Friday, November 6, 2009

Waves for the Weekend – New NW swell peaks Sunday (and mixes with a touch of SW too

Both Saturday and Sunday look like surf days this weekend…but Sunday looks a little better as new NW swell peaks and winds are a bit more favorable.

On Saturday we are going to start off with some NW swell (290-300) and SW swell (200-220) already in the water (they started filling in more Friday afternoon). The larger push of NW swell (285-300 but with the prime energy around 295-300+) will begin filling in long-period energy throughout the day, particularly through Santa Barbara and Ventura areas thanks to their more northerly positions.

Wave on Saturday will start off in the knee-waist high range for most of the average WNW-NW and SW facing breaks…the average combo spots will be a little bit bigger at times. The standout spots (NW, SW, and combo) will be more in the waist-chest high range with some shoulder high sets mixing in before the tide gets too high. Look for overall shape and rideability to slow down as the tide peaks but expect size and shape to return pretty fast as the tide drains and more energy fills in.

Sunday the NW swell (285-300 with the sweet spot in the 290-300 range) will peak as it mixes with some holding/peaking SW swell (200-220). We will see some decent energy from the NW’er but due to the steeper swell direction it will definitely have some shadowed areas, which if you are looking for bigger waves, you should avoid. Basically the swell is going to only hit “great” at the better NW facing spots…the other less exposed/shadowed areas are going to be smaller, in some cases much smaller. Pay close attention to the CDIP chart…I know it doesn’t have the best resolution but you can still see how the swell is expected to wrap into Socal…and the shadows that both Point Conception and the Nearshore Islands cast along the coast.

Surf on Sunday is going to vary quite a bit spot to spot…but overall we can expect the average exposed breaks to build into the chest-shoulder high range, with a few shoulder high+ sets mixing in at times. The Top NW facing breaks like those in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego, will see consistent shoulder-head high+ surf with sets going overhead+ at times…maybe even a couple of feet+ overhead on the peaks if the spot can pick up some of the SW energy as well.

Winds look ok…sort of squirrelly on Saturday and then cleaner on Sunday.

Saturday will have some NW-NNW winds moving through the outer waters that is threatening to spin up a semi-eddy. Santa Barbara down through LA look pretty clean, but OC and SD may see some variable onshore wind in the morning…not enough to blow it out, but potentially chunking it up in some areas. Afternoon winds build out of the NW in the 10-15 knot range.

Saturday Morning Winds

Sunday winds will be light and variable to light offshore for the morning…mostly clean conditions and only bit of overcast skies at times. Look for variable onshore texture by midday and then building W-WSW winds around 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

Sunday Morning Winds

Like I said…it looks fun this weekend…maybe a little funky on Saturday at times but better than the flatness of the last few days. If I had to pick one day to surf…Sunday would be the call…the new NW’er peaks, the SW swell is helping to combo up in the background and both the winds are lighter and the high tide hits a little later in the day freeing the dawn patrol from the Swampthing. Remember not to expect this swell to show all that well in every area…I do think that we will have rideable waves in most places…but you are definitely going to want to watch your swell windows if you are looking for the bigger, most consistent surf.

Here are the tides…have a great weekend

01:19AM LST 3.4 H
05:00AM LST 2.9 L
11:20AM LST 5.6 H
07:24PM LST -0.2 L

Sunday – The most awesome day ever…anyone born on this day is obviously special
02:42AM LST 3.6 H
06:41AM LST 3.1 L
12:36PM LST 5.0 H
08:32PM LST 0.1 L

Remember that I have more detailed regional forecast stuff in the local forecasts…check them out.

Santa Barbara -
Ventura -
Los Angeles -
Orange County -
San Diego -


Anonymous said...

Well, that was textbook misery ship. After checking it last night, I knew the angle was pretty steep, so I decided to go to an intermediate spot up the beach that picks up nw swells a little bigger.

Caught a few, but what with the fog, tide and ant hordes hitting the shore in packs of 3-5, all I can say is at least I got some exercise.

I sorta feel sorry for the suckers in SD county, though. I mean, they don't get anything all summer, so these types of swells are their bread & butter.

Nothing like super inconsistent, shoulder high Swamis with 5 juiced up guys paddling like crazy for every wave. I'm sure the red faced walri must have had some words - perhaps even some fists of furry.

I knew I should have bit the bullet and driven to Santa Cruz. (For you youngsters, the call used to be Baja, but who needs to get one's head chopped off for a few waves.)

Anonymous said...

Pleasure Point
4-7 ft. shoulder high to 2 ft. overhead with occasional 8 ft.
and good conditions.

This morning's dawn patrol: Plenty of waves coming through with the bigger sets well overhead. Mostly clean.


If I had left at midnight, I coulda been out there in the am.

Anonymous said...

no waves for san diego in the summer? where you from? san diego is a big county, mister. also has the most surf spots in socal. ummmm.... remember mid-July!!! epic!

Anonymous said...

I was generalizing about the main winter breaks s of Oside.

Anonymous said...

holy cow it's PUMPING in norcal. just a quick update =)