Surfing After Rain

The Curse of the Conflicting Reports:  Surf report is showing waves up to 7 feet in the coming days.  Weather report is showing rain over the next three days.  Drat!

Heading into fall SoCal surfers are faced with the great compromise – surf vs. health.  Autumn is typically one our best surf seasons, but it is always marred by a bit of rain.  (Don’t get me wrong, I know we are desperate for rain, and I welcome it.)   The greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area being what it is, every rain washes loads of toxins, oils, trash and other ick right into the ocean.

Traditional wisdom (and science) indicates a good rule of thumb is to wait 72 hours after a rain event before heading back into the ocean.  But, if the rain event is the first rain after a long dry spell, it is not a bad idea to wait a bit longer.  (For Southern California, that’s a whole summer’s worth of gross washing down to the sea.)  I suspect this may different for people who live near cleaner watersheds, but for LA – WAIT! I’m also a big fan of taking Airbornes before heading out for a surf session after the rain.

The sad part is, there is no reason for such ocean pollution to occur. Our disposable, out-of-sight/out-of-mind styled society has just conditioned us to believe this is how things are.  We can take steps to improve LA’s watershed problem for the future.  The main thing is to be aware of the end results of your actions.  Heal the Bay has a list of 10 more tips to improve ocean runoff.

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