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Feb 15, 2014, 03:32 PM #11
Feb 15, 2014, 03:43 PM #12Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Wilmington, NC
I surfed Carolina Beach at 2-3ft overhead, so probably 9ft faces, a few years ago and that was pushing my limit. It was such a struggle to get out and I started to feel uncomfortable after a few attempts. I caught maybe 5 actual waves in the 2 hours or so that I was out. I know it really depends on the shape and how it's breaking, but since I've never surfed anything but beach breaks I have to say that anything bigger than that and I'd have to sit out.
Feb 15, 2014, 05:07 PM #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
There's just so many factors:
* The paddle out -- is it rocky shorebreak or a nice protected channel
* Air temps and water temps -- does every duck-dive give you an icecream headache and suck the air out of your chest, or is it nice warm bathwater?
* Water clarity -- can you see the bottom / tell what is going on?
* The waves and break uniformity -- is it a uniform swell coming in and hitting a specific sandbar/reef, or is it random swell breaking in every direction?
Like, specifically I am remembering the Andrea swell hitting Second Beach Newport RI last summer one day after work -- warm weather, protected paddle-out, and super regular waves lined up that were fun but not super energetic... some of it was getting to overhead size but they were breaking so gently and predictably/regularly that it wasn't even remotely scary.
I've also been in too-large but gentle random waves (i.e. big local windswell) where individual waves weren't scary, but the complete randomness of it made it scary because if you ate ****, you had no idea where/when the next wave would break (i.e. a wave coming a different direction could crash on your head 2 seconds after you went over the falls from the first wave)...
Feb 16, 2014, 02:52 PM #14Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
About two or three foot overhead is about where I'm out of my comfort zone. And that usually means double overhead cleanup sets which can force you to paddle way out. At 9 or 10 ft hold downs start getting pretty long and less predictable. Duck diving is virtually useless for me paddling out in that. A wave twice is big is about 4 times as powerful.
Feb 16, 2014, 03:38 PM #15
Feb 16, 2014, 03:46 PM #16
Big is 10 Full Ons!!
Feb 16, 2014, 07:15 PM #18
Yup. Cold water and air temps make a 5-6 sec hold down seem like an eternity, especially with the wind knocked out of you after being tossed over the falls. Being smacked in the face by three random waves while trying to get that first recovery breath and hundreds of head-splitting duck dives make it that much more difficult, but these type of sessions do separate the men from the boys. (or weight-lifters from non weight-lifters, for all you bench pressing maniacs)
I'm much more likely to sit out a larger swell if it's frigid out. Warm water is obviously more inviting, and I'm way more willing to push the envelope in a comfy 70-75 degree hurricane swell.
Feb 17, 2014, 12:20 AM #19
How is it that r carter assumes I'm his friend when he pulls me into a magic sea weed assault. I rid ye of Wayne and I am the sea ape. I got some tubes today too. Slid right through em. I'm a Rhode Island state trooper I have nothing better to do than police the troll next. I suppress the troll like I suppress the diversity.
Feb 17, 2014, 01:26 AM #20