Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surfing [Print without images]

Friday, January 16, 2009
Updated: June 15, 1:52 PM ET
Waiting's The Worst Part


Artistic rendering of the many faces of localism...I blame the surf forecasts.
Right now it's about ankle high in San Clemente, maybe to be generous we could say it's knee-high on the biggest sets. The swell's supposed to fill in a little this afternoon, but if you'd looked at the surf forecasts at the start of the week you'd have been lead to believe that on Friday the Armageddon would be upon us, and by Saturday all hell would have broken loose.

That being said, we all know flexibility is key and that forecasts are at best just very educated guesses. I like a good forecast as much as the next surfer, but what I don't like is the hype factor. It's the rumor mill that blew this swell out of proportion; all week claiming that the Eddie was going to run, the Mav's Contest was on, and well, the Armageddon was coming.

So here we are, a beautiful Friday morning in Southern California, and not a lick of swell to speak of. Chances of the Eddie running were blown away in the Kona winds, Mav's looks like it's going to peak around 15- to 18-foot, the contest is a no-go, and the arrival date of the swell's been pushed back a few days.

I'm not here to knock the forecasters, most do a great job, and a little information's always better than no information. Today I'm taking a swing at all the knuckleheads that feed the hype. To a point I understand, it's been flat in California for weeks, and now that there's some signs of life out there people are eager to get wet. But damn it, just relax everybody.

All you donkeys who are waiting on the sidelines until the swell peaks shouldn't even be allowed in the lineup. You're the reason every spot from San Diego to the Central Coast is going to be overcrowded. And your sense of entitlement, it's just downright rude. Whatever happened to going down to the beach everyday and checking the surf with your own two eyes? Then, if there's waves you paddle out, and if there aren't at least you got a glimpse of what the ocean's doing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's the definition of a local.

There should be some kind of rule that you have to check the surf at least four days a week before you can paddle out, that'd at least help separate the riff-raff from the regulars. Anybody else got any ideas? I don't care what they are, I just want to be able to surf where I live without a pack of irregulars from Rancho Kookamonga invading my space. I'm happy to share, but only to a point.