be some slight SW flow for the more exposed areas. All spots will see increasing W winds around 10-12+ knots during the afternoon.

Expect more of the semi-peaky, semi-mushy, shape that has been sort of plaguing our beaches lately. Most of our swell is medium-short period so there just isn’t a ton of push behind it...I think your best bet is to check the spots that traditionally like windswell and have some halfway decent sandbars. I think the combination of the two should give it a little more speed and punch. It looks like the biggest waves will be showing through Orange County and the San Diego combo spots...but I wouldn't plan on driving very far to surf either of these areas. Also we have a long holiday weekend lining up, the crowds at the beach are going to be heavy, I would plan on the crowd starting to build tomorrow no matter what the surf looks like.

Tropical Storm Douglas - setting up some waves for the Tip of Baja

Well we went from almost from 0-to-60 in the tropics over the last few days. We have had 3 named storms develop since June 27th and now the National Hurricane Center is forecasting another named system to develop in the next day or so.

Currently one of the three named storms is the former TD-4E which strengthened into Tropical Storm Douglas earlier this morning.

Check out the latest forecast run for TS Douglas

Waves for SoCal (yeah not so much)
As you can see from the red line TS Douglas is still out of the Southern California swell window but he is inching closer as he tracks to the NW at 8 knots. At this pace it looks like the surf-generating parts of the storm (the NE and SE) won't actually move into the swell window until some time later on Friday...unfortunately it doesn't look like Douglas is going to get much stronger so I don't think he will be much of a wave maker for SoCal...some small waves...but nothing to get real fired up about. If anything shows it won't be until we move into the weekend...likely later on Saturday and into Sunday.

Waves for Baja Sur
Baja Sur, in particular the Tip, is looking much better in terms of getting surf from TS Douglas. He is positioned only a few hundred miles from Cabo and while he doesn't have great overall wind speeds he is well-positioned and moving the right direction which really help generate swell. At this point it looks like the expose areas around the Tip and the East Cape will start to see new tropical S swell move in on Thursday afternoon and then peak into Friday. I expect wave heights to hold in the shoulder-head high range at the better exposed S facing breaks. Remember those sizes are at the Tip...wave height and set consistency will drop off the further north you move up the Pacific Side.

Waves for NorCal
We have a tropical region?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wednesday’ Surf – Sort of a mixed bag

Wednesday is sort of looking surfable but a lot is going to depend on how the wind treats us tonight and tomorrow morning.

Swellwise we are going to continue to see a mix of SW swell, slowly dropping tropical S-SW swell from Boris, and local WNW windswell. Most exposed spots will see surf in the waist-shoulder high range while the standout S facing breaks in OC and North San Diego will have some head high sets.

Winds will continue to be the biggest issue…as of 9pm this evening (yeah this post is pretty late) there is still a pretty big variation in the local weather forecast models. It looks like there is about a 50/50 shot of either seeing an eddy develop or a continuation of the onshore winds we saw the last couple of days. Right now it looks like we may see a mix of WSW-W winds generally below 10 knots in the morning…this won’t last long though…expect building onshore W winds 10-15 knots by the afternoon. SD and OC may be a touch lighter than that in the afternoon but overall I don’t think it will make much a difference in shape.

Again I don’t think it is going to be all that fun tomorrow…there is just a bit too much bump from the wind expected to be roaming around in the water tomorrow morning so even if the winds are light it is still going to have a funk to it. If you can I would try and surf spots that are exclusively S facing (so they don’t pull in any other swells)…or try and hit breaks that really like windswells and are fun when they are crossed up and mixed up. I wouldn’t definitely try and hit the cameras in the morning as well…it would be a shame to waste gas and money heading down to the beach if the wind gets an early jump on it.

Random note on updates: if you have been checking the Baja and Norcal pages for updates I have been lagging the last few days…things should return to normal as we head into the weekend.