I know somewhere in this blogs archive I’ve mentioned how in the old days we didn’t have surf forecasts. The way you found out if there was surf or not was to go to the beach. If there was surf you saw it.. and surfed it. If there was no surf? Well you just hang at the beach or went home.
As time went on there were radio surf reports that you could catch sometimes if you knew what radio station had them and when they were broadcast. But they weren’t forecasts they were reports on what the local conditions were like and surf size was at any given spot. They were dependent on the person actually going to the beach and seeing what the conditions and surf was like.
Fast forward to now…. We have forecasters that post on the internet when a swell is headed our way, giving us plenty of time to plan our days and schedules for when the swells show up.
There were 2 south swells forecast this August. Both hit on Fridays one week apart. I always look forward to these summer swells. I also like surfing early morning during summer so will head down even when the forecast is for smaller surf. Normally there is a crew of surfers on any given morning that get in the water almost everyday…. unless it’s completely junk or flat. But when there is an announced and forecast swell suddenly every body and all their friends, brothers and sisters come down to get the good stuff.
It’s amazing how people come out of the woodwork for these announced swells. The odd thing to me is the number of people that get in the water that really have no business being in the water when there is a swell. Their surfboards are attached to their foot and are soft so the consequences of floundering and falling are nil…. Except if they get in the way of someone actually surfing.
My question to the surf forecasters that not only forecast when swells will arrive at our beaches but that also say in their forecasts when the best times of the day are to take advantage of optimum conditions…. Do you guys think you should be responsible for the hyped up novice surfer getting hurt during a swell event?
Here’s how it happens… I take off on a set wave and am flying down the line because the waves are pretty good long walls. As I come down into the inside section all of a sudden someone is going straight down the wave face in front of me. I move up the wave face to skirt by them but, they can’t get to their feet without falling. I try my best in a split second to not run them over… but no, they get hit by my fin. Fortunately on the arm… if it was their head who knows how that would’ve turned out like. This happened the last swell we had a couple weeks ago.
Last year it happened twice in the same day. You forecaster guys need to encourage the novice surfer to stay out of the water when there is some sizable surf, warn them of the dangers of surfing in crowded line ups and let them know that days when the surf is smaller are the days to learn and practice advancing their surfing skills.