Surfers Guide To Dealing With Rain

by: Wesley Somoza

Owner of Visit Southern California

My good buddy Ray Joyce was kind enough to provide me some of his amazing surfing images for Visit Southern California. Ray and I know each other ever since I registered my girls in West Valley Girls Softball years ago and I run into him at my home break when the surf gets bigger. Usually anything over 3 feet can be considered bigger here in So Cal. We experienced a bit of a surf drought from November 2016 to the first week of 2017 and then BOOM! Every week since it has been at least a few days out of the week where we had surf heights of 3-4 and even 5-8 feet with some 10 foot waves rolling through the region. Problem is we have also had an abundance of rain to go along with this surf and if you are a local to So Cal or a long time resident you know one thing...

Rain runoff leads to filthy ocean water and sickness in terms of a stuffy head cold to some major stomach issues that have you in the bathroom for a few days. Nobody likes to contract any of these issues but the surf is really good, right?

It is and here is my guide to what I think you should do if you have the means and the time. Charge it!

1. Rain runoff can be pretty disgusting. Keep in mind that the rain loosens the sewer systems which get moving quickly and all the things in our communities not strapped down can come rushing out into the ocean. Can you get sick from this. According to Surfline you can and they suggest waiting 72 hours until after a storm before entering the water. But what if the surf is gone within that 72 hour window. My wife says I can surf another day but the problem is there might not be any surf on that other day. the 72 hour rule is something to think about but if you have been surfing for years chances are your body is used to what So Cal is pushing out into the water. Truth be told I did get sick within 24 hours after surfing Malibu after a major storm once, but since this season has started heating up I have not gotten anything surfing after or during a storm.

2. Before, during or after a storm system comes through the surf can be pretty large and choppy. Use caution. If the surf looks huge and messy maybe don't go in the water especially if you don't have a lot of experience surfing larger crowded waves. You don't want to get tossed around in a washing machine or destroy your board or worst yet get embarassed when a local yells at you for being a complete tool in the water. Surf to your level.

3. Wear a nice thick wetsuit in the water and possibly booties on your feet to keep them warm and protected from those hard to see rocks in the water.

4. On small scale days which mean 1-3 foot days pulling out a foam board (Wavestorm) is great fun and nobody cares cause if you are short boarding it on a small day you are having a bad time no matter what everyone else is riding. However on big days do not bring that foam board to the beach. Or at least do not bring it to a crowded break. If you are dumb enough (and I have seen my fair share of dumb in the water) to do it do yourself and all us other surfers a favor and take yourself and your board to the far inside section where you can pick up good fun waves that the rest of us either missed or broke on an another section. If you catch a wave in the same spot as one of us short boarders and you catch it first dont get pissed when we cut you off. You should not be here to begin with. If you snake us on a wave don't be upset when you get a mouth full after cause you should not be out on a foam board.

5. Same goes for you SUP riders on big days. Just go somewhere else.

To everyone elese charge those waves and have fun this winter. We are getting Epic surf days it seems like every week so take advantage don't think about getting sick and shower off after your session and bring a big jug of hot water with you to the beach to run over your body. That will keep you healthy. For more information about getting surf lessons or other water sports activties for free sign up today with us and become a Benefits Member!


    Feb 14, 2017 at 04:04 AM

    Surfing in the rain is for fools! My friend Boddie always gets sick after a good rain.
    You know why?
    So he tells me "Stay outta da wadda Brahda or you get da worm!"

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