Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thursday’s Surf – Still some wind but with a couple of clean pockets too

Thursday will be surfable, particularly at the more protected SW facing breaks. NW facing spots will have some wind issues (maybe they need therapy or something).

Surfwise well will continue to see a mix of strong, but steeply angled NW windswell, background S-SW energy, and a new long-period SW swell.

Most NW facing breaks will continue to see consistent overhead+ sloppy windswell waves. Shape will be pretty poor throughout the day…but you may be able to find a pocket or two at the protected breaks in the morning (don’t expect them to last long though).

SW facing spots will be in the waist-chest high+ range through the morning off the mix of windswell making it around the corner and the S-SW leftovers. New SW swell will fill in throughout the day and start to build in some bigger sets. Look for the top breaks to have some head high sets combo-ing up by sundown.

Winds are expected to be out of the NW around 5-15 knots through the morning, lightest around Santa Cruz and the Central Coast. All spots will have NW winds around 10-20 knots by the afternoon.

Official Forecast Update: 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior

Hey guys here is a new forecast that I put together for the 6.0 Lowers Pro. This one is for Thursday...conditions look a lot better. If you can't make it down to the beach it may be sort of fun to watch on the live stream...

Here is the link

Here is the actual forecast...effective for Thursday May 1.

Thursday both the surf and the conditions will turn around and start to improve.
We will have a mix of S-SW swell, local NW windswell, and a new SW swell (200-220) that will be filling in with long swell-periods and inconsistent sets.

Wave heights will continue to hold in the waist-chest high range on the average sets and there will be some shoulder high+ sets sneaking through at times...particularly as the new SW swell builds in more during the afternoon.

The winds/conditions will make the biggest improvement compared to the last couple of days. Look for mostly light and variable to light ESE winds all below 5 knots through the morning. Winds will shift light onshore around lunchtime, and then will pick up out of the W-WNW around 10-15 knots by the afternoon.

We will also have sunny skies after the morning marine layer burns off...should be a pretty nice day for competition.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shark Attack! – Ixtapa, Mainland Mexico

Please don’t take this the wrong way…first and foremost my heart goes out to this surfers family and friends. I am a father, brother, and family man first and foremost so this is not me being flippant…

…but seriously you have to be f-ing kidding me!...two fatal shark attacks within a week! This is a freaking nightmare.

If you are reading this for the first time here are the details…according to news reports another surfer, Adrian Ruiz from San Francisco, died from wounds suffered during a shark attack. The attack occurred along the coast of Mainland Mexico…close to the Ixtapa area…specifically 45 minutes west at an area called Troncones beach.

Here are links to the stories if you need more details…

This is part of the story on MSNBC

Here is the link to the story on Surfline

Wednesday’s winds: Holy moly it is windy batman!

Springtime conditions come back full force on Wednesday.

Strong NW winds 15-25+ knots build back in on Wednesday and eventually peak in the afternoon with gusts around 30 knots.

Needless to say it is going to be pretty damn breezy. Most NW spots will have overhead sloppy windswell surf…sometimes going well overhead but always with poor shape.

The SW facing spots, mostly through Santa Cruz and the Central Coast, will have a mix of both NW windswell and some SW energy. Those areas will have cleaner, but still bumpy conditions, and surf holding in the chest-shoulder high range. A few of the better exposed standout breaks may have some bigger sets but will likely have wind issues to go along with it as well.

If you have to surf tomorrow I would stick to the more protected breaks…it will be cleaner, more manageable, and probably more fun. The more exposed breaks are going to get so bumpy you might as well write them off after the dawn patrol. Personally I would plan on busting out the big board and surfing a few waves on the inside sections, which should have enough size to have some fun longboarding…other areas will be pretty sloppy.

Official Forecast for the 6.0 Lowers Pro - Wednesday's Contest Forecast

Official Forecast for the 6.0 Lowers Pro - Wednesday's Contest Forecast

So I was sitting checking out the 6.0 Lowers Pro Contest on the live stream (3:30pm) and it still looks sort of surfable down there...not clean...or even very good...but surfable in that "I would paddle out if I lived up the street from this wave" sort of way. That was more of an observation...I wasn't really going any where with that. Anyway here is the forecast is focused on the conditions for Wednesday.

Forecast For Wednesday: Wednesday will be another challenging surf day...the mix of onshore winds and bumpy conditions will continue as strong gusts in the outer waters keep the coastal eddy spinning over the inner waters.

Surfwise it will be a mix of WNW windswell and leftover S-SW swell through most of the morning. Expect waist-chest high surf on most of the average waves while the standout sets see some shoulder high+ sets.

Conditions will start out a bit sloppier than Tuesday. Look for S winds around 10 knots through the morning. Those winds shift SW and increase to 10-15 knots by lunchtime and eventually top out around 15-20 knots by the afternoon.

There is one piece of good forecast news though...New long-period SW swell (200-220) starts to arrive late in the day, showing mostly on the buoys at first, and then will start to fill in more on Thursday...eventually peaking Friday and into Saturday, (right as the conditions start to improve.)

Official Forecast Update: 6.0 Lowers Pro and Oakley Pro Junior

Hey Gang...I put together a forecast update for the Lowers contests that start today. I thought I would post it up on the blog so you can check it isn't much different than my normal forecast but it is quite a bit more specific for the Trestles area.

I always dig watching these contests live for a few minutes (while I should be working) if you get some free time you should check it out. is the forecast update...I will post another one later today (for tomorrow).

Surf conditions and shape start off OK (fair) in the morning but begin to fall apart around midday and continue to junk up as we move into the afternoon.

Swellwise we will have a mix of new but small S-SW swell (195-205) from the Southern Hemisphere and some steadily building NW windswell moving in from local waters.

Look for surf to hold around knee-waist high+ for most of the morning with a rare chest high set sneaking in inconsistently. Waist-chest high surf will become more consistent by the afternoon as the windswell gets going but shape will begin to deteriorate as onshore bump moves in as well.

Expect light S-SW winds, maybe even light and variable, through the dawn patrol. SW winds around 5-10 knots move in through mid-morning and then stronger W winds capping out near 10-15 knots fill in through the afternoon. Shape and conditions will likely be a struggle through the second part of the day.

Random FYI…Wednesday looks just as bad if not worse…but conditions will clean up and new swell fills in as we head to the weekend. If competitors can make it through the first rounds of competition they will have a lot of fun with the better winds and building SW swell. The finals are looking pretty fun...with the potential for head high+ surf from the new SW'er.

Here are the links to the websites to watch it live today

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Back to the springtime conditions

Tuesday will feel a lot like spring along the North-Central coasts should. There will be waves, but a lot of wind, cold water, and small waves at the protected spots.

We will have a mix of medium/short period NW energy from a storm moving into the Gulf of Alaska and a touch of background SW swell.

NW facing spots will be around chest-head high+ with mostly poor shape as onshore winds blow in out of the NW around 15-20+ knots through most of the day.
SW facing breaks and other protected areas will be smaller...mostly waist high with some inconsistent chest high sets. Conditions will be cleaner but at the cost of size and consistency.

As usual with these spring days your cleanest conditions are generally through the morning. The more exposed spots will have wind issues from the get go...but there may be a few rideable ones early.

Your best bet is going to be those rare breaks that compromise between the wind and the swell-window...but stick won't really be worth hunting around for windblown waves. The protected areas will be a good back-up, particularly for the afternoon.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

NorCal on Monday – Holding pattern

Monday isn’t looking all that different than Sunday. A few fun waves at the top spots with a bit of inconsistency and wind issues thrown in at times.

Most spots will continue to pull in a mix of W-NW energy and some background S-SW swell. The average W facing breaks will be right around chest-shoulder high+ while the more protected areas of Santa Cruz (and other SW facing breaks) will be more in the knee-chest high range…with some occasional chest high+ sets sneaking through.

Winds will start off on the light side for the Central Coast (SF Southward) but it looks like the NW flow gets a good jump on the spots up north. Look for light and variable morning winds through the southern areas while the more exposed breaks to the north see NW winds around 10-15 knots. Afternoon winds will top out close to 20-25 knots for both areas.

You are sort of stuck with the same choice you had to make all weekend…either surf a bumpier, but bigger and more consistent spot or surf a more protected area and deal with the crowd, smaller surf, and less consistent sets. Personally I would check the in-between spots that may have a bit of protection from the wind and exposure to the swell…there may be a little window for a few fun ones, particularly through the morning dawn patrol.

Keep an eye on the forecast…more WNW swell will arrive later this week.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend Surf in NorCal - New WNW swell on the way

We will have a couple of days of fun surf on tap this weekend...but conditions may get a bit squirrelly for the more exposed breaks on Sunday.

Saturday we will start with more of the leftover WNW/background S-SW swell that we have been having. Most NW facing breaks will be around waist-shoulder high. S-SW facing breaks will be closer to knee high+ on most of the sets.

Saturday afternoon new WNW swell (280-300) starts to push in...hitting the more northerly breaks first and then slowly migrating down the coast. By the end of the day W facing breaks should be up to about chest-head high on sets...even the more protected spots will be up around chest-shoulder high on the best waves.

Winds on Saturday look good for the morning...mostly out of the N around 5-10 knots for most areas. By the afternoon they shift more NW around 15+ knots.

Sunday the WNW'er will peak while the SW background energy comes up just a notch or two. Wave heights at the NW facing spots will be more consistently around chest-head high with overhead sets at the best breaks. SW facing spots will be doing ok as well holding around chest-shoulder but with more consistency than Saturday.

Winds don't look as good for Sunday, particularly at the more exposed areas. Expect those NW facing beaches to have W flow around 10-15 knots through the morning and stronger gusts coming onshore by the afternoon. You will probably want to try and find a spot with some protection...personally I would probably sacrifice a little bit of the size for the better conditions on Sunday.

Another Shark Attack - Swimmer Killed off Solana Beach

Seriously I am so sick of talking about sharks...but it is hard to ignore a story when someone is hurt or killed by one.

From the initial news reports a man, in his 60's, was swimming with a group of other swimmers in the ocean while they trained for a triathlon. They were a ways offshore when according to witnesses a large "grey" shark attacked the man, who eventually died from his wounds.

Here are some links to the News Stories that I found online...

Terry Rodgers' report from the San Diego UNION-TRIBUNE is probably one of the better ones...

Here are a couple of others...,1,2305377.story

Here is some video...

Think that this is going to become a more of a trend or is it still just another case of bad luck? Drop me some comments on the blog and tell me what you think

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another SW swell Alert: Another good shot of SW swell on the way

Yep that is right…another round of SW swell is being kicked out from the Southern Hemi. It will be sending another pulse of overhead to well-overhead surf to Central America and Mainland Mexico.

Baja Sur will have a smaller but still very fun pulse of SW energy.

Southern California, on the other hand, will once again get the shaft by the South Pacific Island shadow. Sure we will get a few waves but it will be quite a bit weaker and less consistent than other areas.

I was checkout out this storm today trying to get a read on the wave heights and noticed that at first glance it had a lot of characteristics of the last Southern Hemi storm that kicked out a big SW swell. (You can see how well that swell hit Mainland Mexico, and Hawaii)

Looking closer there are some pretty big differences…here check it out

These next 2 QUIKSCAT images are from the current storm…

While this next series is from the last one…

First off you note that the new storm is not nearly as strong as the last one…it is still healthy but it doesn’t have that “eye of mordor” black hole in the core of the storm…(its core is more like an angry purple). Just because it is lacking wind speeds doesn’t mean that it will be too much smaller surfwise. It does have a few other things that the first storm didn’t.

It has a longer, more established fetch…in fact it is moving over an area that had what we call “an established sea state” which happens to be already pointed in a good general direction…so the storm doesn’t have to waste energy trying to produce the sea-state needed to generate swell…it just hops on the work another cold-front and starts kicking out waves tag-team style. The fetch is also a bit wider which only adds to the energy it will impart to the swell

Finally this storm looks like it has a better movement track…particularly for Mainland Mex and Central America…it is moving more towards those areas than slightly “against the grain” like the last system did.

What does all this mean? Well basically I think that even though the storm wasn’t as strong as the first one it did have enough other positive factors to produce a swell very close to what we saw with the last swell.

So on to the Surf…

Mainland Mexico and Central America will see this swell start to arrive on the 29th…with the peak of the swell hitting late on the 30th and then holding strong through May 1-3rd. Look for surf consistently in the head-high to well overhead range for the average exposed breaks. Standout deepwater spots, particularly those in Mainland Mexico (Like Puerto Escondido) will have sets hitting around the double-overhead range.

Baja Sur sees less of the swell but still plenty of playful waves. Look for this swell to arrive more on the 30th but peak May 1-3. As the swell peaks most spots will hold around shoulder-high+ on the sets while the standout spots see overhead sets.

Southern California and Baja Norte will see shadowing by the South Pacific Islands along with some potential wind problems as strong NW flow moves into the area the same time as the swell. Look for the swell to start showing late on the 30th, fill in slowly on May 1st and then peak May 2-3. Look for mostly waist-chest high waves for the exposed areas and some shoulder high+ waves at the standouts, which will be mostly in Northern San Diego and Southern Orange County.

Northern California will see about the same as SoCal (along with very similar timing)...lots of waist-chest high waves at the average spots while the standouts see some shoulder high sets. The reality of it is that a lot of this energy will get lost in the more dominant WNW energy that is likely to push through around the same time. But it is worth keeping an eye on it if you live around some S facing breaks.

That is about all I got for this swell…I wish it had a better swell-angle for SoCal but you can’t win them all. There are a couple of decent storms way under Australia right now…so it will be interesting to see what they do once they reach the South Pacific…I am sure I will be filling you in on them later.

Friday's Surf: More leftovers

Friday will be surfable but it will be on the small side.

We will have a mix of smaller but still steady NW windswell and a couple of small pulses from the S-SW holding in the background.

The NW facing spots will be the biggest, with surf in the waist-shoulder high range coming in off the windswell. Shape won't be the greatest...winds are expected to be light early but they will be coming in out of the NW and should have bump going from the get-go.

The protected S-SW facing areas will be mostly knee-waist high as they try and squeeze a few waves out of the smaller Southern Hemi energy. Shape will be cleaner but expect a long wait between waves...and even the sets will be sort of gutless when they arrive.

I don't think it will be worth driving any sort of distance for surf tomorrow...if you happen to find a few fun waves close by jump on them...but don't waste your money, time, or gas hunting around for sketchy-quality surf.

Playful wave alert - Don't bury the North's not dead yet.

I was about ready to put up the "closed for the season" sign for the North Pacific Storm Track but as usual Mother Nature has different plans.

Over the past 24+ hours a decent little storm spun up into a holding position NNE of Hawaii, just off the edge of the Gulf of Alaska.

Now before you get all excited...this is definitely not a big isn't even a large or strong has just enough energy to make me want to mention it in the blog.

The good news is that it will be kicking out a string of playful sized swell for Northern California and as a bonus it will send out a small pulse of WNW energy for Southern California as well.

Here is are a few pics of the system

This is the QUIKSCAT Satellite

This is the wavewatchIII wave model

And here is the FNMOC - EFS Gale Warning ensemble (which basically tells you where strong winds are forecast to develop)

Yes I know..."lots of pretty pictures...thanks for about some surf?"

Whatever are the forecasts for this system

Northern California will see W-WNW swell (280-300) arriving throughout the day on Saturday and eventually peaking overnight into Sunday. As the swell peaks look for W facing breaks to have surf in the waist-shoulder high+ range while the standout spots see some overhead sets mixing in at times. Winds should be only OK for this period...NW flow around 10-15 knots will keep some of the more exposed breaks fairly bumpy...but the better westerly angle of this swell means that more energy will be able to wrap into the more protected spots. Essentially we will have some decent size surf at the sheltered areas of Santa Cruz and the Central Coast along with some protection from the wind. (also worth noting that this storm is expected to jump in the Gulf over the next 48-72 hours and in the process set up a steeper NW swell for early next week).

Southern California (and Baja Norte) will see this swell arrive slowly on Sunday...then peak Sunday afternoon into Monday. It won't be breaks will be around knee-waist high with some chest high sets...but it will help to cross up some small SW swell at the combo breaks adding a little size, more consistency, and better shape at the top spots.

Anyway like I said nothing to get super fired up about but since the NPAC is about to close up shop I thought it would be worth mentioning.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Official Surf Forecast for the 6.0 Lowers Pro

Hey gang!

Since I am the official forecaster for the (Nike) 6.0 Lowers Pro this year…and I have this cool blog that lets me post all kinds of random poop…I thought I would throw out the official forecast that I sent on to the contest guys today. I normally don’t post a lot of commercialized stuff but since I am involved this year I thought it would be ok. (well that and the fact that I am still working on getting my own special contest heat where I get to surf Lowers with 3 other guys)

Anyways check out the forecast…(I did the layout wife is going to let me hang it on the fridge!)

I dig the contest posters/images as well…

Here are a couple of those.

And here is the website, for some reason it is really hard to find using google…bad SEO juju…

Thursday’s Surf: The wind returns…the stupid spring wind

Thursday will be surfable but really only at the more protected breaks of Santa Cruz and the Central Coast.

We will see more WNW windswell and small background SW energy. Most W facing spots will have sloppy shoulder-head high surf while the more protected areas see some small knee-waist high waves at the top spots.

Winds are expected to build in pretty fast with W facing breaks seeing NW winds 10-20 knots developing through mid-morning. Monterey Bay will have winds closer to 5-knots out of the N, which will keep the surf much cleaner.

Unless you like to surf sloppy windswell junk then your best bet is going to be the protected spots. Unfortunately there is not a lot of swell for those areas…so you basically have to decide to break out the big boards or try and muscle through the onshore winds. If you have a little nugget of protection from the wind but exposure to the windswell that would be ideal.

Random SW swell Alert: RECAP

Hey gang...I got a great email yesterday from a guy that shot down to Mainland Mexico for a surgical strike on that last SW swell

Not only did the guy freaking score he also managed to shoot some sick photos and kept his head enough to take notes on the swell activity. (Always make sure to take notes can reverse engineer the forecast so that you can score the same place again!)

First check out these photos

And here is the breakdown of his trip...I wish I had been there (not staring at this stupid computer).

Thursday evening – fun 90 minute session at Manzanillo Bay with sets going a foot or two OH

Friday a.m. – Boat to the Ranch (same captain we had – Ramon)… sets going 3+ feet OH and super clean…. Manageable crowd. Also surfed for 2 hours solo at “A-frames”, a spot just 5 minutes past the Ranch. 4 hour session.

Friday p.m. – Arrive at Nexpa to find the Mexican National Surf Championships in progress. Make the call to drive another 2-1/2 hours to Ticla. Surf huge sketchy reef on way up.

Saturday – Mind blowing Ticla. Clean all day. Sets going DOH. No crowd. 250+ yard rippable lefts…. Just an insane wave.

Sunday – See above with slightly smaller sets.

Monday – 5 hour session at the Ranch and A-frames. Sets still a couple feet OH.

...the lucky dog.

If you are interested in checking out the original forecast post here it is...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wednesday's Waves: More Windswell for now but something is starting to line up way out back

Wednesday will be another surf day but it may be a touch sloppy at times.

Surfwise we will have mostly NW windswell (300+) and a tiny touch of leftover SW swell. Wave heights are expected to hold around waist-shoulder high+ at the exposed NW breaks. The protected areas will be much smaller, holding consistently in the knee-chest high range on the sets.

We will have a small storm moving through the area tonight that will bring some rain and scattered showers to both the north and central coasts. This front will be clearing the area by the morning and we should see weather start to dry out quickly afterward.

Winds should be light in the morning, (a lot depends on how fast the front moves out), so look for mostly light and variable onshore texture for spots from SF northward. Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz breaks will have light N-NW flow through the morning. All spots see an increase in NW flow by the afternoon.

Your best bet for surf will likely be the NW facing beach breaks...there may be a little bump to it with the onshore winds...but it should be manageable. The Santa Cruz spots will be quite a bit smaller...mostly weak longboard surf, but if you head out with that in mind you will probably have some fun there too.

Long-range it looks like the North Pacific is going to get one last gasp...the forecasts are showing a ok looking storm forming around the southern edge of the Gulf of Alaska. Here check out the wavewatchIII is showing the system in about 4 days or so.

If the storm lives up to forecasts we could see an overhead+ WNW swell, with some longer-period energy, arriving around the 28th or so. Anyway thought I would throw it out there for you to check out...make sure to check back I will have some better info as we get closer.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tuesday’s NorCal Surf – Smaller and Cleaner

We will get a chance to surf on Tuesday…even the more exposed breaks should have a slight breather from the wind.

Tuesday all of our swell takes a big step down. The NW windswell that has been driving most of our surf for the last few days backs down to about waist-chest high+ while the SW swell that has been holding in the background backs off as well.

The NW facing spots will be in the waist-chest high range with some shoulder high sets mixing it at the top breaks.

The protected breaks, mostly the sheltered points and reefs in Santa Cruz and Monterey, will be smaller…holding around knee-waist high…with a couple of slightly larger waves sneaking through at the combo breaks.

Winds will be light in the morning. Spots from SF northward will see light SE flow through the morning while Santa Cruz has light offshore breezes early. Winds will shift more Southward by the afternoon/evening and will start to bring in some scattered rain as a new low-pressure moves through late in the day.

If you have been jonesing to surf this would be a good day to get out and catch a few. The surf will be smaller but more manageable for all of the exposed beach breaks, which we don’t get very often during the spring. Hey if you find a decent sandbar it could be pretty fun on the right tides.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monday’s Surf – Rinse and Repeat

Monday will be a surf day for the protected areas. NW facing spots will continue to be plagued by onshore winds and sloppy surf.

In the water we will have the same mix of NW windswell and SW background swell that we had over the weekend…just a touch smaller as both swells start to trail off.

Most NW facing spots, Bay Area beach breaks and other more exposed surf-spots, will have consistent but sloppy head high to overhead surf. A few of the deepwater breaks will have some bigger sets at times as well. Shape will be poor with both stacked up windswell waves and the winds to go along with them, even in the morning.

The protected spots will be smaller…holding mostly in the chest-shoulder high range. Standout breaks in those areas will see some shoulder-head high sets on the right tides.

Winds will be out of the N-NW, 10-20 knots around the Bay Area, and closer to 5-10 (and more northerly) in the Monterey region.

Again, like the weekend, I think your best (uh I mean only) bet will be to surf the protected spots…the winds are just too strong, and the swell to sloppy, to really try and muscle through a more exposed break.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Waves (Uh I mean Wind) for the Weekend

This weekend is looking mighty breezy. There will be a ton of local NW windswell in the water but a lot of wind coming right in with it.

We will have a nasty mix of NW windswell and building SW swell. Most NW facing breaks will have well-overhead surf…even nearing the double-overhead range but the shape will be total garbage thanks to onshore winds in the 15-25 knot range.

The protected areas will be smaller…mostly in the waist-shoulder high range. Standout spots that can pull in at least a little of the windswell and the SW’er will be closer to head high to overhead on the sets.

At this point it looks like the winds will back off a bit on Sunday, still in the NW 10-15+ knot range though. NW facing spots will still be very sloppy, but the more protected areas will be cleaner, more organized, and the SW swell will be peaking. Wave heights will be nominally the same as Saturday but the windswell will be dropping fast at the more exposed breaks (not that it will matter).

Really if you are going to surf this weekend…stick to protected areas like Santa Cruz and Central Coast breaks…the SW swell will be fun, even on the inside sections, and they will be able to handle the funky-chicken winds.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Friday’s Surf – Holy wind Batman!

Friday is not going to be much of a surf day. It may start ok but strong W-NW winds move in fast and things get nasty by the afternoon.

New NW windswell moves in with a small (and likely overpowered) building SW swell.

The NW facing breaks will get into the overhead+ to well overhead range but will have poor windblown shape. NWS is issuing Gale Warnings for many areas tomorrow so it will be very sloppy once winds get up to speed.

The S-SW facing spots will be smaller, mostly knee-chest high with some rare bigger sets showing at the combo spots. These breaks will have fair shape in the morning but will start to get junked up by the building winds in the afternoon.

If you have to surf stick to the S-SW facing spots…you will be giving up a lot of size but conditions will be waaaaaay better. The best bet will likely be on the inside sections of those protected spots…but you will want to bring your small wave board.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thursday’s Surf – Morning Love

Thursday is looking pretty surfable (and in the playful size range) for most NorCal spots…about the only thing that could be a problem is the morning high tide (which is a 4’+ that hits around 8:30 or so).

Our surf will be fading overall on Thursday. In the water we will have a mix of still healthy but dropping WNW wind/groundswell and some smaller but slightly building SW energy.

Most breaks will hold around waist-shoulder high with a few bigger sets mixing it at the more exposed spots. Standout beach breaks will see some head high+ sets at times.

The protected areas of Santa Cruz and the Central coast will be smaller…mostly knee-waist high+ through the morning tide…but they will increase to a more consistent chest high+ as the tide drops during the afternoon.

Winds should improve overnight with light/variable to light N-NE winds setting up for the morning. Look for more onshore NW flow around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Your best bet for surf will probably be those more exposed beach breaks on Thursday…particularly spots that like the windswell shape but are protected from the N-NE winds, which most spots are. You are still likely to see a lot of stacked up shape from the windswelly swell-periods but they should offer up a few dumpy corners as we move into the low tide.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wednesday’s Surf – Cleaner but with a lot of windswell

Wednesday will be a pretty good surf day at the more protected spots. The expose breaks will be a bit sloppy with both shape and increasing afternoon winds becoming a problem.

In the water we will have a mix of WNW wind/groundswell coming off that little storm that rolled over us the last couple of days. The swell periods make it look like a longer-period windswell (around 10-seconds or so) but it is actually a combo of fading longer-period WNW swell and the steeper local NW windswell. There is also a touch of S-SW swell holding in the background and occasionally crossing up the WNW energy at the combo breaks.

Wave heights will still be healthy at the NW facing beaches. The more open spots will be running about head high to overhead surf fairly consistently and some bigger sets going a few feet overhead at times. Shape is likely to be a bit lumpy thanks the stacked up nature of the swell…look for the best surf at spots that like the windswell swell-periods.

The protected spots in Santa Cruz and along the Central Coast will be smaller but much more organized. Look for waist-chest high+ surf through the morning high tide and then some shoulder-head high sets sneaking through on the low tide later in the day.

Winds look better on Wednesday. Most areas will have light N-NW winds around 10-15 knots through the morning. Central Coast (and Santa Cruz) areas will have N-NW winds around 5 knots through the morning. All areas see building NW winds 10-20+ knots by the afternoon.

I think that your best bet, again, is going to be the more protected areas. They will be a lot cleaner and even though they will be smaller than the more exposed breaks they will still have some healthy sets. The high tide in the morning is a bit problematic but if you can stall your session for a couple of hours past the dawn patrol you will see better shape and better consistency.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tuesday’s Windy Surf

Tuesday will have some more surf…but it will be pretty bumpy (basically blown out) at the more exposed breaks.

We will see that mix of WNW wind/ground swell continue to push in on Tuesday. Average areas will continue to see shoulder-overhead surf with sets going a few feet overhead at times. Conditions at these spots will likely be poor thanks to steadily increasing onshore winds.

Protected areas, like Santa Cruz and a few others along the Central Coast, will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range with a few head high and overhead sets mixing in. These areas will be cleaner compared to the more exposed beaches but expect a lot of bump even at the protected breaks.

There is a cold front moving through the area late tonight that will be driving the winds tomorrow. Forecasts are calling for NW winds 10-20+ knots for the morning and a steady 10-20 knots for the afternoon.

If you have to surf then you are going to want to head to the protected areas. The more open spots are going to be trashed…particularly if the winds stay strong late tonight. Also you may want to skip the dawn patrol…it will be cold, breezy, and there will a near 5’ high tide pushing through around 6am that is going to keep things pretty soft. I would give it a couple of hours to warm up and for that tide to drop before heading out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Monday’s Surf – New NW swell mix and more NW winds

Monday we will see building surf and it looks like a bunch of NW wind to go with it.

In the water we will have a mix of building WNW swell (290-310) and some increasing NW windswell along with a touch of background SW energy. Most exposed breaks will be running in the shoulder-head high+ range with sets going overhead as the windswell starts to pour it on.

Standout breaks, mostly the more exposed beach breaks around SF and further north will have sets going overhead+ at times but it looks like sloppy conditions from the get-go.

Winds start off out of the W-NW around 5-12 knots then build to about 20-25 knots by the afternoon.

With the wind picking up early and getting pretty strong by the afternoon I think that your best bet for getting waves will definitely be at the spots protected from the NW winds. Areas like many of the spots in Santa Cruz (and along the Central Coast) will be able to pick up most of the swell mix but groom out more of the wind. It will be smaller than more exposed breaks but much more rideable.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekend Surf – Slow start on Saturday but a fun combo on Sunday

We should have some nice conditions and some fun surf over the weekend.

Saturday will start slow with mostly leftovers…a touch of local windswell, some background WNW energy, and some minor SW energy.
Average spots will be around waist-chest high...inconsistent at times, and tide sensitive, but decent for longboarding, maybe a small fish. Try and plan around the low tide bottom out. The better exposed beach breaks, mostly north of SF will be in the chest-shoulder high+ range off the steeper NW windswell…it might actually be better to check those spots on the low tide…get a few steeper sections with less water.
Sunday looks like the best day.

We will have a mix of building S-SW swell and some new WNW energy. Most spots will jump into the waist-shoulder high+ range while the standout W facing breaks, particularly the combo spots, will see some head high sets. Look for the biggest surf in the afternoon as the swells get a chance to get going a bit better and overall shape is helped by the tide push.

Winds and weather will be ok as well. Saturday should be really nice with light offshore winds through most of the day. Sunday a little cooler but still mostly light winds through the dawn patrol. Look for W winds around 10 knots through the afternoons…particularly up by the Bay Area.

Have a great weekend! But make sure to check back…there is a decent looking storm in the South Pacific that is brewing up right now…I will put together a post on it over the next day or so.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Friday’s Surf – Still a few fun lumpy ones

Friday will be a decent surf day…but expect some semi-lumpy shape at the more exposed breaks thanks to the windswell.

In the water we will have a mix of WNW windswell (300+) and some very small SW swell. Most exposed breaks will be in the chest-head high range while the standout beach breaks, mostly near SF, will have some larger sets.

Santa Cruz areas will be smaller…mostly knee-chest high at the average breaks…maybe a touch larger at the top spots.

Winds and weather are looking good for the morning. Look for N-NE winds around 5-15 knots for both SF and Santa Cruz during the dawn patrol. NW winds in the 10-20 knot range build in through the afternoon.

If you are surfing tomorrow you will have to make a bit of a compromise…size for shape. The bigger beach breaks will be on the lumpy side with mostly dumpy windswell shape. The more protected spots, points and reefs, will be smaller but more organized. You just basically have to pick your poison.

Tides may be an issue as well…there is a -.5 low that hits around 9:45-10am that will drain out a lot of spots…try and plan around it if you can, either early morning or lunchtime would be good times to check it.

More shark attack stuff…(man can’t we all just get along?)

So my friend over at the OCRegister emailed me this story this morning…and no it is not another HB shark attack…it actually happened out in Fiji.

Basically a local Fijian fisherman was attacked by three sharks as he was fishing near a more obscure surf spot (IE Not Tavaraua). According to the article and the photos the sharks tore up his arm pretty badly and he was in danger of bleeding out before he could get medical help.

Fortunately for the fisherman there was a surfer, Tom Rolfes, who happened to be a dentist, visiting the island with his family. The Doc sacked up, broke out his emergency kit, and managed to sew the fisherman back together enough to save his life.

I thought I would give a shout out to the Doctor and his family for pulling off some high-pressure heroics.

Here is a picture of the Dr. Rolfes in action.

And here is a link to the story…make sure to check it out (Laylan does a much better job of telling it than I can).

I am just stoked that the Dr. was able to save the guy’s life, MacGyver style….and still managed to sneak a surf photo into the OCreg’s slide show. Classic.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thursday in NorCal – A few fun spring waves

Thursday looks like a decent surf day…at least in the morning at the more protected areas. (nice caveat huh…)

We will have a nice mix of NW windswell and a moderate W-WNW swell running throughout the day. There will also a very small touch of SW hanging out in the background.

Most exposed breaks…mostly the more open beach breaks will have surf holding in the shoulder-head high range with a few lumpy sets hitting the overhead mark. It will be on the sloppy side with the windswell crossing it up…it may be better to find a smaller less exposed spot.

More protected breaks like the ones through Santa Cruz will be in the waist-shoulder high range…with a few bigger sets at the standout breaks on the tide push.

Winds are expected to be N-NW around 10-15 knots at the more exposed beaches around SF and the Central Coast. Monterey Bay looks cleaner with NE winds around 5 knots in the morning. All areas see increasing onshore NW winds around 10-20 knots by the afternoon.