I'm checking some cams from southern california on surfline and all the reports say "poor quality water avoid contact for 72 hours" and one even says "beach closed raw sewage discharged from tijuana river". I know it doesn't rain alot there so when it does rain all the crap goes in all at once but that sounds ridiculous! So my two questions are; how "safe" is our water after a rain? I've never heard of any warnings like that here and, Is southern california worth a surf trip? I heard there's oil rigs at huntington beach just off the beach and it's insanely crowded and topping it off with raw sewage from the tijuana river isn't encouraging me to buy a ticket anytime soon. Wondering if any fellow east coasters have been out there and how there surf compares to ours.
It is definitely worth a trip out. It is a totally different world. My brother moved out there about 7 years ago and I head out a couple times a year to visit him. He first lived in Huntington which is good to experience once.
California is a great place to take a roadtrip along the coast. So many neat spots, a lot of well known ones and for good reason. My brother now lives in Manhattan beach which sees a lot of walled up sets.
We went to San Onofre one day and it was amazing. About shoulder high and your legs got tired by the end of the wave it broke so long.
In all, its definitely something everyone should experience. Better if you have someone to show you around though. This is also a good general reference if you have no other resources:
definitely a fun place. A few years back I did a tour from san diego to santa cruz, hitting a bunch of spots a long the way. Took me 4 weeks. It was in the summer, so waves werent generally over shouler high. I am eager to do it again.
For sure. Me and a buddy are going out from feb 6th-11th, Sandiego/Baja so hopefully there'll be some swell. I've been out there a bunch of times where they said not to surf b/c of water quality but it was just too good to pass up. Basically just make sure you don't swallow any water and you're alright. If there is a poor water quality advisory and the waves are good, it'll still be crowded. Good waves with the risk of getting sick is better than no waves at all
California is not really a surf trip. In Southern Cal you can get burned if it gets small and crappy, and north Cal is buried in onshore winds. My advice (I've lived there for 12 years) is this, If you want to surf there, go in oct/ nov. and you will be amazed, even if it is ordinary over there, it blows the east coast away. Also, if you rip, your good anywhere, but if you don't, the crowds are more manageable at beach breaks. If you want to go in the summer, go to San Diego and go later in the season as the conditions get better (fog ends in July). If a south (swell) comes and you want to head north, surf Newport or Huntington, or even Malibu to say you did it. Don't go North of Santa Barbara (fall - spring) unless you've got some hair on your balls. EC Hurricane surf is a joke, compared to what goes on up there.
If you really want to go on an easy, predictable surf trip, Go to Nicaragua and surf glassy, semi closed out beachbreaks until your arms fall off. It's an east coasters wet dream.
California has water quality issues after every significant rain (more than a half an inch). This is because it's so dry and so long between rain that all the sewage builds up then flushes out during a significant rainfall. We don't have the same issues on the east coast because it rains much more frequently and we have barrier islands with bays and wetlands that clean up the drain-off before it hits the ocean. California also has poor drainage issues and more concentrated population along it's coast. So it's basically safe to surf here in the rain, but they have to wait 3 days for it to clean up.