Last week, a certain California wave went off and it did so in a way that only the ocean can. It was raw and it was real. It was a very honest form of perfection. The type a wave pool could never know. The type that makes us love surfing so very much.
Posted by Surfing Magazine on Tuesday, January 12, 2016
There is one reason many choose to live in California. Scratch that, there are two reasons.
World Class Surf – Check.
World Class Skiing and Riding – Check.
This video is of the famous Sandspit “artificial” wave in Santa Barabara. This place doesn’t break big often, but when it does, it’s epic and it’s known to love El Nino…
“Now this place gets good. Really good, mate — like Kirra when it’s on, yeah. Created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers some time ago, the breakwater finger sticking into picturesque Santa Barbara Harbor works magic with the local sand flow, arranging those precious grains in such a fashion that they transform ordinary lines of swell into insanely hollow, ass-flyin’ rights that can either peel on and on or dump squarely onto your back, depositing you straight into the oh-so-shallow bottom.
Most surfers think that Sandspit only breaks on the biggest of winter swells, but you’d be surprised at how many days it’s surfable. You’ve probably seen photos of Sandspit in the magazines or at its best during the 1982-’83 winter in the video, Off the Wall 2: the crazy backwash, the chocolate water, the frightening double-ups and a guy like Chris Brown or Tom Curren getting shacked off his nut. Believe what you’ve seen: all of this is part of the game.
Here’s how Sandspit works: a set will approach the breakwater, hit the backwash, jack up right in front of some craggy jetty boulders and spin off down the line. The takeoffs are ridiculously steep and are often outright airdrops, so paddle into them like mad, hop up as soon as you can and look to pull-in from ground zero. When conditions are ideal, the wave is a straight tube, nothing else. No room for carves, reentries or floaters. Visualize Kirra, but on a smaller, colder scale. You’ll see a lot of kids trying to launch airs at Sandspit, but why risk flopping over an endless, mind-bending barrel? Tuberiding is the name of the game here, but it’s also a dangerous place to surf. Not only is the bottom extremely shallow and the lips like jackhammers, surfers have been known to get washed over the breakwater and deposited in fetus position on the other side. Watch that backwash.” – Surfline.com