A Tale of Two Breaks

25 02 2016

This is a strange swell.  Two different breaks; two different swells.

Here is a screenshot of the Surfline report for Sandspit, in Santa Barbara, California yesterday afternoon as the new swell worked its way down from north to south along the coast.  Looks kinda fun, right?  Typical winter swell, right?

sandspit

It was amusing to watch it in live action.  The dense crowd looked like a flock of ducks fighting the current in a river.  They would all paddle with their noses in the same direction, even though the current was much stronger and faster than they could hope to paddle against.  They would all paddle toward the jetty.  Then the backwash would suck them all out and to the left.  Like the ducks, no real chance to paddle into the ideal position.  Just turn and go.  If you got in the right spot, you were assured of a fun little barrel.  If not, you either became one with the backwash, flying into the air, or you were dropped into the sand with the surfer next to you scrambling to get out of the way.  The swell direction seemed pretty good for Sandspit.

Looking for good waves along the coast to the south, they were few and far between. They either had size and lousy shape or they were too small to be fun.  Something was just a little strange about the swell’s behavior.

Then, this morning it happened.

Our favorite spot lit up!

trestles report

Strangely enough, the strong typhoon-driven swell from the W/WNW that closed the North Shore (Hawaii) beaches manifested itself as more of a southwest swell.  As with most west swells, just a couple degrees of direction can dramatically change where the waves will be good and where they won’t even show up.  I guess it mixed in with a little bit of pure south swell.  As a result, Surfline is calling Trestles “Good” today, a designation seldom used in this area.

Most of us usually don’t like a “Good” designation because it tends to draw a bigger crowd to deal with, but it sure is fun to see our favorite spot start the summer season a little early. So, come on down and join The Crowd.





Can you say pancake?

16 12 2015
flat trestles

Source: Surfline Upper Trestles report — December 16, 2015 8:15 am PST

Enough said.  Time to settle in for the cold, rainy winter.

Or, at least until the Gulf of Alaska really kicks in at just the right angle.  In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye on spots to the north and south.





2015 Hurley Pro Trestles — Results

19 09 2015

A week of excellent “skateboard park” waves at Lowers for the first five rounds!  An unbelievable air save by Kelly that only got a 4.17.  A ton of solid surfing by just about all the contestants.

Then, very close rounds from the quarters to the final, with a little controversy for spice.

The 2015 Hurley Pro Trestles is done, finished.  The Champ — Mick Fanning.  Nice to see him on the podium again as he extends an incredible career.  And, Mick has definitely shaken off that shark bump thing.

With an impressive lineup in the parallel universe of the 2015 Swatch Women’s Pro, we were treated to a show that is the women’s WSL.  The women killed it as they wrapped up their event.  The Champ — Carissa Moore.

Congratulations to both of our new Trestles Champs!  Come back and join the Crowd when things quiet down.

For more info, go to The WSL Events Website.





Trestles Surf Report — September 7, 2015

8 09 2015

Wow!  What a day!

It started with a full parking lot by 5:45 am.  Followed by full Cristianitos Road street parking by 6:00 am.

Everyone’s expectations were mostly kept pretty low for getting waves to oneself on this likely the most crowded surf day of the year.  Fortunately, there was a substantial swell that provided some size.  Unfortunately, at most tides there were lulls that allowed everyone to reload,

Bike Traffic on the Busiest Day of the Year -- Uppers

Bike Traffic on the Busiest Day of the Year — Uppers

meaning the crowd was not spread out temporally (ie, the surfers who caught the previous set of waves have enough time to paddle back out to the lineup before the next set).

First stop:  Lowers.

There were at least 100 people in the “slot” at Lowers, from the guys acting as “indicators” on the outside to the groms on the inside.  It was possible to get some boomers to yourself, but you had to paddle for a lot of party waves first.  Warm water, mens and womens pros sprinkled through the crowd, and lots of competitive juice flowing through everyone.  Got about 10 waves, then paddle, paddle, paddle to  . . .

Second stop:  Uppers

Even more people, though they were spread out from Barbed Wires to the Bay.  Definitely some sneakers coming through.  Swing, stab, and go.  It was also a little more consistent than Lowers this time.  Lots of waves, but lots of surfers.  Nice long rights, with lots of speed and energy.  Sometimes the walls would gobble you up.

That’s the Trestles report in a nutshell.  But, there were waves everywhere along the coast.  I  thought Kayo was crazy peddling back to his car at 6:00 am, mumbling something about checking out Doho.  Looking at the Doheny camera this evening, now I see what he was talking about.  Check out this report from Surfline; only “good” rating on the coast.  Hmmmm.

Source: Surfline Doheny Beach camera/report

Source: Surfline Doheny Beach camera/report

Everyone is getting pumped up for the 2015 Hurley Pro at Trestles, with its window being from Wednesday, September 9 through September 20.

Parking will be interesting.  For those planning to attend the event, you likely won’t be able to find parking at the Trestles lot near Carl’s Jr.  It will be full by about 6:30 am at the latest due to the swell.  So, just follow the event signage to the official parking area.  That will work best for everyone, surfers and spectators alike.

With that said, do plan on attending the event.  The lineup is incredible this year for both men and women.  And, it looks like there will be waves throughout the entire window, though they may vary in height a bit.  Weather is perfect as well.  What an idyllic place to enjoy some of the best surf and surfers in the world.

Welcome to the Crowd, where respect is mutual and expected.

That’s the report for this week.  Surf’s up!





September to Remember

4 09 2015

That’s what we are all hoping for.

Since June when we called it in our “June Gloom” post, the Summer of 2015 was not much to talk about.  A lot of low energy, small surf with a few single-day, mid-sized tropical swells.

The last week has been nothing but chaotic at Trestles. Multi-directional simultaneous fat swells, with heavy south wind most of the day, has at least made for some fun skateboard ramps.  The other day at Lowers there were three very distinct swells in the water.  Every wave was different from the last.  WNW, SSW, SSE.  We weren’t complaining because it was head high, but it was just odd.

Here is the overview from Surfline’s HurricaneTrak today.  Note the multiple tropical and extra-tropical swells in the northern Pacific, along with a lot of swell activity emanating from the southern Pacific.  We are supposed to get a fairly good run of swell over the next week, but it all looks a bit chaotic, to say the least.  Superimpose water in the high seventies (F) and it is just a bit odd.

Source: Surfline HurricaneTrak; September 3, 2015

Source: Surfline HurricaneTrak; September 3, 2015

One surfer said he surfed 56th Street in Newport on Monday.  One minute, the WNW waves were washing from north to south across the groin, the next minute the SSW dropped a bomb of a wall across the entire Echo Bay.  The WNW felt like a full-on winter swell, but nobody in the water had a wetsuit on.  Odd!

Everyone is talking about the “Godzilla El Nino” that is predicted by some forecasters.  Surfers are pulling out their “step ups” and watching the buoy’s.

Will it be a “Phantom El Nino” instead?

Maybe El Nino is already having its effect — chaos, warm water, and unpredictability.  Or, maybe that is just the climate change that some say doesn’t exist.

Regardless of whether (or weather) the big surf shows up, this is still likely to be a “September to Remember.”

Oh, and as always, some fun waves show up just in time for the pro’s as they fly in for the Hurley Pro at Lowers.  Unfortunately, it looks like it then flattens out when the competition window opens up from September 9 thru 20.  Hopefully, they can get in the water earlier as opposed to later.

Source: Surfline South Orange County Regional Forecast; September 3, 2015

Source: Surfline South Orange County Regional Forecast; September 3, 2015

With that said, the National Weather Service has predicted a busy tropical storm season for the northern Pacific.  So, maybe something significant will pop onto the radar in the next couple weeks.  Last year, Hurricane Marie created Big Wednesday on August 27, 2014.  This year, we are still on the K’s, with Tropical Storm Kevin sending some of the waves next week.  It’s not inconceivable for us to roll into the M’s by September 15 or so.  Could there be a Hurricane Maria waiting in the wings to provide some drone fodder on our So Cal shorelines for the contest?

Laird, how’s the Malibu Pier look from underneath at 20 knots?  Got some SUP’s to share with some pro friends?

Anyway, make sure you stop by the Hurley Lowers Pro and welcome all those world travelers to the Crowd.

Let’s make this a September to Remember.





Great White Sharks at Trestles — Again

6 08 2015

Today’s surf session was mostly forgettable, except . . .

About 9:00 am, we were all looking outside for that infrequent set wave when several of us got a good, fairly closeup view of this:

Yep, an  8′ great white shark breaching about 25 yards outside the lineup.  The author was lucky enough to be the person closest to the event.  It appeared to be jumping for one of those large warm water fish that have been hanging out on the Southern California coast for the last year or so.

This photo was clipped from a travel site.  Nobody got a photo of our shark.  But, we got pretty much the same view as this photo, except the shark was completely out of the water,  with its spine perfectly vertical.  It was definitely a shark, not a dolphin.

According to some articles, sharks breach, completely jumping out of the water, to surprise their prey with a speedy ascent from the bottom.  We were all just glad we weren’t the prey in this case.

Our first reaction was “Was that what I think it was?” followed by “Yeah, let’s get out of here quick!”  As it turned out, one of the bigger sets of the morning was just rolling through.  So, several of us seemed to reach the beach simultaneously.  We all looked at each other quizzically and decided it was definitely not time to go in.  After all, we are always surrounded by sharks of some variety.  We just got to see this one up close and personal.

This one may, or may not, have been the same 8′ shark that got hooked and released at San Clemente Pier a few weekends ago.  And, the media have been filled with So Cal sharks stories over the last year.  Trestles was even closed a couple months ago when the lifeguards thought the shark(s) were potentially aggressive.  Still, nothing more than a nose bump for a couple surfers.  The experts say these juveniles are more afraid of us than we are of them.  Some of us are just wondering what we will think when they are no longer juveniles and take us for sea lions.

Sweet dreams tonight.  Supposedly more swell on the way tomorrow.  You might want to wear less black wetsuit and stop imitating seals.





Double Barrel — Really?

5 08 2015

Thanks go out to Ruben Pina for the photos in this clip.  Not sure how much PhotoShop he used.

Yes, it really does happen — usually when you aren’t ready for it — a double barrel wave at Upper Trestles.  It seems to only happen when the swell direction is just right, and even then only when the backwash and cross waves cooperate.

Watch this funny clip.

The “double” part is at the very end.  Hard to see from this angle.

Not really impressive, but fun all the same.

Happy hunting among the Crowd for one of these.

 








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