Cape Verde Season! Blah.

Wonderful hurricane beach day!

First off, an apology. I have been completely slacking lately. We will just say that the Commodore 64 of life has had some floppy disk issues. So I am going to ensure that I do not fall off the face of the earth or post once a year.

Well, this hurricane season has been a complete dud so far this year. However, next week it seems that a potential hurricane could be brewing which could wake up the Cape Verde part of the cycle. The hype is building, the message boards are coming alive, and one guy out of 100,000 is not impressed.

Why? Because I am not a fan of hurricane surf.

Cue the cars crashing, the 2ndlighters spitting their coffee onto their keyboards, and Dr. Jeff Masters raising an angry fist in my direction!

Yup, I think that hurricane season blows. Literally.

If I am to make such a ridiculous, slanderous statement, then I better have some facts.

First off, let me go back and say that I have surfed some great hurricane waves before. But to catch this perfection, things have to align just right and remember, it is a big ocean with big obstacles to ruin the potential nirvana.

First off, it blows because of the surfers.

On any fall day after a cold front, it will be 6 feet of pure perfection and there will be six guys out. Bring in Hurricane Tamiqua and suddenly even the lamest break is loaded with 50 guys. As you drive to the beach, you see car after car loaded up with their best yellowed Fox twin fin or their dusty longboard. Of course, after not surfing for 15 years, it makes perfect sense to dive back into the sport on a blown out ten foot day. Of course these haggard guys can’t paddle out which makes for the next subject of annoyance.

The awful media spectacle.

Please, show me some news coverage of any hurricane that does not show some guys on their Fox twinfins doing a face plant on an angry 4 foot mush burger. Also, show me the beach interview that does not feature some guy that called out of his shift at The Mushroom Cloud or some other job of ill repute.

Sadly, most of the beaches with the better waves will never make it on the news. So we are treated to less than stellar beach scenes.

The Surf Issue
Don’t get me wrong, I have surfed plenty of great hurricane swells here in Florida. The problem is that surfing a hurricane swell takes a lot of factors. Most come in low through the West Indies up into the Bahamas and there are lots of islands to block out the swell. Then as the hurricane swings past the Bahamas, the storm suddenly pops into the window and sends long period swells right down the chute.

Florida takes these great long period swells and converts them into 3 mile long close outs.

The ride of my life! I love you hurricane Wilbur!

These long close outs will later be complimented by a nice stiff 50 mph wind.

The better waves actually comes when the hurricane passes by and is far to the north. Then the wonderful north swells come and we get great lefts. There are a few places that do love a hurricane swell from the south but if you can’t figure out where these spots are then sorry!

Welcome to Relief

On the other end of the spectrum is fall. School is back in session and people are off to work. The weather is cooler and the crowd level is low. The cold fronts come out of the north and swing offshore in the northern states. These storms send north swells straight down the pipe into Central and South Florida as well.

So I am waiting patiently for days such as this:

Empty fall day at Sebastian.

Fall New Jersey perfection from the video “Dark Fall”.

About 1stpeaksteve

Welcome to The Side Wedge! The Side Wedge is a product of the journey through life of Steve Zima. Former professional surfer, a writer, surf coach, and hospitality manager. This is a collection of travel tips, motivation, and stories from my past. Finally, I offer surf coaching through The Side Wedge. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you want to improve your performance today! Thanks for reading!
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One Response to Cape Verde Season! Blah.

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