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!


Summer 2015 Is Here — Or At The Wedge, That Is

4 05 2015

Ok, all you Wedgees out there. Yes, summer has hit early this year.   And, it’s only May 4th!

You can see by this screenshot from Surfline that the Wedge in Newport Beach has some real waves. Maybe not Puerto Escondido’s 25 to 35 feet, but real all the same.

Clear the beach. Set at the Wedge!

Clear the beach. Set at the Wedge!

Everyone under the age of 30 should surf it big on a short board once in his/her life just to remind you that you are alive, at least til you hit the bottom. The cross wave that sweeps across the screen (not shown) from left to right, has a habit of sucking the bottom right out of the wave and wedging the top into the sky an extra 30%. Thus, the name the wedge. Making it down the face on your feet is glorious!  Not making it, not so much. Usually it involves some sort of back breaking arch or pile driving header.  There is nothing like peeking over the lip, thinking you’re in, then realizing you needed much more board speed.  It’s not just normal rolling wave action.  The surging wedge action actually increases the water surface speed up the wave’s face under your board faster than you can accelerate, leaving you behind.

Makes the 6′ to 10′ waves at our favorite Uppers look like child’s play. But, at least we don’t put the local lifeguards in danger.

Spencer Purdy and all your friends at the Wedge–you show us what real surfing spills and thrills are all about. Rock on!

[Written from Tokyo–first Uppers action I’ve missed in person in a long time–so, take a couple for me.  Enjoy!]

Was Big Wednesday Really That Big?

19 09 2014

No doubt Hurricane Marie, along with some background south swell, brought Southern and Central California some powerful waves on Wednesday,  August 27, 2014.  Some Newport local friends of mine referred to it as “dangerous.”  But, based on a simple poll of long-time surfers, the waves were not the largest to hit our beaches in recent decades.

What made this swell event stand out to most was the power of the waves.  And, since there were multiple directions of swell in the water simultaneously, the waves at most south-swell spots were surging, washing, churning and shifting.  As a result, only a few classic hurricane swell focal points were able to pick up the swell with any clarity.  My poll leaves these as the main spots that were rideable.

  1. Lower Trestles
  2. Cotton’s Point
  3. Doheny
  4. Laguna Main Beach (Brooks Street to Rockpile)
  5. Scotchman’s Cove (and the cliff at El Moro)
  6. Newport Harbor Entrance
  7. The Wedge
  8. Newport Point (16th to 18th, but no “secondary peak”)
  9. Malibu
  10. Other unidentified points

Everything else was pretty much unmakeable.  A paddle out meant getting battered by non-stop sets. Even if you made it out, you didn’t get more than one or two waves and, even with a vigorous paddle, you got washed down the beach.

Our favorite spot, Uppers, was maxed out.  There were some rideable waves, but there were a lot that were not.  The surf was very disorganized and shifting all the way from the point to Five-O’s.  In fact, Five-O’s was closed out for the most part.  We have definitely surfed larger and better shaped waves at Uppers.

Newport Point was a standout, mostly because of the number of professional surfers that showed up on Wednesday.  Judging by the photos, it was firing.  We heard the statement we’ve heard in the past:  “The Point is like the Pipeline of Southern California.”  See Surfline’s Newport Point photo page.  Having grown up at the Point, I have to say again that it wasn’t the biggest or best I’ve seen, but it was definitely on.

What was interesting is the effect this surf event had on all of Southern California.  The national news was showing footage and all the social media was on fire with photos.  You could feel the energy in the air, even inland.  By the weekend, a lot of surfers were walking around with contentment on their faces and took a few days off reflecting on the after glow.

Funny things happened.  7-11 sold out of surfboard wax.  The surfboard shops emptied their racks of “step up” boards.  And, everyone  in the water seemed to have a new respect for one another–mostly because there were plenty of waves for everyone who was willing to stroke in.

Was Big Wednesday really that big?  It was big enough; enough to recalibrate our surf meters and prepare us for the rest of the busiest tropical storm season in northeastern Pacific in a couple decades.

Victory at Sea

22 12 2009

Yes–another day at the computer instead of in the water.  See, it was a “Victory at Sea” day in OC.

NBC Productions in cooperation with the US Navy

Have you ever wondered where that description of surfing conditions actually came from?

Well, here it is.  Back in World War II, the Navy used a series of newsreels to explain to the American people how the Navy operates.  Somewhere along the line, probably before the 1960’s one of our surfing brethren must have stumbled out of the theatre, checked out the latest conditions and made the connection.  Thanks to him, we have our own shorthand for “crappy, blown out” conditions.

Check out the first installment in the series by viewing the video below.  What else do you have to do today? It’s a victory at sea day.