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Rob Will Only Go Right for SURFAID

It's too easy to support SURFAID alongside Shane Dorian and Rob Machado. In 2016, Firewire Surfboards won the SURFAID Cup at Malibu, but more importantly was able to raise just under $15,000 in support of SURFAID in the process.

If you're not yet in the know, SURFAID literally saves and empowers individuals in Nias, the Mentawaii Islands, and Eastern Indonesia.

Last year Rob Machado surfed a Midas, and Shane Dorian rode a Sci-fi. We're anxious to see what boards they both ride this year, but mostly we're anxious to support one of our favorite surf humanitarian organizations.

Forecast Says Fun Surf all Week

Southerly Swell Blend; NW Windswell Mixes in.

LOLA wave height chart in the EPAC. .

SSE S Hemi swell peaks mid-week.
Tropical S swell lingers in the background.
Small/modest NW windswell continues.
Light AM winds.
Easing surf back half of week .

Tropical Storms Hilary and Irwin

Two is almost always better than one — save for mingling, binary hurricane swells (creating what’s known as the Fujiwhara Effect), where one subsumes the other and typically cancels out the potential for either to kick up quality surf. But Tropical Storms Hilary and Irwin, a pair of eastern Pacific storms spinning westward between Southern Mexico and Hawaii, could be an exception to the rule for Southern California this weekend and through Monday. Generous forecasts early this week reported estimates of wave heights not seen since Hurricane Marie in 2014. Hilary has since been downgraded as it travels away from the west coast of Mexico, but questions remain over the next 24 hours thanks to the uncertainty of the Fujiwhara interaction. Should you be waxing your step-up board this weekend in SoCal?

SwellWatch forecaster Nathan Cool answers some questions:

First, let’s talk hype factor. Should we be pulling out the 6’6″s this weekend?

I wouldn’t say so. For a hurricane swell for Southern California, it’s going to be significant. But that’s for a hurricane swell. We get much bigger swells in the wintertime coming off the North Pacific. South-facing breaks sometimes see bigger surf even from large storms that we get from the southern hemisphere. But this is unique for hurricane swells in that, a lot of times, hurricanes go directly west. They stay in colder water. This time around, this hurricane would have done that same thing. It would have been similar to, say, the swell that we got from Hurricane Eugene: it was fun, but there weren’t epic conditions.

When you put in the Fujiwhara effect — that is, Irwin’s binary interaction with Hillary, and potentially with some interaction from Greg, making it somewhat of a triple Fujiwhara — that’s a unique story. We could possibly get a better trajectory out of Hillary. It could possibly strengthen Hillary a little, too. Most of the time, with these storms, one will completely absorb the other. It’s almost like two binary stars in the cosmos, where they’re orbiting each other. If Hilary is swirling one way, it all of a sudden makes Irwin go back to the east, beneath Hillary. Them, if Irwin wants to go north, it pushes Hillary north. So they’re both influencing each other.

At one point, a few days ago on the models, it was coming with estimates with 15-foot wave heights in Southern California. But really, that was only for a short period of time. A lot of models have downgraded it since then. What seems to be confusing the models the most is the Fujiwhara. If not for that, the models would have a much easier time in predicting the conditions. But this is a new snag that are making things more difficult.

When surfers read the reports, what’s the most important variable to take note of?

The most important thing is to see where the swell will be coming from. That’s common with any storm, but especially so with this one. SoCal is unique – It’s hit from all kinds of different angles. We’ve got islands that block swell. Hillary has faded in strength right now, and that’s doing so before it crosses what I call our “surf-worthy rubicon,” which is around the longitude 110 W. When it crosses that, it still isn’t an ideal swell angle for Southern California — that’s when it’s about 160 degrees. That’s really tough. Most of the energy would get lost out to sea. Only some of it would brush Southern California.

Initially, some of the swell will be angled that way. As Hilary continues to travel, she will go further west, even if she goes further north. That’s where it improves the swell angle.

But you have to be careful about what breaks you select. During the peak of the swell, we’re looking at primary swell energy coming from 175- to 185-degrees, so Malibu will likely get blocked by Catalina. Orange County, especially Newport, tend to go off. Santa Barbara gets blocked by the Channel Islands at that point. San Diego surfers are going, Where’s the swell? because they’re facing the west.

So it’s a tricky angle for Southern California, but by around Monday, if things do hold true, the swell angle will widen a little more, for a southwest angle. We could be looking at 2-4-foot overhead at some points, and maybe some standout double-overhead sets as well [Ed. update, from Nathan Cool: new reports estimate more of a head-high + event for SoCal, because of the downgrading of Hilary and its weakened interaction with Irwin]. That’s if you can pick up that angle, and you don’t have anything blocking it.

Is there any preliminary reading with this swell that strikes a similar chord to Marie?

There’s not much relationship. Marie turned into a Category-5 storm. That was the big reason why we got such enormous surf from Marie. Also, speed was a rally important factor. Once we get to about 9 knots or slower, waves can pick up stronger and stronger fetch [Ed. Note: at the time of this story, Hilary was moving at around 11 knots]. Marie was a quick-moving storm. It was more of a slam-dunk type of forecast with Marie because there was no Fujiwhara. I’ve been forecasting for over 20 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen a Fujiwhara actually have a positive influence. Getting this binary dance between the two where one’s not consuming the other is sort of uncharted territory, and it’s why the models are having such a struggle.

Any other details worth noting in regard to tracking west coast hurricanes?

This thing falls within a 36- to 48-hour swell window, maximum. Most of the time, it’s a 24-hour swell window. Trying to forecast this far out, there’s still some uncertainty. We’re talking about 30-foot seas being only 700 nautical miles from Southern California, directing toward us. That’s very close. Instead of seeing 16- to 18-second periods arrive one day, and another day seeing 14- to 16-seconds, and seeing shorter and shorter periods, all kinds of swell will be thrown our way. Sets will probably be inconsistent, but but once again, it depends on how well you are exposed to that direction of swell.

Honoring the Life of Duncan McKenzie

Beloved local surf photographer, Duncan McKenzie passed away this week. Please join this informal gathering to celebrate the life of Duncan at Leo Carillo State Beach on Sunday, August 30, around 10 AM. There is no plan except to come together to remember dear Duncan and share our favorite memories together. In honor of Duncan's deep faith, we will form a big circle on the beach and perhaps different people will lead us in prayer and story.

All are welcome.

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Surfrider LA Monthly Surf

THIS SUNDAY- paddle out with Surfrider West LA / Malibu ! Swell is coming in this weekend and we are stoked to slide some waves! Each month, Stacie with @salted_spirit leads up our enjoyment committee and organizes our community paddle out. Get salty, THIS Sunday, JULY 30th, 7:30am at Sunset Point off the PCH, meet new people and share good vibes. Meet at the top of the stairs, and look for Stacie in a bright orange wetsuit.

Weekend Surf Forecast

Fun Blend of Swells for the Weekend.

LOLA wave height chart showing possible Fukiwhara effect between Irwin and Hilary.

Healthy Southern Hemi swell this weekend.
NW windswell mixes in.
Winds lightest in the AM, but may not be ideal for some.

Venice Pier - Thursday 7-28-2017

Small waves, not many out. Here's some photos from Six12 Media.

There's a couple photos in the complete Venice Pier - Thursday 7-28-2017 Gallery.

The Thrill is Back | Malibu w/Herbie Fetcher

Summer is here and the Thrill is Back! This episode featuring Herbie Fletcher and friends at the California classic, first point Malibu.

2017 Ocean Park Surf Contest Coverage

Another great Ocean Park Surf Contest is in the books and the completion was excellent. We got lucky as we have for many years with great sunny weather and decent waves for the contest. The overall story this year is of competitors growing up with the contest and moving through the divisions, as well as veterans getting some good results after sticking with it for many years.

Once again held in the heart of Dogtown, the 7th Annual Ocean Park Surf Contest took place on Saturday, July 15th. The contest area was just to the north of Tower 26 in Ocean Park, Santa Monica. Once again the beach filled up with familiar faces, as well as several new surfers, some traveling from San Diego.

The trophies reflected this year's fun theme, a take-off on a popular TV show with a similar name.

Venice Beach celeb, Oscar, of Hecho en Venice clothing, one of the contest sponsors, cooked up some home-made chili to pour on the hot dogs and nachos, keeping our surfers and spectators well fed.

Some surfers like Rene, were getting in some practice waves just south of the contest area, check out that session: OCEAN PARK - SATURDAY 7-15-2017

Ocean Park Surf & Skate Club has been putting on this contest for seven straight years now, with help of several local and national sponsors, such as ZJ Boarding House and Kind Snacks

Now on to the contest surfing:

Page 2 - Body Surf

Page 3 - Girls Surf

Page 4 - Boys Surf

Page 5 - Juniors Surf

Page 6 - Super Masters Surf

Page 7 - Masters Surf

Page 8 - Mens Surf

Page 9 - Womens Surf

Page 10 - Results & Awards Ceremony

Page 11- Closing & Links to all the Complete Photo Galleries

Beach Babies: Great Whites Of Southern Ca Screening

Tomorrow, July 26th join Surfrider LA and their special guest Dr. Chris Lowe of CSU for a very special chapter meeting to learn about one of the ocean's most awe-inspiring and misunderstood predators... sharks! "With more and more shark sightings taking place at our local beaches we think it's a perfect time to bring in Dr. Chris Lowe of the CSULB Shark Lab to discuss the history of great whites in southern California and why their presence seems to be increasing. Dr. Chris Lowe is a professor in marine biology and director of the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where he and his students work with acoustic and satellite telemetry techniques to study the movement, behavior and physiology of sharks, rays and gamefishes."

The Rapp @ 7:pm
1436 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Work Week Surf Forecast

Small/Modest Surf Now; Tropics on Fire.

LOLA wave heights in the eastern North Pacific showing TS Greg, Irwin and Hurricane Hilary.

Small/Modest NW windswell and SSW swell blend this week
Multiple tropical systems in EPAC
Minor tropical swell mixes in for exposures
Larger surf likely this weekend/early next week

Art For a Cause

More info: Electric Native

AWOW Surf Rodeo July 2017

Film/Edit Beth O'Rourke

About Walk on Water

A WALK ON WATER provides Surf Therapy to individuals with special needs.

We do this by hosting Surf Therapy events that celebrate and honor courageous kids, adults and their families. For one beautiful day at the beach, there are no labels. Everyone is an athlete.

The goal of Surf Therapy is for the athletes to feel the thrill and confidence that only "A Walk On Water" can provide. Their families are fully supported and cared for as they share a much deserved day of fun, relaxation and respite.

We work closely with the local community, businesses and its volunteers and watermen. It is a true collaboration of likeminded individuals brought together in service of a shared mission - to help others experience the calming and therapeutic effects of the electrifying, living ocean and in the process showcase the best of surf culture.

AWOW's extensive list of partners, along with our structure and volunteer base, bring each Surf Therapy event to life and facilitate an overwhelmingly positive experience for everyone who attends.

Surf Therapy healing us all!

A Walk On Water

Sea Sick in Paradise Art Show

The Sea Sick in Paradise Art Show includes plenty of images inspired by the idyllic side of surfing — the toned bodies, the clear water, the perfect wave. Ferus Gallery veteran Billy Al Bengston’s Lost at Sea, 6:00PM is a long, horizontal, two-toned acrylic that suggests a calm ocean under a coral-pink sky. A few steps away, Jeff Ho's mural Black & White, which says “Locals Only” in white letters on a black background, clashes with the more romantic depictions of beach culture.

“There’s always been a problem of access to some beaches. Now we have more awareness that the problem does exist, but there’s always ways around it," says Ho, whose Zephyr Productions was a mecca of surf and skateboard manufacturing in '70s Santa Monica and sponsored the original Z-Boys of Dogtown. "I believe that everybody can kind of coexist, people that live on the beach and people that want to use the beach and have access to the beach. But there has to be some kind of communications."

On Thursday, July 13, Depart Foundation hosted a panel discussion at Malibu Civic Theater called “The New Lineup: Surfing, Sea-Level Rise, Access and Inclusion in the 21st Century.” On hand were some of the artists in the show, including Christine Blanco from Brown Girl Surf. Her gouache, Indian ink and watercolor Sharks shows three nonwhite women in wetsuits, waiting for their convertible as an aqua-green wave breaks behind them.

The moderator was Professor Jon Christensen, co-author of a 2017 UCLA study showing that people making less than $40,000 a year were less likely to visit the beach. Sixty-two percent of respondents said limited public access, lack of affordable options for parking and overnight accommodations, and limited public transportation were among the obstacles that kept them away.

“We have to go beyond technical solutions to thinking about changing image and everyday culture,” Christensen says, pointing to Brown Girl Surf’s program that brings girls from underprivileged neighborhoods to the beach. “They can see themselves there and see themselves reflected in the coast and the ocean. The ocean is not someone else’s place. It’s theirs, and they have a way to access it.”

A graduate of Art Center and Yale School of Art, Yao says diversity depends on the beach. “Malibu has this territorial thing that kind of mirrors the community, the exclusivity and whatever,” she says, suggesting San Onofre for diversity and Orange County for Republicans. “I would say compared to the ’50s, maybe it’s a question of structural inequalities, if you think about how race and economics are structured. Maybe people from a certain race aren’t afforded the opportunities to have leisure time.”

Artist Billy Al Bengston used to surf in the ’50s and ’60s when the scene consisted of a handful of white guys. Ironically, it took a woman to catapult the sport to the quintessence of cool. “It was primarily a good old boys' club until ‘Gidget’ showed up, and then it was still a good old boys' club with a ‘Gidget,” he says of the popular Sandra Dee surf-set ’60s saga that borrowed Bengston’s nickname, Moondoggie.

According to Yao, many surfers of Bengston’s era were also into motocross, partially proven by the fact that Bengston supported himself as a semi-pro racer before his art began to sell. Similarly, Ho’s boards, known for their style and finish, became some of the most coveted boards on the coast.

“Finish fetish came from both motocross and surfing,” says Yao, listing artists like the show’s Chris Ballreich and David Donahue, whose genre is rooted in Bengston’s era. “The connection between those people, Bengston and Ken Price and that generation, and the young people, they made a lot of their own crafts. They were working on motorcycles and they came to understand materials and how to do this work.”

Bengston remembers when, if there were more than a dozen people out in Malibu, it was too crowded to surf. Today, they come from everywhere. “It’s really diverse,” Yao says. “You see a spectrum of people from all over L.A.”

Ho agrees it’s a bit better now compared with the ’70s, when he was one of a few Asian-American guys building boards. “The beaches are changing, and so is our society and how we view things.”

Video: South Swell North Los Angeles

Venice Pier - Sunday 7-23-2017

Small waves on this Sunday. Here's some photos from Six12 Media.

There's a few more photos in the complete Venice Pier - Sunday 7-23-2017 Gallery.

Surftech + Rider Shack Parking Lot Sale

Looking for a good deal on a surfboard? Surftech USA will be at Rider Shack on Saturday from 10-3 for a parking lot sale! Drop in, shop around, and find a steal of a deal!

Slowtide X Kassia + Surf

SLOWTIDE teams up with professional surfer and artist Kassia Meador to create a unique series of beach towels inspired from her cave explorations of the Four Corners region

There are many ways to describe Kassia Meador. Pro-surfer, accomplished photographer, talented artist and business owner are just a few. She is, perhaps, one of the greatest female long boarders to ever grace the high seas. In the Spring of 2015, she launched KASSIA+SURF, a lifestyle, surf accessory and wetsuit line. Focusing on freedom, empowerment, superior quality, and life enriching goods; future flavor with a classic twist. Kassia's newest collection (which artwork is featured in our collaboration) is inspired by the first peoples of this world, the mountains and caves that were their homes and the shapes and symbols they used to explain life and the world as they experienced it. Reminding us all life is that which we perceive and how we choose to see.

Weekend Surf Forecast

Modest Surf for Weekend; Close Eye on Tropics.

LOLA wave height chart for the eastern NPAC.

Modest to fun SSW (tropical & S Hemi) Swells
Small to modest NW windswell
Light AM winds

Life Rolls On Carnival Night

Don't miss this fun party at Bartels' Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey, this Saturday from 5pm-9pm to help raise money for Life Rolls On Foundation .

Venice Skatepark Finally Gets Repaired.

After being destroyed by some drunk hipster, the pool's coping at the Venice Skatepark is finally being replaced. New coping and tiles were put in place this morning, it will still take a couple days before it can be ridden though.