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Friday, November 23, 2012
Updated: November 26, 12:03 PM ET
Best of the West

Austin Smith Ford
Santa Cruz has no shortage of scenery, and guys like Austin Smith Ford know how to take full advantage.

The early season in the North Pacific started with a roar. Jaws offered up a huge paddle day well before Halloween, XXL nominations came down like rain, and with a purported mild El Nino setting up for the winter, it appeared the west was on point for a memorable surf season. But to the contrary, the swells in California and Hawaii have been intermittent, and often when they have come they've been steeper and more from the north, rather than the 280-degree western angle that sets places like Pipeline and Rincon ablaze. Just the same, there is power in positive thinking, and there have been some moments. From the relatively placid North Shore to the cooler West Coast, here's a few of them ... lets just hope we get a few more before winter sets in on us.