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  1. #1

    beaches without structure

    Seems to me that most breaks that have nearby jetties or piers or whatnot are pretty consistent. I think most everyone will at least agree with me on that. It seems like just about any tide will work on such beaches, seeing as how there is generally one sandbar and it has a gradual slope to it. Often times a large jetty will mimic a point break, offering a single takeoff zone.

    But what about beaches without any structure? Sure they can be good, but so many have funky sandbars that shift around. Here in OC, depending on the swell, certain beaches might break better at dead low or high tide. I find that very few beaches work properly for purposes of surfing between tides.

    It is not my goal to give away spots or anything like that, but I am curious how those of you deal with this type of beach. No consistent takeoff area, waves breaking then hitting deep spots between sandbars, etc. It frustrates me, but I still surf these beaches along with many others in hopes that (we) will someday figure it out. Or figure out how to find that magic sandbar. Or figure out how to drive a minivan out into the break!

  2. #2
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    Thats why almost every surfline report includes the verbiage: "Structured Areas Will Have the most Focus"...

    It has to do with difraction, sand trapping around the structures, wind blockage and many other factors...

    But to answer yoyur question, there is nothing to do about it. Get a board that will pump through the mushy deep sections etc, or go to the inlet or a small jetty where you will probably see everyone else packed in there...

    But the midatlantic has no reefs, no real slabs etc, so the best hope for solid, consitent waev structure is always at a pier or jetty. Look at how much more consistent 48th street has been over the years, and all it has is that tiny little jetty to hold the sandbars up... Its doesnt take much.

  3. #3
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    wide open freedom

  4. #4
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    this is were local knowledge come into play. Some spots work best at lowtide , Some spots work best at mid or high tide. It all comes with experience.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MATT JOHNSON View Post
    this is were local knowledge come into play. Some spots work best at lowtide , Some spots work best at mid or high tide. It all comes with experience.

    exactly.

    this is also where living at the beach & being a local helps. even tho it has been mostly flat the past month or so, i've walked or driven the stretch of beach i surf most frequently nearly every day. that way, i know how the sand is situated, where it's moving, etc... on a flat day w/ a real low tide, you can really see all the holes or shallow spots at a wide open beach break. when there's swell again, i'll know exactly where to paddle out, where to sit, etc...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by njsurfer42 View Post
    exactly.

    this is also where living at the beach & being a local helps. even tho it has been mostly flat the past month or so, i've walked or driven the stretch of beach i surf most frequently nearly every day. that way, i know how the sand is situated, where it's moving, etc... on a flat day w/ a real low tide, you can really see all the holes or shallow spots at a wide open beach break. when there's swell again, i'll know exactly where to paddle out, where to sit, etc...
    Giving away secrets LOL

  7. #7
    Actually at low tide a lot of the jetties here are too shallow to surf on the good days and you have to paddle a 100 yards out to the sandbar where at low tide its pretty consistent. on where it breaks and how. but this is on like head high days. Anything below the sand bars are only good for long boarders at low tide, so you risk your body on the waves at the jetty because it's crazy shallow but its worth it, you get a decent ride, it's just a pain to wipe out and cut yourself up on the bottom.

    This is actually after the beach replenishment too. Before the beach replenishment, the sandbars could only be ridden by long boarders and the beach breaks were close outs but now its better. It took a couple months to show last yea, but once the sand settled it really helped a lot of spots around here. There were some ridiculous waves last fall/ winter and this summer the spots really lit up. It could have been a coincidence with the el nino year and all, but this past fall/beginning of winter has been the same as last year, i don't really think it's a coincidence.

  8. #8
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    also another thing that has to be consideried is the phase the moon is in . This can also have a affect on the size of the tide

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
    . Look at how much more consistent 48th street has been over the years, and all it has is that tiny little jetty to hold the sandbars up... Its doesnt take much.
    I will agree with consistency, but not just due to the small jetty on 48th street. The natural bend in ocean city at 48th is probably more likely the cause. Wave energy in directed towards the headland of the coastline; while this bend is a very slight headland, it may very well be why 48th street has been the go to.

    few spots exist with those conditions in oc.

  10. #10
    yes structures hold waves a little better, but also draw a crowd because they are very noticeable and easy to find. Most people do not either A. Spend the time to drive and check all the beach breaks to find a good wave. they will check one see its not great and then go right to a pier, jetty or groin that is over crowded. When about 6 blocks away its perfect and nobody is out. or B. they just dont have the time or knowledge to figure out which beach breaks are good so they normally just go to structures.

    I surf mainly beach breaks cause living here i am able to know all the best sandbars and watch when they move. If you do the same then you wont find that beaches without structures are that bad