…Oh summer water…. glassy, greenish blue, glorious, warm, all enveloping, salty, delicious summer water. And, you too, early summer South Swells, with your long lines, pick and choose corners, head high, speedy, down the line, shining like a diamond waves*. I can’t get enough of you. You could come and stay year round and I would never burn out on your allure. Is there anyone who doesn’t love you? Is there anyone who doesn’t immediately want to call in sick to work when they see your pending arrival on the surf report…?
This is a magic time of year. May, much like September, has all the textures, sounds, and feels of summertime with none of the crowds, long lines, lack of parking, clogged up freeways, and even more clogged up surf breaks. You know, as year round residents of the Southern California, we all have a teeny “nnnoooooooooooooooo…. wwhhhhhyyyyyyy….. how are there SO many of you, where did you all come from, and how did you all coordinate to show up at exactly the same time on exactly the same date???” mentality when it comes to our beaches and the summer crowds… (ok, I’m probably exaggerating, there are at least 4 less O’s in most locals cry of No ;) ) But, right now, today, with this beautiful pre-July 88 degree day on tap, and this sizable swell in the water. This is a fine day to live at the beach. A day like today makes me remember my favorite saying about real estate prices in Costal OC.. “It’s not that the prices are high for what you get, it’s that they are not high enough for what you get.”
So here it is. This is our time. Before the June gloom takes over the mornings and before the train starts to drop off the visitors, this is our time. The first South Swells of summer are lighting up the coast! Parking is ample, the freeways are free, the water is warm, the surf is glorious… and it’s all ours for a few more weeks! So get down here, you local. Gt your feet in the sand, get your board in the water, get your bronze on. Bring your bbq, some wood for the bonfire, spray yourself down in Coppertone… Your beaches are waiting for you! Happy May So Cal, it’s our time… see you in the water and on the sand!
*Waves Explained from our friends at Magic Seaweed ::
In a perfect world a wave looks very simple. The height of a wave is the total distance from it’s peak to it’s trough. The period is the time, in seconds, that it takes for a first then second wave to pass the same point. In other words the time in seconds between successive peaks or troughs. Interestingly for us as surfers this number is consistently related to both a swells speed and the depth of water in which it can start to react with the seabed. This makes it something of a magic number for determining how a swell will transform itself into surf at your beach (something we’ll continue to cover in detail) and at least as important as the height of the swell.
The direction is exactly as it sounds – the direction in which the swell is heading. This is typically expressed in compass points (North, East, South, SW) or degrees (180, 270) and, while there’s no absolute convention surf forecasters tend to talk about the direction the swell is coming from. So a south swell is one that is heading from the south to the north, it could also be described as having a direction of 180 degrees.