Surf spot/ tips for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by FFthomson, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. FFthomson

    FFthomson New Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Hi all,
    I was living in Ocean Shores, WA over the summer and took up surfing. I surfed quite a bit, and ended up buying a grecko(sp?) longboard, a 3/2 suit, booties, and a hood. There were maybe 3 or 4 good days during the summer where the surf wasn't blown out and I could get out past the whitewater. Anyways, I moved back to Vashon island and haven't been out since. I have been keeping an eye out on the surf forcast and it looks as if the surf is picking up. Any idea where would be good for a newbie? any tips?
    Cheers- Jack
  2. nj1993

    nj1993 Active Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Advanced Surfing Techniques 110%, you can find it on youtube. Also look up some sort of surf etiquette so you know how to handle yourself at an unfamiliar lineup.

  3. surfsolo

    surfsolo Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    Surf where no one else is for the first 3 years at least
  4. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
  5. worsey

    worsey Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    curious; is ast legit or baloney...i mean, you prob know your the utube stuff helpful?
  6. leetymike808

    leetymike808 Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    You're gonna need a thicker wetsuite.

    Pay attention to the people around you. Watch how they get out. Where they lineup. Just pay attention to everything.

    Winter is a lot more powerful than summer.
  7. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Look where other guys go and what and where they paddle out. Check out what's on the bottom- you probably want sand and not rocks/reef.

    You can surf near other ppl - like within yelling distant... But it's best to stay away as you could really endanger the other surfers and get in their way thus endangering yourself.

    Also- I know nothing about WA- since I only surf in Belmar NJ ( the best surfing break in the continental US) but it sounds like you will need a thicker suite. I would suspect a 5/4 hooded wetsuite would do the job.

    Remember - have fun and take a trip to Belmar if you want to surf real waves.
  8. FUN

    FUN Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2014
    what he said
  9. kidrock

    kidrock Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    Ocean Shores (aka "Open Sores") is a tough place to learn, I'm sure you paddled out through a ton of soup.

    Winter and spring are the worst times to continue your learning curve in WA. Your best bet is to wait for the occasional lull in the swell (pretty rare) and check the reports at La Push or Hobuck. It's gotta be small though, under 4 foot, or you will be practicing your survival paddle skills more than anything.

    The other alternative is to wait for the swell to get huge, and make your way down the Strait. There's a couple of spots that are accessible from the highway. For a beginner, you'll probably want to look for the spot with the kayakers...when you see it, you will understand. Fairly long and gentle, and you won't take too many on the head. Do yourself and everyone else a favor...sit on the inside and don't breach etiquette by taking off in front of other surfers. Wait for the odd one that gets by everybody, then try your hand.

    Since you'll probably be taking the ferry, you might want to try a couple of the breaks around Tofino on Vancouver Island if you have your papers in order. The main breaks are fairly well protected and more gentle than the Shores.

    Invest in a quality 5/4 with a hood, 3 mil gloves and 5 mil booties. Water gets East Coast Cold in the Strait.
  10. The Incorrigible Steel Burrito VII

    The Incorrigible Steel Burrito VII Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    My advice to all beginners and people just getting into surfing is this: kill yourself.

    If you choose to ignore that advice, congratulations are in order that you have learned to surf in the summer. Now you have to learn to surf in the winter. Lucky for you you're in a great part of the world to find beach breaks along the PNW coast of varying shapes and sizes. Don't get worked in overhead surf in the cold. You're going to tire easier in a thicker heavier suit and cold air. The paddle out at your average beach break is going to feel like crossing the north Atlantic. I would recommend that you stick to belly high surf and friendlier sloping waves early on this winter. Steer clear of crowds, but at the same time make sure you're not the only dude it the water and somebody somewhere in the fog of the PNW coast at least knows you're there. Its eerie being out alone in the fog. Good luck.
  11. jettyface

    jettyface Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Looking for a surf buddy?
  12. Speed Bump

    Speed Bump Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Take out a huge life insurance policy with a big AD&D rider, because you are going to die if you try to paddle anything with direct Pacific exposure during the winter, anywhere north of point conception, with your skill level and equipment.
  13. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    I don't know much about Oregon and Washington, but a friend that lived up there said depending on the swell angle etc, you can hug the coastline along the "Strait of Juan De Fuca" the body of water that connects the pacific to Seattle. Basically, he said as those massive swells fill in up there, they occasionally make their way into the opening of the strait and the further in you go, the small it gets. So, check the swell angle and make your way down the line. If you see it breaking, continue down the line until you get to the point where it looks out of your league. Back track a little bit.

    And based on anything north of point conception, this is true... I would litterally wait for a day in the winter that reads "flat" or 1-2 and then go play around on the beach break. Wait for the not so often lull in the NW swells and head to the beach when it says flat. With the right tide push, there will be something waist high to get into no matter what.
  14. CaptJAQ

    CaptJAQ Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2011
  15. kidrock

    kidrock Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2010

    Those spots are a lot harder to get to than how it appears. Extremely limited parking and steep, muddy cliffs. But there are ways. You will not see this place from any main road, the area is off the beaten track. No signs to give you any clue. Those spots you see on the beach? Indian land. Go ahead and park there, and see what happens...good luck.

    Hint: keep going west until you see actual spots with actual parking. More beginners out, and you won't get your vehicle vandalized...and I'm not talking about waxing windshields, either.

    It takes big swells at very particular angles to make the Strait work. The skunk-to-score ratio is off the charts, unless you've got the joint completely dialed.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  16. NWSquid

    NWSquid Well-Known Member

    Sep 11, 2013
    N. Oregon is way more accessible and there's more to choose from break-wise, but everything everyone else is saying about size, power etc... yeah. You'll also need to invest in at least a 4/3.

    You can catch some 'tame' days in the winter but it's all relative- just look at the forecasts for places like Seaside, Oregon right now and you'll get the gist of it.

    PacNW is a tough place to learn, but don't let that stop you.

    Oh yeah- and there's sharks. The "da-dum...da-dum...da dum" type.
  17. smitty517

    smitty517 Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    Learn the rules of etiquette otherwise you may want to learn karate
  18. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    "You'll shoot your eye out kid!"
  19. mattybrews

    mattybrews Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    Heed this advice. Pac NW winter swells are no joke. Head high is a small day. It's a tough time to be a beginner, and I'd advise against going out in DOH conditions if you're just learning the ropes.

    Not familiar with WA too much, and as far as I know there isn't too much surfing all that close to where you are. Westport and La Push are two spots I've hit up that way, and I've only been to each once, so I don't really have them wired.

    My best advice, at least for winter, just pay attention to forecasts and you'll occasionally get a mellow chest-head high day.

    I've found most of the surfers in this region to be pretty chill, surprisingly more than anywhere I've surfed on the east coast. So long that you're in control and respecting right of way I wouldn't sweat the crowd factor. Most spots I've hit in OR are pretty spread out so if you're patient you'll get a peak that's all yours.

    On days it's too big or gnarly this winter, ride out to the coast anyway and just observe to get spots wired. Check where the waves break, where the surfers sit, and how the currents work and make note of the tides and conditions when that's all going on.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014