Believe it or not… there was a world before Surfline, Wavewatch, and the rest. It may seem kind of hard to remember for some of us… but there really was a time when webcams and the marketing of swells wasn’t what dictated where we rode our waves. It was a time when studying the effects of certain wind directions and weather patterns on different breaks, knowing the coastline and reefs around your home, and the overall hard work a surfer put in was what he relied on to find his perfect wave. Now whenever the Pied Piper comes along and blows it’s horn with craftily created “Epic Swell Headed Your Way” headlines, it sends masses of it’s rats blindly running in the direction of the breaks that are being forecast to receive the bi-monthly call for all-time waves.
If you stop and think about it, becoming a junkie to these swell forecast sites doesn’t really serve much of a purpose. If the swell does in fact come through, and you follow the same forecast that the thousands of others dropping $X9.95 a year follow, chances are you’ll end up in something like this.
What has been more common than that as of late, are the swells being marketed as the swell of the century that end up failing to live up to all of the unnecessary hype. The amount of moaning and groaning over such a scenario has reached a staggering level over the past couple of weeks, and it’s time to re-emphasize the tried and true techniques of local knowledge, buoy-reading, and good old fashioned hard work in order to reap the benefits of massive, middle of the ocean storms.
So go ahead and drop you’re money if you must, some of these sites do feature decent content. Surfline is our favorite of the bunch. But as far as forecasting goes, you have access to almost all of the same information that they use. The only difference is they’ve figured out how to market it.
Posted by Shaun on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 in Surfing.