uncharacteristic wave situation in PR?

Discussion in 'Puerto Rico' started by Sam Kempf, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Sam Kempf

    Sam Kempf New Member

    4
    Jan 2, 2015
    I'm booked for a trip to Aguada in early march. I booked this because I've been before and the west side is always the spot to go for the best waves. Looking at the forecast right now, though, EVERYWHERE is head high in PR EXCEPT the west side of the island. Everywhere is also choppy. Wondering if this is just a fluke, or if this is common for this time of year, and the swell starts pumping the west coast more later on in the winter. Second guessing if I should jump ship and change my booking to elsewhere on the island. Thanks
     
  2. Sam Kempf

    Sam Kempf New Member

    4
    Jan 2, 2015
    Also, I've only ever gone to the Rincon through Isabela area- where the shark situation seemed nonexistent. Is it worse on the south side and east side of the island?
     

  3. worsey

    worsey Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    swell direction can produce refraction which reduces its energy.
    understand where the swell comes from and why it does and does not go where it goes.

    example: NW swell slams into jobos but cant wind (down the line).
    NE swell slams the rock at jobos then pinwheels off of it. down the line. (i love jobos).
     
  4. weathermaang

    weathermaang Well-Known Member

    120
    Aug 17, 2012
    hmmm.. I don't think it's a fluke.
    I'd expect the conditions you describe to be pretty common in the winter in PR.
    The prevailing winds are from the east. So East and North facing spots will have more windswell but onshore/sideshore conditions. The West facing spots will have offshore winds but not much swell energy.
     
  5. maddogg

    maddogg Well-Known Member

    173
    Aug 29, 2013
    No. you don't want to go anywhere else on the island. Stay in Rincon, drive up north if you need to. I've only driven up as far as Middles by Isabella. In March you should be perfect in Rincon. yeah, weird swells and winds can happen, but don't change your plans bc of a fluke. Worst case scenario, you drive across the island. It ain't that big.
     
  6. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    First, forecast models on any site, including Swellinfo, are crap. They are wrong 75% of the time. They are designed to deliver you to advertisers, not inform you of any swell anywhere in the world. The farther out temporarily, the lower the accuracy. A large cold front moving down from the USA is what usually generates the swells for the island during winter.
    Second, Neither the East, nor the South of the island has any surf breaks worth traveling for. You are better off in your bathtub at home. It is the Rincon area to Isabela which you want to go for. Yes, there are other spots in San Juan area, but nowhere near as nice as Rincon. As for the chop, wave bouys are in open water NORTH of the island, open to trade winds which start up around 10AM every or most days.
    In March, you can get skunked. In fact, if you were there now, you would be snorkeling.
    PR is not a consistent place to travel for surfing purposes.
    I grew up there. Best months to go are Jan & Feb. March is iffy; but it can be huge as well. Have fun!!
    just opinion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2015
  7. bagus

    bagus Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    you sound a little jaded on the island of enchantment ? cant agree that the best months are jan-feb because you get a lot of storm/unruly surf then. I prefer early/late season swell as its more lined up and less crowded. and pr is very consistent if you know where to look, theres so much more to pr than Rincon to Isabella surf wise
     
  8. worsey

    worsey Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Jobos is da rockin nemoney/boog-woog flu.
     
  9. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Somewhat jaded, yup. But the question we were asked was relevant to swell/waves, not crowds. Crowds, as you point out, are certainly less early and late season, but so is the consistency. March, as the question posed, can go either way swell wise, but definitely crowded.
    One final comment, I have been surfing that island consistently for 53 years (I am 63 years of age); it was my first home for 18 years. Trust me, I do know where to look. I know of spots that no american yet knows exist, some near shore, some offshore reefs requiring a boat. I also know there are days, many days, when the island can be dead flat everywhere, even in winter. As I have posted before, there are a lot of other geographic locations other than the Caribbean islands where consistenncy is far greater, most of which, are in the Pacific. The western Atlantic/Caribbean , where PR sits, is not exactly a heaven for very large waves. It does offer occasional nice surf, rarely very large surf. It is an anomaly for Tres Palmas to break every year. I was extremely lucky for Tres to be breaking when I was there in December. I can only hope it is like that again when I go next winter, during which, I will modify how I schedule my annual migration there to improve my chances.
    Have a good day.
     
  10. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    I'd do the opposite. Stay somewhere up near Middles/Jobos/Wilderness. These spots always have a wave even on days that Rincon looks like a lake.......it never works the other way around. You want to hit these spots at first light for the best waves of the day because most days the wind messes it up by 10:30. These spots will clean up a bit in the afternoon if the trades back off. You can always drive to Rincon after your morning session. When Rincon is good it holds up most of the day so there is no rush getting there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  11. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Yup - that approach works.
    But I overnight in Rincon at my preferred lodgings (pleases the wife) , so I check it out first. Your assessment that the north shore is better early than the west is true, especially for size. And yup, the wind does mess the north shore up by mid-morning, so going to Rincon then is a great way of doing it.
     
  12. maddogg

    maddogg Well-Known Member

    173
    Aug 29, 2013
    It's opinion. I'd agree to hit wildos/surfers/middles first, then head down to rincon later when the trade winds kick in. Personally, I'd rather have my drive be in the morning before the sun comes up. Plus I prefer the vibe in rincon for dinner/nightlife. Then walk back to your apt and crash till 4am...
     
  13. bagus

    bagus Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    don't think for a minute you are the only one that's dialed in there , been traveling there since 74 so I know the deal, the people that run **** there and who isn't who, **** even the best places in the world go flat or have bad winds etc that mess up the surf for weeks on end. your replys make you seem that you a know it all so have yourself a good day chamo
     
  14. maddogg

    maddogg Well-Known Member

    173
    Aug 29, 2013
    Agreed. Everywhere goes flat sometimes. March in Rincon is a great plan. OP, have fun, don't worry about it.
     
  15. worsey

    worsey Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    jobos will put a smile on your face.
    don't (only) check it from the side.
     
  16. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    You can read replays that way, I suppose. But they were not written that way.
     
  17. bagus

    bagus Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    another jaded rican
     
  18. Sam Kempf

    Sam Kempf New Member

    4
    Jan 2, 2015
    thanks everyone for the words of advice. It all helped confirmed what I was hoping. I picked aguada cause it is nicely situated between aguadilla and rincon. When I went a couple of years ago me and my buddies scored pretty good. Here's a shot from "the mix" that doesn't do it justice but reminds me of one of my favorite sessions ive ever had - no paddle out, perfect head high lines
     

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  19. Sam Kempf

    Sam Kempf New Member

    4
    Jan 2, 2015
    btw that pics not of me, it was of the only 2 other people that were in the water besides me and my buds...
     
  20. cbb09

    cbb09 Well-Known Member

    101
    May 6, 2008
    Tres gonna be breaking fri/sat ... Fun in da sun