Editor's Choice: October 19, 2008

19 Oct 2008 0 Share

October 20, 2008

Brendan Leckie shacked on the last real overhead East Coast swell to make it to Qld on Sept 6 TOS

Brendan Leckie shacked on the last real overhead East Coast swell to make it to Qld on Sept 6 TOS

TOS treat on Sept 6 – seems a long time ago now

TOS treat on Sept 6 – seems a long time ago now

Thirteenth Beach has been pumping of late. Oct 1 line up

Thirteenth Beach has been pumping of late. Oct 1 line up

One of the picturesque Hobart Points on Tuesday Sept 30

One of the picturesque Hobart Points on Tuesday Sept 30

The hike home from the Hobart Points. Now that’s country soul, just out of the capital

The hike home from the Hobart Points. Now that’s country soul, just out of the capital

Who wouldn’t want to surf here?

Who wouldn’t want to surf here?

What an on-rail cutty! Look closely, all 3 fins are almost out of the water on this dribbly 2 footer at NN.  Joel Spillane psyched in his Manly jersey in the lead up to the grand final on Wed October 1 NN

What an on-rail cutty! Look closely, all 3 fins are almost out of the water on this dribbly 2 footer at NN. Joel Spillane psyched in his Manly jersey in the lead up to the grand final on Wed October 1 NN

Arising from an SBS story regarding donated surfboards to Papua New Guinea, Said Metwalli, working with Coastalwatch, Surfrider Foundation Australia, SurfAid International, Surfing Australia and Nev from Firewire, amassed over 150 donated surfboards that were handed over on Monday 13 at Queenscliff

Arising from an SBS story regarding donated surfboards to Papua New Guinea, Said Metwalli, working with Coastalwatch, Surfrider Foundation Australia, SurfAid International, Surfing Australia and Nev from Firewire, amassed over 150 donated surfboards that were handed over on Monday 13 at Queenscliff

For starters, here are a bunch of shots of places you wished you might have been since my last blog last month.

Have you been affected by the meltdown yet?

I couldn’t resist asking this question straight up, because since my last eds choice blog, meltdown stories have dominated global headlines. It seems that once again the mainstream masses have ripped off our surfing terminology and claimed it as their own. Surely the only Meltdowns that matter are our Coastalwatch
Meltdown Lowdown swell wraps, right?

The global financial Meltdown is surely inconsequential in comparison. I mean, knowing where was pumping and on what day, under what wind and swell conditions is far more important than anyone’s financial status isn’t it? Besides, as I said above, they’ve taxed our terminology.

On Coastalwatch we feature Meltdown stories every couple of days. Whenever there is a swell of note or consequence, our vast army of experienced contributors are all over it. Our core business at Coastalwatch is forecasting swells and posting daily surf reports to compliment our free cam vision. On top of that, we then compile comprehensive retrospective Meltdown Lowdown wraps or features of “Highlight” swells.

We’ve been filing our swell wraps for a couple of years now on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. They are all archived neatly as historical reference material in our Meltdown Lowdown section, accessible under the "Late Drop” header on the home page. So how dare a bunch of greedy Wall Street Gordon Gecko wannabees borrow our unique terminology in an attempt to make impending global financial ruin sound groovy?

Groovy? Hmmm, well maybe that’s stretching it, but you get my drift, right?

You can’t blame me for attempting to make light of the heavy global financial situation.

Of course the plunging Aussie dollar isn’t good news for traveling surfers or domestic shoppers that lap up imported goods, but at least the interest rate cut and Kevins 10 billion stimulus package may provide some relief for boardriding home owners, huh.

Enough economics already, this site is about cams and swell forecasting, as opposed to forecasting plunging stocks and shares.

So getting back on track - Meltdowns, as in our Meltdown Lowdown features, are always the most popular stories we run on the site when it comes to traffic stats, not just this month, but every month.

I’ve just analysed our September stats and it seems you guys come to Coastalwatch to keep abreast of not only when it may be pumping next (forecasts) but also where it was pumping during the most recent swell event.

Our most popular feature last month was The East Coast: September 4-8, 2008 Meltdown Lowdown wrap featuring some epic slabs at Solander, Koby and Richie Vas scoring down Shellharbour way, crazy pipelinesque caves at Sth Narrabeen, some perfect TOS, Lenny and even some novelty action in Botany Bay.

Interestingly, our second and third most popular stories during September featured the next out-of-season late winter swell. The East Coast: September 8-12, 2008 Meltdown feature covering Solander, the Sth Coast and all the way up to the QLD border, came in as second most popular story, closely followed by Southern Sydney Cave Dwellers v The North Coast Cruisers v The Snappy Superbank Soldiers featuring video footage of Solander, north coast pointbreaks and The Superbank.

Sydney: August 24-26, 2008 featuring footage from an undisclosed Sydney East bombie and Solander again, was so popular it was still rating very highly in Sept finishing fourth, whilst Victoria: September 21-26, 2008 came in fifth.

So far in Oct, Storm Trackers 2 (featuring Mark Mathews and Richie Vas pioneering an offshore WA slab) – has been by far the best rating story on Coastalwatch.

Storm Trackers - Episode 2 scored 8654 hits at an ave time duration of 5:41 the first day it was up on Oct 1.

Simply looking back at our site stats usually pretty much reflects where the waves were best that month. I mean, as discussed in last months editors choice, the first two weeks of September were exceptional on the East Coast, as favourable surf producing winter patterns hung around for an extra fortnight. However, at the flick of a switch mid month a series of big high pressure systems moved north over the continent, blocking the East Coast swell window, and delivering early heatwave NW winds, regular bouts of low to mid 30 temps and flat surf on the East Coast.

Meanwhile, the southern states, Vic and TAS in particular, have been pumping. A series of extra tropical lows (see Southern Ocean Swell Alert in our new swell alert section delivered some crazy waves in both Vic and TAS over consecutive weeks. (Check - Tasmania: Sept 26 - Oct 5, 2008, Tasmania: Oct 9 - Oct 11, Victoria Sept 28 Sept - October 8 and Vic October 11-12 features.) WA has also awoken from a recent slumber – see WA Oct 8 -15. It seems everywhere but the East Coast has had waves recently.

Unfortunately, since mid Sept the East Coast has been in the midst of a wave drought.

Which leads me to my next point ...

Surfers Paradise? Not in October it’s not.

October 1 Main Beach Surfers Paradise not

October 1 Main Beach Surfers Paradise not

October 2. 3ft Sth groundswell made it up the coast. Mostly closeouts, but there was the odd corner. NW winds early ahead of NE seabreezes

October 2. 3ft Sth groundswell made it up the coast. Mostly closeouts, but there was the odd corner. NW winds early ahead of NE seabreezes

Some small leftover 2ft Sth lines on October 3. No real banks at Main Beach

Some small leftover 2ft Sth lines on October 3. No real banks at Main Beach

As good as it got. The north wind peaked things up a little mid morning on Oct 3.

As good as it got. The north wind peaked things up a little mid morning on Oct 3.

Tiny combo of peaky swells. Sth mixed in with short period NE windchop on October 4.

Tiny combo of peaky swells. Sth mixed in with short period NE windchop on October 4.

More of the same dismal windchop on Oct 5

More of the same dismal windchop on Oct 5

Finally on the sixth straight day of nth winds a 2-3ft short period NE windswell started to build slowly. Oct 6

Finally on the sixth straight day of nth winds a 2-3ft short period NE windswell started to build slowly. Oct 6

The only real place to seek protection from north winds, unless you go to north straddie, Tallows or Ballina. The Spit on October 6

The only real place to seek protection from north winds, unless you go to north straddie, Tallows or Ballina. The Spit on October 6

A weak southerly change pushed some tiny short period ripples in on Oct 7

A weak southerly change pushed some tiny short period ripples in on Oct 7

I recently spent a week on the Gold Coast doing the full Seaworld/Bird Sanctuary school hols soft-core family trip.

I had no preconceived surf expectations, anticipating the seasonal northerly devil winds and short period wind slop I was almost certain to encounter. I figured why not photograph conditions daily from my Main Beach base just to ram home the point that Surfers Paradise certainly doesn’t live up to it’s name in the dreaded spring months. I’m not criticizing the Coast as a surf destination generally, because experienced surfers all know the Gold Coast’s most consistent months tall in the period Jan through August.

The purpose of my diary I guess is similar to most stories we run on Coastalwatch – hopefully an educational reference point.

So here are my lame daily photos with a brief description of the conditions I encountered on the Gold Coast from Oct 1 – 7.

Other events that caught my short attention span since my last blog

The sad thing about the media obsession regarding the world financial meltdown is that the long awaited GARNAUT REPORT into climate change slipped by virtually unnoticed. I mean how tragic. Economic cycles come and go. You can renegotiate loans and interest rates with lenders, but you can’t renegotiate with melting glaciers hey.

Delivering his long awaited 652 page study on the costs of climate change to The Rudd Federal Government, Professor Garnaut said, “The effort required by Australians to get a global climate agreement that could save The Great Barrier Reef, the food bowl of the Murray Darling Basin and the wetlands of Kakadu would be far less than the sacrifices of earlier generations.” He went on to say,” This problem is very small compared to the resources we mobilised for the Second World War.” “The failure of our generation would lead to consequences that would haunt humanity until the end of time.” Look out for more info on The Garnuat Report in our environmental section in the coming weeks.

Other gear that went down

Sydney surfers have had to be content with occassional 2-3ft Sth swell pulses lately ... Bondi and Wanda have been ok south of the bridge, while good old Northy and Long Reef have often been the pick on the northside. Ozzie boosting on a small Alley Right on Tues Sept 30.

Sydney surfers have had to be content with occassional 2-3ft Sth swell pulses lately ... Bondi and Wanda have been ok south of the bridge, while good old Northy and Long Reef have often been the pick on the northside. Ozzie boosting on a small Alley Right on Tues Sept 30.

Of course Manly won the NRL, The Socceroos jumped to the top of their group en route to hopefully qualifying for their second successive world cup after demolishing Quatar and beating Uzbekistan away. Adelaide made it through to the AFC Champions League Finals and Coastalwatch with the generous help of Nev at Firewire proudly donated 150 surfboards to PNG. We also strengthened our editorial ties with the Morrison media stable,( publishers of Australian Surfing Life, Riptide, ALB, Kiwi Surf etc) - which compliments our strong association and part ownership of SW mag.

Finally just so you are aware, we archive every daily surf report and have been doing so since 2002. Check the Surf Report history section, also accessible under Late Drop on the home page. We have also introduced a new section this month – Swell Alerts, which will no doubt help you be in the right place at the right time whilst saving you hours, money, petrol etc .

- Ben Horvath

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