I spent a little while on the beach talking to one of the more senior (sorry, I am in the military, I'm sure that's the wrong term) guys. I asked him if the rules would be modified, and he told me he would know "in a few minutes, once the officer in charge makes the call". So it sounds like the whole decision comes down to the call of this one guy. They're not just thinking about sea state. It's weather, how many people they expect to show up at the beach, etc. It seemed to me that there is no "head high and above" or similar criteria, as most of us here would probably expect. It's just some guys looking at the day ahead and making a call. Hope that answers your question...
there are 4 areas of the beach, south, middle south, middle north, and north. there is a supervisor in each section. at the start of the day (every day) the supervisors radio in to HQ a list of things including rip current assessment, wave height, and recommendation for surfing modification. it is completely based on 3 factors (in order of importance): 1) beach population 2) wave height/safety of the swell and 3) weather forecast for the day/current weather. the only time it is EVER mod during the 'prime' summer months (late june-end of august) is when it is big, stormy, and rainy. the waves can be overhead and it won't be mod if it's in july or a busy weekend in august, with the exception of BIG hurricane swells.
the chance of modding for chest-head high surf is not that high, unless the beach population is low. overhead+ we start to see more of a chance of mod, regardless of population and weather. in the end ALL FOUR supervisors must agree on a surfing modification, then it is turned over to the officer in charge (captain or 1st lieutenant) to make the final call for modification.
additionally, surf is almost always modded up until mid-june (cold water, small crowds, not a lot of ppl in the water since it's around the low 60's) and it is modded everyday after labor day weekend. (low beach population)
i'd count on NO modification tomorrow but sunday is anyone's guess. we have guarded with no mod on days where it's been head high and overhead, which turn out to be our 1000+ rescue days, and Bill last year was sorta rare, where we didn't let swimmers in. i hope to goodness for modification for the big days of the swell, mostly for you guys/myself but also for less rescues. i keep people knee deep on big days, and it's alot easier to say "only surfers are allowed out today, or people with fins"
If they don’t mod the beaches Saturday afternoon / Sunday they are going to be trying to pull guys out off the water. I can guarantee you that Sunday if it is not modified, people are going to paddle out anyways so it doesn’t really matter what OCBP wants to do (No disrespect to OCBP at all). Quite frankly it is probably worth the $50 ticket to have a sandbar to yourself lol.
Thanks for the insight. I had always wondered why that Danny day last year was business as usual, despite the surf being eerily similar to Rocky Point. I can definitely see why capitan mayor probably tries to keep as many PA retards in the water as possible. I mean, if those guys go home, who's gonna keep Buxy's in business during their obnoxious "steeler parties"? But that's a whole 'nother topic!
The swell from Bill peaked on Saturday evening at around 13' offshore if I remember correctly on the buoy. This swell should be about half so it will be anyone's guess. Still looks to be awesome fun Sun, Monday, and hopefully Tues.