Friday, April 30, 2010

Waves for the Weekend – Conditions improve and there will still be some swell (but the water temps will still make your ‘nads fall off)

Saturday and Sunday both look like surf days…though the winds look a little better on Sunday (at least they stay cleaner longer than it does on Saturday).

Saturday will see a mix of dropping, but still decently sized NW windswell and some peaking SSW-SW swell (190-220). There will be rideable waves most exposed places…but expect the biggest surf at spots that are well-exposed to both swells (and like the combo mix).

Average breaks can expect surf in the chest-shoulder high range. The standout NW facing spots will be shoulder-head high with some plus sets showing on the morning tide push. The best SW facing spots, particularly the combo breaks, will have more consistent shoulder-head high surf with some overhead sets mixing in on the good tide push.

Weather looks nice on Saturday. Light and variable winds on tap for the morning with some building onshore flow for the afternoon. Look for clean conditions early and then NW winds around 10-14 knots pushing in through the second half of the day. I don’t expect the morning to be super clean everywhere…if your beach is wide open there is a shot that there will be a bit of texture/crumble to things.

The SSW-SW swell continues to hold on Sunday while the local windswell drops off.

Look for the average spots, thanks to the dropping windswell, to slip down into the waist-chest range with a few plus sets sneaking through at the better combo spots. The best SW facing breaks, and the excellent combo spots (mostly in South OC and parts of San Diego), will be more in the chest-head high range with some inconsistent head high+ sets on the tide push.

A little eddy starts to spin up on Sunday…nothing super strong…but possibly centered around Catalina or San Clemente island, which would push light S-SSE winds into San Diego and Southern OC. Spots further north look cleaner…mostly E-ENE through the morning. All breaks see the springy WNW-NW winds push in through the afternoon with the well exposed breaks topping around near 12-15 knots.

While the weekend won’t be outstanding it will be a definite improvement compared to the last couple of days…and there are a few little bonuses that will help us out. The mix of swells leaves less “shadowed” areas, so the crowd can spread out a bit. Winds will be pretty light throughout the day on Sunday…which means that we won’t have to all crush up the dawn patrol. And lastly the tides are pretty manageable for both days…a negative low-tide in the early morning but it fills in pretty quickly and doesn’t quite hit the “swampthing” level. Anyway…I will be out checking my nearby beach breaks both days…I hope you guys get a chance to get in the water as well. Oh and remember that all that wind dropped the ocean temps about 4-5 degrees…so you might want to throw the winter/water gear in the car…just in case you don’t like ice-cream headaches

Here are the tides…have a great weekend!

05/01/2010 Saturday
06:16AM LDT -0.7 L
12:47PM LDT 3.3 H
05:12PM LDT 2.2 L
11:23PM LDT 5.3 H

05/02/2010 Sunday
07:08AM LDT -0.3 L
01:56PM LDT 3.1 H
05:55PM LDT 2.5 L


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

always for the weekend. seriously guys, this has been the trend over the past 6 months. I mentioned this earlier this year. what's up with that? i so wish i had been charting this stuff because it freakin weird how the majority of saturdays and sundays over the past 6 months have been the best condition days. weekend warriors around the world are happy, but us who live for mon-thurs sessions are pissed!

Anonymous said...

Im just bummed these south swells aint showin up =/

Anonymous said...

patience my friends

Anonymous said...

Wake up at 7, grab a sealed 4/3 and a pair of bootys and some ''cold'' water wax, head down to the beach its onshore already the water is brown there is none of that promised ''south swell'' just out of control windswell some chop and strong side currents and 53 degree water. No this is not january at some crappy random norcal beach break, this is May at one oc's finer more reliable beachies

El nino, you have over stayed your welcome.

Anonymous said...

Didnt notice the south

Adam Wright said...

guys...the South swell that is seeming to evade some of you, isn't a pure S swell...

it is really a SSW-SW swell (190-220) with most of the energy in the 200-220 range...the closer to the 200-degrees the bigger it gets. Spots that work good on straighter S swells aren't going to be the best on this swell direction. Add in that these sort of SSW-SW swells pass through the SPAC island shadow and it is easy to see why we shouldn't be expecting a whole lot from this round of Southern hemi. Basically the focus of the swell is at the South OC/North SD areas, and I watched a little video from the region this morning and it was rolling about chest-head high on sets, which is what I was calling for in the forecast.

The swell for around cinco de mayo looks a lot better for the S facing spots, and for my tequila consumption. Happy hunting...remember SW facing breaks (or good SW/NW combo spots)...that is going to be the best call.

Anonymous said...

Adam, you don't need to defend yourself. I think everyone here understands the nature of surfing.

Yeah, I had the same experience as anon 5:10pm. Onshore, brown water, etc. IOW, really, really ugly. I got back so fast/early, I made coffee for my wife before she even got up.

That's why it's important to have other activities/plans. If it's going off, you can bail, but if it sucks, then on to plan B.

Anonymous said...

tough afternoon i think that windswell ate up the south swell lowers wasnt even doin it.
Isnt may the most consistent time for south swells?
There is still hope!

Anonymous said...

Ya adam no need to defend yourself your probably the most accurate forecaster out there, plus im sure somewhere has got to be pulling in that south we just need to quit being lazy and seek it out!
Thanks for helpin us score.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Adam, no need to defend yourself... Just bring the tequila to the beach on the Cinco, in case we get skunked!