The first real swell of the season arrives at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. The buoys on Saturday were reading 15 ft. at 20 seconds (Somehow hardly any of this swell filtered down to Southern California). Ocean Beach was huge. A few local chargers managed a few giant waves dodging clean up sets. Link to the full size slideshow on Flickr.
Cory Lopez and crew headed off to Africa and discover a once in a lifetime wave. The wave is Skeleton Bay in Africa and was also featured in this month surfing magazine under the Google Earth Challenge (read the winner, Brian Gable’s account of searching, finding, and surfing this wave).
In 1999, California instituted state wide water quality monitoring at beaches to help ensure that the water is safe for water activities. It’s a great feature of California environmental policy and model for other states.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has cut all funding (approximately $1 million per year) for beach water quality monitoring throughout the state. This sudden and unexpected action has gutted the country’s most extensive and progressive beach water quality monitoring and public health notification program. As a result, San DiegoCounty (who received the biggest share of the state funds) has already suspended their monitoring program and other coastal counties may soon follow suit.
Without regular beach monitoring, surfers, swimmers and other beach-goers will be completely in the dark about water quality at their beach. Essentially, a “swim or surf at your own risk” sign just went up all along the California coast.
California‘s beaches generate $14 billion in direct revenue. The elimination of $1 million in state funding for beach testing may have human health and economic impacts that far exceed the cost of the monitoring program.
Send a message today to tell Governor Schwarzenegger and your state legislators to restore funding for the state’s beach water quality monitoring program and keep our beaches safe.
MySpaceTV has a good interview with Kelly Slater post 9th world title win. Nothing surprising in the video, but great footage. Don’t expect Kelly to be retiring anytime soon. The second clip is more footage of Kelly killing it on waves all over the world.
Even Pipeline chargers get bored. So Jamie Sterling for reasons unclear starts off a road trip somewhere in Texas to drive to Puerto Escondido for the Mexican Pipeline. The first two videos of the series on RedBullSurfing.com show exactly why it’s a worthless idea to fly from Hawaii to Texas just so you can then backtrack 700 miles to Arizona to drive down to Mexico. The third video installation though shows what we all dream of at Puerto. Long glassy roping barrelling waves. In fact, the waves are so good and long they don’t even look like the beach break Puerto we’ve all heard of.
Surfing Magazine announced the 2008 Follow the Light Finalists. Follow the Light Foundation, formed in the honor of the late photo legend Larry “Flame” Moore, is set to choose the third recipient of its $5,000 grant dedicated to the art of surf photography.
Here are the finalists:
Ryan Craig, Santa Cruz
Strengths: “Ryan Craig has a great usage of light. In particular, one of his photos from the Hook in Santa Cruz. He also probably has the strongest composition out of everyone.”
Todd Glaser, San Diego
Strengths: “Glaser’s strength is pure well-roundedness. He can do it all and thinks about it all on a particular trip. How am I going to capture the lifestyle, the lineups, the water shots, the mood?”
Zak Noyle, Hawaii
Strengths: “Zak had one of the strongest essays – what he would be doing with the grant money. He also has a shot of a Teahupo’o barrel – side angle and black and white – that really stood out. Intimate, up-close big-wave photography.”
Shawn Parkin, San Clemente
Strengths: “Shawn Parkin’s strengths were capturing heavily photographed waves in an all-new style. Some very unique angles of Trestles.”
Pat Ruddy, Florida
“Ruddy’s moody photography is really strong. They had the strongest ‘feel’ overall.”
I showed up at Huntington Beach on Saturday morning to gentle offshores and pumping lined-up swell. It was double overhead on sets. Unfortunately, I had read surfline’s forecast that predicted 2-4 ft. surf so I had my fish and was a bit undergunned. The swell ended up lasting from Thursday to Tuesday, lighting up SoCal with a mix of Northwest and Southwest Swells. Here’s what it looked like from above (from Surfline):
The Southern California Surf Forecast blog posted some great shots by Toby of an Orange County beach break, here’s one from their post. The second shot is of Malibu from Surfline’s photo feature on the same swell.
Fergal Smith, 21, was two miles off the coast of Perth in Western Australia when he caught a wave. Fergal, of County Mayo, Ireland, only realised he was inches from the shark when photographer Phil Gallagher showed him the photo.
Contributors to Australia’s Surfing Life magazine awarded Fergal the “Euro surf-dude of the month” award. ASL website reads: “Just imagine being in the barrel and looking at a massive shark like you’re at the bloody aquarium or something. Hats off to you Fergal Smith, you’re our Euro surf-dude of the month.”
Photographer Phil Gallagher, 29, from Perth, said: “Great Whites are common out here but I have never seen one that near to a surfer before.” Fergal Smith said he “couldn’t help but laugh” when he saw the photograph but added that his mother Brid, 51, had “freaked out big time”. He added: “I saw a grey shape in the wave but I thought it was the reflection of a slab of rock – how wrong was I?”
Since 1876 Great White sharks have been responsible for 65 deaths and 242 recorded non-fatal attacks worldwide. Australia has had the most fatal Great White attacks in the world with 27 deaths, the most recent in 2005.
Check out all the latest shark news on Surftherenow.com here.