If you’ve been watching the news, or if you are one of the guys who keep a close eye one where the next best wave is going to be – you are probably already hanging out in California. Waves there are their highest in years.
A storm in Tahiti, 4,000 miles away from the west coast of America, has created a swell that has reached the coast of southern California in 4 days. That storm, coupled with a high tide, has created monster waves that have been pounding the coastline. 20 ft waves + are the norm – fabulous for extreme surfers, but very dangerous conditions for people not used to the brutality of these big waves. There has already been one death and the life guards are pulling out hundreds of bruised, battered and exhausted surfers daily.
The Wedge, which we have profiled before (I’ve found some more extreme waves…), has been benefiting from this swell with huge waves of over 20 ft. With its exposure to south swells and its unique wave shape, the wave comes in, ricochets off the jetty that guards the harbour mouth, rejoins and reinforces the waves coming straight in and forms towering peaks.
This is NOT a wave to take lightly. It can also be especially dangerous because the waves break close to shore, with little water to cushion the falls of body surfers and board riders before they hit the sand.
Laird Hamilton is there – of course he would be – but with a word of sage advice for all surfers: “if you, for one second, lose your train of thought, you’re going to panic… If you’re somebody who don’t know what they’re doing out there, and they weren’t wearing flotation devices, I mean, you’d be hauling them in. There’d be an ambulance there every day…”
So be careful everyone…
People rushed to the coastline to see the waves as they have been so incredible…