Swell- Size, Angle, Period + Weather- Wind, Tide, Clouds + Crowd- Forecast, Expectations, Ability Level = Skunk or Score


THE surf forecast for last week on the Straits of Juan de Fuca looked as good as it has in a while. Still, all the elements that go from a breeze miles away to rollicking rollers doesn’t always come together. Maybe, especially, around here. Waves are fickle, perfect-seeming buoy readings can produce… nothing, almost nothing, or, most frustrating, waves tantalizingly close to rideable.

AND then there’s the other crucial element, LIFE; which, for most of us, means WORK takes precedence over something as self-centered as SURFING, the riding and/or attempting to ride a few waves. And then there’s the difference between what we hope for, wave-wise, session-wise, performance-wise; always seeking great rides on great waves, and what we get. Often, most often, less; or nothing. SKUNKED. Still, last week there were some waves for the persistent, the lucky, and, and, yeah, some of the better-known spots got crowded; not Trestles or Rincon or Swamis crowded; but weekday-northwest crowded.

STILL, and again, and always, if I’m praying for surf; and I’ve been known to, I first want waves, then good waves, then great waves. I’m tempted to say dealing with the fear of, or, really, the fear of the potential for the crowd factor comes in later in the SCHEMING/PREPARING/HEADING OUT process, but, not really knowing whether forecasts and (even) buoy reports will translate into pumping surf, but high on anticipation, getting into an unwanted caravan with two other vehicles with boards on them on the dry side of Port Angeles tends to make me feel the jockeying for position has already started. And it’s not even the weekend! And I worked my ass off to get a day off! And, who the hell are these other surfers, anyway?

BUT, I did get lucky. However, I surfed waves that started out barely rideable, most of the crowd watching the one guy in the water. Surfers chatted on the beach, took naps, left to check other spots. Some went home. Four hours later, many more surfers in the water and the waves better.  I was surfed out. Sated, satisfied, even glowing from more than the sun. I have a couple more stories from my day, surfing with God (not ‘a’ god), and “MoonBoy,” but they’ll have to wait. The photos are from places, evidently, all named ‘Secrets,’ and, really, I think the right hand break is in Canada. Must be.  And so, we check the forecasts, check our schedules. If I could go today, I’d bet on the coast. Yeah; If… when… checking the forecast, thinking about my schedule… SCHEMING.

I’m afraid to give credit to the photographers or name the spots from the photos. It’s Clint on the wave with the rocks, though, when I guessed the spot, I got it wrong. I still think the other photos are from Canada. A right on the Straits is a very rare wave. BUT, YEAH, I do want to ride it.


2 thoughts on “Swell- Size, Angle, Period + Weather- Wind, Tide, Clouds + Crowd- Forecast, Expectations, Ability Level = Skunk or Score

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