South Pacific – Labor Day Potential

South Pacific Swell Wave Height - August 28, 18:00 UTC

Swell Wave Heights for August 28 at 18:00 UTC as of 8/21/12 06:00 UTC

The long range forecast for the South Pacific is currently showing a potential swell that, if the model holds together, would deliver waves to Southern California during the latter half of the Labor Day weekend. The 180-hour outlook has been a bit agressive this summer, with storm systems falling apart before really reaching their potential, so don’t get too excited just yet.


Update as of August 22, 2012 at 23:00 PDT – What were we saying about downgrades? The expected swell height (132 hour run) is shown below. Still, it’s better than nothing and actually above average for this bummer of a summer.

Swell Wave Heights for August 28 at 18:00 UTC as of 8/23/12 06:00 UTC

Forecast Southern California/

Hurricane Emilia Enters Southern California Swell Window

Hurricane Emilia (2012)

Hurricane Emilia vs. Hurricane Eugene (2011)

Hurricane Emilia entered the Southern California swell window yesterday at Category 2 strength, but continued to intensify overnight, reaching Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. As of 8:00 a.m. PDT (NHC Advisory #12), Emilia is moving west-northwest (285°) at approximately 10 mph, with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 35 miles. Emilia is expected to gradually weaken beginning tonight, and continue weakening through Thursday, July 12th. The track model guidance predicts continued west-northwest movement, with a late westward turn, with only a slight change in speed.

The image above includes the best track data for Hurricane Eugene (2011), which entered the Southern California swell window on August 2, 2011 as a Category 2 hurricane and later intensified to Category 4. Looking at the historical wave observation data from the Point Loma station on Friday, August 5, 2011, reveals a steady pulse of South energy in the 3-5 foot at 13-15 seconds.

Primary Swell at Point Loma – Friday, August 5th, 2011

Although a northerly track is more favorable for Southern California surf production (the majority of a hurricane’s swell energy is focused along its path), Emilia is moving WNW at a slightly slower pace than Eugene did (10 mph vs. 14 mph), which gives the wind more time to transfer energy onto the sea surface. The latest forecast model for the Point Loma buoy shows a small, moderate-period SSE pulse arriving Thursday (July 12, 2012), with continued moderate south swell through the weekend (3 feet at 10 seconds). However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upgrade in the forecast, particularly for late Thursday into Friday, if Emilia maintains major hurricane strength and a relatively slow pace (10 mph or less).

Point Loma, CA – 5-Day Forecast as of 11 p.m. on July 9, 2012

I’d recommend keeping an eye on the Point Loma 5-day forecast over the next few days to see how things shape up. Given how dismal this summer has been so far in California, it’s definitely something to get excited about. Just how excited depends on what Emilia does in the next 24-48 hours.

Forecast Southern California/

Surf Credits – Give Back to the Places You Surf

Surf Credits is a groundbreaking partnership between 3 non-profits, the San Diego State University Center for Surf Research, the Surf Resource Network, and iJourneyGreen. Here’s how it works. You go to the Surf Credits website, select a destination you want to support, then select a non-profit organization working that destination you want to support. Go to the check out and buy one or more $25 tax deductible surf credits. 83% goes to the non-profits in destinations and related research. In return for the Surf Credit you get discount coupons.

“There is nothing else out there like this that makes it easy for us as surfers to give back to the communities and environments in the surf destinations we love.”

“We think this is a pretty innovate program” said Dr Jess Ponting, Director of the San Diego State University Center for Surf Research. “There is nothing else out there like this that makes it easy for us as surfers to give back to the communities and environments in the surf destinations we love. There is definitely nothing else out there that rewards you for giving back through discounts with our corporate partners and high value giveaway draw prizes like a free stay at Tavarua” said Ponting. “We’re completely stoked with the reception and support we’ve had to this idea from the surf industry and from the surfing public. This is a program where everyone wins”.

The program debuted this month at the 2012 Volcom Fiji Pro, with benefits going towards two local non-profits: Loloma Foundation (medical aid org in Fiji) and Give Clean Water (water filters to villages, very important after recent record flooding in Fiji). Additional destinations currently supported by Surf Credits include Bali, the Mentawai Islands, Costa Rica and Peru. For a full list of destinations, and more information about the Surf Credits program, check out their site surfcredits.org.

Good Surfing/

Volcom Fiji Pro Runs 2 Heats, Calls it Quits

Volcom Fiji Pro

Sure there are a lot of logistics to consider. Producing a webcast from a remote region of the south Pacific has got to be a challenge. I’m not in Fiji, so I don’t know how much gear was broken down from the scaffolding, boated over to Restaurants, only to be returned to Cloudbreak. And yes, there was some bump on the face, making for less-than-perfect conditions. But the reality is that the ASP’s willingness to run in solid 15-foot surf was challenged today and they backed down. After 80 minutes of competition (props to the four contestants in the final two heats of round 2) the contest was put on hold.

In defense of the ASP, the forecast is calling for solid SSW energy over the next few days. Contestable conditions (perhaps even bigger than today) are expected throughout the weekend, and with seven days left in the holding period, there’s good reason to lay off the trigger.

Whether round three paddles out at Cloudbreak or Restaurants has yet to be determined, but it’s unlocked a Pandora’s box of questions for the contest officials, as well as the ASP in general. The first and foremost being, why didn’t the Volcom Fiji Pro run more than two heats today?

Beeru Guy

Fishing and drinking beer is great. But if you’re paid to surf, shouldn’t you have the skills and confidence to step up? It’s one thing to work all winter saving money for your summer surf trip to Fiji, or get a job on Tavarua as a boatman, but if you’re one of the top 36 surfers in the world lucky enough to get into the event, shouldn’t you be prepared for anything?

The world saw what Cloudbreak was capable of in 2011. Patagonia delivered it to mailboxes across the globe. It’s ridiculous to think that the ASP should shy away from today’s conditions. I’m sorry, but professional surfers in 2012 should be able to handle any and all conditions. If tour members have to compete in shoulder-high onshore mush, they should be equally prepared for triple-overhead reef breaks. Not to say that the ASP elite weren’t ready and able, but the free surfers were the hungriest of the bunch.

That being said, Cloudbreak is expected to continue its XXL push through tomorrow, so Saturday will provide another opportunity for the ASP to make a decision. Sure the wind might not be right, the swell unmanageable, but the world will be watching. If the ASP flinches, no matter the reason, expect criticism from an audience that expects the most celebrated surfers to tackle the most extreme conditions mother nature can create. Isn’t that the point?

Contest South Pacific Surfing/

XXL Swell Approaching Volcom Fiji Pro

An XXL-sized swell is about to collide with the ASP again this year, this time at the 2012 Volcom Fiji Pro. With conditions forecast to top out around 12 feet at 17 seconds, this upcoming swell is expected to be a touch smaller than 2011’s tube-fest that produced both Monster Tube and Ride of the Year XXL award nominations. This time around though, Kelly doesn’t have to skip the event to score massive Cloudbreak.

Here’s a look at how the primary swell data stacks up, with the 2011 swell first, followed by the forecast for Friday and Saturday. Long-period (20-second) forerunner energy is expected early Friday morning, with swell heights building throughout the day and reaching 12-feet by dark. Solid SSW energy continues to pour in on Saturday, with consistent swell conditions of 12 feet at 16 seconds (208°) expected.

While this swell isn’t expected to reach last year’s peak of 14 feet at 17 seconds, it will provide the largest surf contested so far by the ASP elite during the 2012 season. If the footage from last year’s swell is any indication, it’s definitely going to be a webcast worth tuning into.

Member Bonus: Here’s a link to the July 12, 2011 forecast (requires a Buoy Alarm account).

Contest Forecast South Pacific Surfing/