Surf News: Major Set Approaching

The Season's First Big Swell Could Come Next Week

Dem's some big waves.

There is no such thing as a guarantee in the world surf forecasting, but thanks to modern technology we can, at the very least, make some fairly accurate predictions about ocean conditions. With that in mind, any of you who enjoy riding waves or perhaps simply get a kick out of watching Mother Nature flex her ocean muscle should turn eyes to the current data being streamed at Press the play button and prepare to drop your jaw.

Knowing full well that I may be in violation of my own favorite saying-“You can hype the surf but you can’t surf the hype”-I think it is fair to say that Santa Barbara’s winter surf season will officially open sometime during the middle part of next week, with real waves marching straight into the channel and pummeling our usually sleepy coastline. If the color-coded claim of 12- to 17-foot seas, coming from a ideal, straight westerly direction on Wednesday isn’t enough for you, then perhaps you should check out the generally more conservative marine forecasts currently coming from the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office. According to them, the East Santa Barbara Channel buoy-the one that most accurately mirrors near shore swell conditions for SB, Goleta and Carpinteria-should start seeing a steady increase in wave action as early as Tuesday with heights of up to 8 feet by sundown and a continuing building trend through Thursday. Better yet, should you find yourself without a weather box or a computer, simply pick up the phone and call (805) 545-3768 and after the monotone Diablo Canyon forecaster’s voice trails off, immediately begin to develop a game plan for either skipping work or school and dealing with literally thousands of surfers hitting our local lineups.

As I said before, things may not work out the way they look to be developing right now, but given the scale and angle of current models, it is safe to say that even if the surf comes in half as big as is being predicted, we will still enjoy the biggest waves by far of this young season. And, no matter what Mother Nature ultimately decides to deliver to us, you can rest assured that it will be crowded and chaotic. So cross your fingers, get an extra bar of wax or two, and keep your eyes on the wind sports fans

And, for the sake of all of us who stalk empty perfection in and around the 805, please leave your cell phones at home as head out next week-if your friends cant find the jewels on their own then they don’t deserve it.


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