As October brings a chill back into our atmosphere, I can’t help but feel so excited for the northern hemisphere’s cauldron to start brewing some northern juice. Although, the south swell’s warm water temps are welcome to stay, too.
Out of the 12 months, October is one of my most favorite to be a surfer. Southern California pretends its leaves change color, the average temperature still hangs out in the upper 70s and the combo swells and off-shore Santa Ana winds are back on tap.
The bittersweet arrival of these winds not only have the potential to reek firey havoc (if you weren’t one of the many heros to put out the horrendous fires of 2007, don’t lie--where were you surfing?), they also have a potential to create a barrel harvest that could last through the odd Autumn flat spell.
My favorite spots to surf in the fall season are always beach breaks, as they can offer a wide variety of peaks to traverse. There seems to be less fighting in the water this way, although, I still managed to have some Brazilian guy drop in on me at Uppers last week.
Occasionally I chance a Newport visit because during combo swell season, chances are better to score early a.m. barreling beach break with less crowd.
This last week’s session proved that people have not forgotten about Newport Point. Despite the fact that I parked at 7 in the morning, drivers were still on the hunt through the mini concrete jungle for a parking spot and were constantly inquiring about my lucky find.
Sometimes, I feel luckier to have found a parking spot in Newport rather than waves.
Trekking through the sand, the grey skies made for a challenging surf check. It wasn’t until I was standing on the wet sand that I spied chest- to head-high barrels racing across the sandbar.
Decision made, time to surf.
Once I made it out to the wide-spread lineup of Newport Point, I forgot about the annoying north sweeping current and met the south side of Newport Pier several times, but nevertheless had a fun session of barrels, closeouts and face-to-face sandbar encounters.
The only thing missing were my Santa Ana winds, but in retrospect, they can cause fires and sinus issues, so my glassy morning barrels were much obliged.
But if the Santa Ana’s decide to show up some time soon, I welcome it. Besides, we've had a wet winter, and who needs Tylenol Sinus when the Pacific is pounding into your face?
Sinus problem solved.