Sant Cruz, CA Surf Report: 5-7 Foot, Offshore, Pumping

Parker Russell | | SurfSurf
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A perfect mid-day peak at 26TH Avenue.

Its always nice to surf glass right after eating all your Halloween Candy, it gets you amped and ready hit the lip. My name is Parker Russell, the new Junior Intern here at SnowBrains. You may have seen my edits posted on SnowBrains.

Today was not supposed to be ideal Santa Cruz, it was supposed to be 15mph onshore from the clearing storm. However, Santa Cruz decided to be perfect so the pumping 5-7ft waves were groomed to perfection by the light offshore winds. 26th Avenue also comes off a kelp reef before it turns to sand. The kelp oils also keep the surface of the water glassy and groomed. A low tide of 2.0ft and a high tide of 4.5ft was not ideal for Santa Cruz keeping the waters high all day. This was the only drawback of the day making the waves crumble more than a lower low tide. This also made 26th Avenue a little difficult for catching waves because on high tide the waves stand up on the outer sandbar but then roll and break on the inner sandbars. In the end the epic conditions and the sun still made the day good for surfing.

A perfect left at 26th Avenue with a very happy surfer carving up the face.
A perfect left at 26th Avenue with a very happy surfer carving up the face.

Santa Cruz is known for it’s point breaks and reef breaks not it’s beach breaks like 26th Avenue. Which begs the question “why would you surf here?” After rain storms sand flows out of the nearby rivers making big sandbars and pumping waves. Also Santa Cruz = Crowds, so hitting the beach breaks around Santa Cruz gives relief from the crowds and lets you get in touch with your solitary side. Word travels fast about conditions in Santa Cruz and eventually people found out about this little gem.

2:00 p.m. 26th Avenue is crowded and the waves are still pumping.
2:00 p.m. 26th Avenue is crowded and the waves are still pumping.

After the crowds hit the surf we decided to bodysurf and the shore break was gnarly. Northwest swells at 26th make the shore break impact zones have a large current. This pushes you down the beach towards Capitola. You are constantly swimming and but at least you are getting a good workout. The shore break at 26th is hollow and decently heavy. Every time you go over the falls on a bigger size wave you are mostly likely going to hit the bottom. However if you go right, especially on northwest swells, you can have a decent ride and sometimes go all the way to the beach. Spots like 26th Avenue are unique because you can explore all aspects of waves from Surfing to Bodysurfing. It is also a popular skim-boarding spot if your into that.

Large shore break near the stairs at 26th Avenue makes more some fun thrashings.
Large shore break near the stairs at 26th Avenue makes more some fun thrashings.

A little after 2:00 some isolated thunderstorms move into the area creating onshore winds and we decide to leave. In true Santa Cruz fashion people still stay out to surf sub par waves.

Thunderstorms putting a damper on the day and creating onshore winds.
Thunderstorms putting a damper on the day and creating onshore winds.
People still surfing in sub par conditions. Two bodyboarders hit the shore break showing the diversity of the surf spot.
People still surfing in sub par conditions. Two bodyboarders hit the shore break showing the diversity of the surf spot.

 


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