A Swell Start

Gary Kewley
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Friday - December 29, 2006
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Sunday’s (12.31) model reveals the first swell of 2007. It will be our biggest swell producer so far this entire season
Sunday’s (12.31) model reveals the first swell of 2007.
It will be our biggest swell producer so far this entire

Aloha, surfers!

The forecast continues with BIG news this hollow-day season. As this week’s MidWeek hits home we’ll be getting a 15-foot swell ... then it’s a small break before the BIGGEST swell of the season pounds our North and West shores! The giants hit right as we head into 2007! You’d better be in good shape if you plan to surf them. Waves will be far above the 25-foot face warning level. The only spots rideable will be Waimea Bay and the outer reefs.

‘Tis the season to be jolly if you love riding giants! There are tons of back-to-back storms coming off near Japan being steered close to us thanks to the jet stream (fast-moving large-scale wind flows in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres). The jet flows west to east and guides storms along their meandering paths. Right now the jet flow is down as low as about 40 degrees north, which is close (2,000 miles) to the Islands (we sit at about 20 degrees latitude, dude). This means the waves made by the storms within the jet stream are nearer, too, not allowing much time for the waves to decay on their way to Hawaii. Heights drop off about one-half every 1,000 miles traveled.

So, it’s going to be a heavy start to the New Year ... and whether the Bank of Hawaii North Shore Tow-In Championships or the Quiksilver/Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invite will “go” remains to be seen. It’s early in their holding periods of December through March, so contest directors can be picky.

Both the contests need giant surf, but the Eddie has to have the bay breaking just right. It’s harder to find the day “Eddie will go.” Bottom line: Eddie’s gotta have clean 20-foot average for a full day of heart stopping action for our traditional paddle-in surfers.

The Bank of Hawaii-Tow teams have more than one spot to choose from and don’t require perfectly clean conditions - just really, really BIG surf.

Either way, these events portray the ocean in all its glory as men ride mountains of water. These are the ones who dare Mother Nature when she’s showing off her strength. This is not to say surfers don’t respect her ... in fact, big wave riders are the ones who respect her most! They depend on her mercy.

I’ll be sure to let you know on 638-RUSH, 596-SURF and the SURFNEWSNETWORK web site anytime it looks like a go. You thought the Vans Triple Crown had it tough finding the right conditions, wait till you see the folks who need 20-foot waves try! This is why it takes a three-month holding period. These are rare days being sought. It makes them that much more special when they finally arrive.


I’ll check you out in the line up and back here in the new year! Surf safe!

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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