Big Swell Littered with Surfers

Wed. 12/15/07 – 7:20am (PST) – A big storm north of Hawaii has created some lovely waves for the coast of California with Mavericks and Pebble Beach up North getting the BIG waves, but here in SoCal Seal Beach and Sunset Beach were the best positioned for the waves (LA beaches in the lee of the Channel Islands).
Last night at 10pm was the peak of the swell, but this morning was the last of the big waves, so out we went to watch. Most of the swells and waves hitting Seal Beach south of the pier were between 8-12 ft with an occasional peak at 14-16ft. Due to the beach and ocean floor, most of the waves were shore breaks, bad for surfers but decent for the body boarders.
A crowd of hundreds sat or stood up on the sand berm watching about 100 plus surfers and body boards attempt to catch a ride. It was mayhem, waves changing direction, sand bars causing them to gain or lose height at odd times, and too many surfers out on top of each other.
All photos & video taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95. Flickr photo set at
From the surf forecast reports:
Surfline calls today’s swell: “Epic”. (Ms. Jen says: Not quite epic for No. OC)

Pacific Storm & Surf Forecast

On Tuesday (12/4) Northern CA surf was 6 times overhead with washing machine conditions and fog with light wind. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were triple overhead and somewhat warbled with fog. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was double overhead and on the way up. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was up to 1-3 ft overhead early and building steadily.The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest high and clean. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high and building. The North Shore of Oahu was double overhead, maybe a bit more. The South Shore had locally generated windswell. The East Shore has surf to 4 ft overhead at select breaks.

North/Central California was getting pummeled by the meat of Swell #9, even at protected breaks. An epic Mavericks sessions was reported in the afternoon with supposedly 60 ft sheet glass faces ridden by paddle-in surfers. On a sadder note there was reportedly a death at Ghost Tree. Southern California was getting fun sized preliminary energy from Swell #9, but the real core of the swell was still 8 hours off. Hawaii’s North Shore was starting to settle dow a little with the trailing edge of Swell #9 in effect, but down considerably from Monday evenings ragged peak. The big story remains Swell #9, with much size still poised off the California coast and taking aim on Southern CA next. A downward trend is forecast starting Wednesday, but a pair of gales are scheduled to develop, one just north of Hawaii pushing south almost over the Islands mid-week and another off the Central CA coast late in the week setting up raw proto-swell in both locations. After that a much calmer pattern is expected over the entire North Pacific, so get it while it’s here. But be safe, especially in regards to Swell #9. See details below…

(Ms. Jen says: 60ft at Mavericks? Now that is Epic.)