Huge swell coming!

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by red dog, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    The worst part of big surf is getting to the outside. I have been psyched out by a brutal paddle more than once.
    foamieswithmyhomies likes this.
  2. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    If you have no channel, you have not access. Nobody paddles through that on sandbars. Even Puerto Escondido, you walk up the beach where entry is softer - that is something your videos never show.

  3. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Thanks guys, that answers my question. I know what you mean LBCrew, and you are right, i’d have a hard time not paddling out into perfection, which is how I ended up getting the few 10-12ft bombs under my belt, but I probably had no business out there lol

    One of the few times I went out in that size I ended in the hospital as many of you know, and it’s been a few years since and have been trying to mentally and physically get there again, but it’s been hard.

    StuckOnTheGulf, I do the ditch and dive when it looks impossible and nobody around me to get hurt. It always makes me a little worried I’m going feel that leash break and come back to surface with no board, but I would swim in survival mode if it did happen.

    Luckily it worked in PR and the handful of times around here where it’s been ridiculously big. To be honest though, I don’t have much fun when it’s all about survival and maybe getting one. So for now I will stick to what I know and maybe one day when my fitness is in tip top shape I will give it another go.

    Mad respect to those who paddle out at that size!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  4. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Thank you Barry, that’s kinda of the point I was trying to get at. That’s the challenge many of us face here on the East Coast face when it gets that big.
  5. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    As you know, I have been out at Tres Palmas many times over the past 50 years. It has a channel, easy to paddle out, once past the shore break. I have often surfed there in 15 foot FACES, it is rather benign, unless you get caught inside, which I have. But 15 foot SWELL, that is another animal. Entirely.
    I am now done with going out there. Last time was 3 years ago, I had several nice waves, got caught inside for a set, and then caught my last "large" wave in. At age 67, I now know it is wisest to leave it to those with young lungs; I never want to put my wife through that anxiety again, never mind the thrashing I took when caught inside by that clean-up set.....
    As for beach breaks, my threshold (8ft faces, not swell) is now much smaller now than it was even 5 years ago. I surf not to kill myself, but for fun and good exercise.
    La_Piedra and sisurfdogg like this.
  6. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    I can picture you at Tres perfectly slotted as you decent down the mountain of water, getting the ride of your life, then turn around afterwards and Bam! Caught inside lol Sounds like something I’ve done. At Maria’s, Sandy Beach, etc.
  7. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Exactly. That was my point at Puerto. The guys have that option. Most beach breaks don't have that. Maybe the west coast is different. But here, no way.
    Barry Cuda likes this.
  8. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Worse part is, when you turn around and rush paddle to get to the the "hissing" sound the waves make as they make their way towards you.
    DawnPatrol321 likes this.
  9. nopantsLance

    nopantsLance Well-Known Member

    Aug 15, 2016
  10. hinmo24t

    hinmo24t Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2012
    two standouts for me:

    one time in winter I broke my leash in head high+ groundswell in RI (32* water or less) 30 lbs of gear (floatation backfired in this instance)...i punched through the end of ride, backside, and felt the leash snap. sketchy backfloat back to shore. i couldnt swim or dive deep enough with my gear on or something and took like 6 big tumbles getting in. had to go to my happy place and be smart.

    other time: overhead high groundswell. the channel at this spot was getting waves it was so big. i caught one big wave way outside of the lineup which was cool because i was prob getting sh*t for being out so far. sunlight faded and a lot of people were trying to just get out of the water safely. it wasnt like you could just boogie in with 10' whitewater and a blown out channel. head on a swivel that day for sure it was big and fast.
  11. NJsurfer30

    NJsurfer30 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    Not really sure what my upper limit would be if it was absolutely perfect. It's smaller than 15' for sure (speaking in terms of faces here). Biggest waves I've been out in are probably 8-10' a few times, but I wasn't surfing well or crushing the set waves on those days... I was being super picky and trying to grab some of the mellower ones. Except for last fall on south shore of oahu (ala moana area)... one morning was in the 8-10' face range but was dramatically less intimidating than similarly-sized jersey beachbreak. Also surfed for about 7 hours that day, so plenty of time to get it dialed in and relax. Late afternoon on 10/30/17 (aka kelly slater day) was probably the first time I've been out in well-overhead heavy and hollow surf and stayed relatively calm and comfortable, but even then I was very picky about the couple that I did ride.

    I watched people paddle out in southern moco during the start of the cleanup after stella last spring, which was probably in the 10-15' range but it really wasn't very organized yet. I think it got a little better in the hour between when I left and when it got dark, but was nowhere near clean enough for me to go for it (I only saw one guy get a ride, and it was a drop and then straighten out toward shore right away... otherwise just a few brutal wipeouts and a whole lot of paddling).

    Never had any truly bad experiences either. One hold down last fall during irma swell that freaked me out a bit... wasn't even very big, first morning of the swell, doubt it was more than a 6 ft face but combo of bad timing, not taking a good breath, 2x over the falls, and panicking a bit trying to fight for the surface way too soon had me running out of air and feeling like I was gonna black out by the time I found the surface. Lessons were learned from that though, and have been much better about staying calm and moving as little as possible to conserve air/energy ever since (unless my feet happen to land on the bottom, and then I will push off/up right away). And I've been testing holding my breath on land from time to time since then and internalized that the point where I start to feel like out of air is a long way from when I actually have to breathe.

    The thing that freaks me out more is probably breaking a board/leash and not being able to fight the rips swimming in. Was guarding in the land of 23 footers during the hurricane bill swell (I think... this would've been 2009)... it only peaked for a couple hours and was very much spot specific and tide-driven but had to be pushing 12-15' faces at one point, and all rescues (all of whom were surfers with broken boards/leashes, no one swimming that day) were via jet ski because it was pretty much un-swimmable. I'm hard pressed to imagine anyone being able to swim into the beach without fins during something like that. That's always in the back of my head on big days. Assuming others are out with boards and willing to help, I'm sure I'd get to the beach eventually.... hell, as long as I didn't panic I'm sure I would drift around and eventually reach somewhere I could get in, but it definitely freaks me out.
    Utah__Two likes this.
  12. frost

    frost Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2014
    irma 2.jpg irma.jpg Irma here last year overhead + height of the swell I was just watchingI don't know how most got out,,some never did.and the ones that did drifted well over 1-2.5 miles or more .one dude came in flat on his board staggered a few steps and collapsed on top of it laid there for a long time then got up and slowly staggered down the beach like a dazed boxer ... ...a few walked to the pier threw their boards and jumped off ...saved a lot of energy
    next week Tuesday looks the best winds lighten swell still there,,spread the word for everyone to go out Monday!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    sisurfdogg likes this.
  13. NJsurfer30

    NJsurfer30 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2016
    All that said though... 15' perfection with either a clear channel or a short critical paddle-out section with long obvious lulls, warm water, and a not-sketchy takeoff? I mean, I'd pretty much have to, right?
    hinmo24t and Barry Cuda like this.

    CBSCREWBY Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Second year of surfing and much more brave and stupid than I am now, I paddled into a 12 foot hurricane swell with some regulars. I had watched them all day and I didn't want anybody to think I was a chickenshit.
    Now, note that I was 49 years old at the time and trying to impress some college age kids for God knows what reason... They were amazed I got outside at all. I got lucky.
    I attempted one wave, missed, and Poseidon spit my onto the beach unscathed.
    I'm going out this weekend and I'll be watching anything over six feet from the safety of the beach.
    your pier likes this.
  15. your pier

    your pier Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2013
    this treade got me frothy

    really hope this swell and my schedule works out. been do damn long since i was on anything of this magnitude. there was a lot of solid, super fun stuff this fall in the chest-head high range, maybe just over, but nothing like the size of what is forecasted.

    stay safe y'all. get some good ones, or some good pics
  16. skeglegged

    skeglegged New Member

    Apr 4, 2013
    gonna win that Wave of the Winter new england contest this weekend :D
    hinmo24t likes this.
  17. surfsolo

    surfsolo Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    will be watching news for "newb thinks he can tackle biggest surf of the year and drowns"
  18. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Yeah man I'm with you. Iv never been out in it, but i think if it was 15ft and the right spot and conditions I'd be game. That's the thing man. Here, 6-8-10 ft..... it gets sketchy as hell. Beaches struggle to hold the size. Things gotta be just right. You travel and get waves the same size, and it's a breeze in comparison. Depending on where you travel to obviously. I'd think most of us are capable of surfing bigger in more appealing situations than what our max at home is
  19. Fol

    Fol New Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    Its been classified as a Nor'easter .. coastal flooding .. mostly rain ... snow further north (VT/ME) ...
    red dog likes this.
  20. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    RCs is a real paddle a thon, I don't know how they get out there on biggest days. Down here there are a couple spots with channels, the inlets mostly, with outside sand bars, way way out. So if you time the tide, you can get out easy. Then you need to be very patient, and the wind has to be nill. Get one good one. Don't paddle back out where you end up or you will get caught in the impact zone, just get to the beach, and walk back up to the jetty, if you get three good ones in four hours that's an awesome day, one you can play back in your mind for decades.

    Still, I've broken leashes and had to swim way in, getting caught in the wrong place during clean up sets while paddling out on rising swells. Best to wait until the swell peaks, then starts to drop a bit, with longer lulls, better wind, more fun.

    For me, my shoulder will pop out if I eat it on anything DOH plus, so I'm not gonna chance it, even if its super glassy and an easy takeoff, if it's that big. Who knows how the inside ride will turn out. I swam hard yesterday to get my cardio up, ending with 8 fast 50s with 20 second rest. Now my shoulder hurts, only so much you can do.