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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Summer Weather, Winter Waves

I arrived back in San Diego in the beginning of July after my travels in Indonesia and New Zealand, excited to enjoy a couple months of summer. Unfortunately, I joined the rest of southern California surfers suffering through a dismal season of flat conditions that seemed to last forever. While a handful of days were blessed with good waves, summer bled into fall without the usual increase in swell consistency and size. After four months of waiting, everyone was ready when the waves finally came.
Forecasters saw the writing on the wall (red on the weather map) well in advance of November 3rd. Of course, this meant surfers were well informed. The convergence of two large low pressure systems in the Gulf of Alaska couple with a massive high pressure system sitting on the coast of California meant big waves and clean conditions.
With most of my surfboards broken due to a road trip along the Central Coast the prior week, my wave-riding choices were limited and not ideal. I awoke early on Wednesday the 3rd, tossed two surfboards and a wetsuit in my car, and anxiously drove to the beach. It was already 80 degrees (27 degrees C) and felt like the middle of summer. The warm, clear weather coupled with light offshore winds foreshadowed epic conditions. As I approached the beach, a double overhead set crested and peeled down the reef. Summer weather, winter waves.
Plenty of surfers were ready to get their share, and plenty of photographers were on hand to catch every moment of the action. Of course, the ocean was ready to fight back, and a handful of surfers came ashore with proof (one unlucky surfer pictured below). After checking a few spots and debating my limited surfboard choices, I joined the lineup at a fickle reef (all pictures above) on my 5'8" single-fin. I surfed for several hours before the tide dropped out, exposing the shallow reef and rendering the waves unsurfable. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome waves and weather last week!