All-time destruction engulfs California while a fall swell lights up the coast—-never has it been more selfish to be a surfer.
The cause? Consistent Santa Ana winds blowing at speeds of 85 miles an hour out of the east in addition to drought conditions and some jerk with a pyro-fantasy.
October 2007 saw a massive outbreak of wildfires which consumed over 970,000 acres that stretched from Santa Barbara county to the U.S.-Mexico border. Much of the densely populated Southern California experienced approximately 30 wildfires in late October which were then contained by the beginning of November.
Clouds of smoke cloaked the sun which casted an eerie orange hue in the sky while surfers coughed and choked their way through the lineup. Smiles could barely be seen from the sand as rebels were spat out of each barrel’s temporary “orange room”–a mouth full of toxic air awaiting each grin.
“Did you see my barrel?! It was so $%@^%# !!” while ash slowly fell like rain all over Orange County.
It was hard to determine the central conflict: surf while fires raged and local communities cried for help, risk inhaling a five year supply of smoke -or- miss out of some of the most perfect barrels.
There were some who talked of volunteering while each Santa Ana-groomed set wave emptied like a perfect tee-pee over the sandbar. Some announced the amount of cigarettes this surf session would equate to while others casted those loudmouths dirty looks.
I CONFESS: I surfed 36th street in Newport Beach that day while I watched clouds of smoke billow from the hills. Yea, I felt guilty, so it didn’t surprise me when I later contracted several terrible sinus infections in the months to follow.
But—the barrels were #@%$#&&!@!!