Westside legend Darryl "Flea" Virostko shows he's still got the flow Tuesday at Steamer Lane.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Coast Life

PHOTOS: Surf season opens with first solid northwest groundswell of the fall

The ocean was alive Tuesday as the first Northern Hemisphere groundswell of the fall poured into the coast of Santa Cruz County. Lookout was there to capture the scene.

It was not as big and burly as it can get — and will this winter — but the ocean was still plenty alive Tuesday as the first Northern Hemisphere groundswell of the fall poured into the coastal nooks and crannies of Santa Cruz.

And it made many who live here to play in the Monterey Bay playground that exists right offshore plenty happy with both the feel of fall in the air and the water, as brightly lit high-70s air was met with a 16-second-interval swell that delivered overhead surf to both sides of town.

As Lookout has reported, both during last winter’s largest swells and just recently with the tragic spate of drownings on the North Coast, the ocean is no joke and must be taken seriously at all times.

Tuesday was a day for beginners and novices to observe from shore and pick up tendencies of a particular break, swell conditions or lineup of surfers. Careful observation is the first job for any aspiring surfer.

To that end, Be On The Lookout for our own Surfing 101 guide that will roll out this weekend. There are great teachers in this town and this — the real beginning of surf season in our part of the world — is the best time to live out your dreams of becoming a waverider.

COMING SUNDAY: Surf School 101

School is in
The first key to learning to surf is signing up for any number of good schools and individual instructors that exist in Santa Cruz. On Sunday, we’ll give you the lowdown on how to begin choosing among the many options available.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)