SURF REPORT

(Sept. 17, 2021) We’re about to embark on the best time of the year.

The best months, the best season, warmest water, best potential for waves, least crowd factor, no surf restrictions, humidity on the downside, drier air, less working hours for some, and hopefully more water time and more time to surf.

It’s almost like the summer time is still going on with all the advantages and no disadvantages.

There are those that claim that hurricane season is the surf season. This is understandable, but in my opinion, there is no actual surf season or season for surf. It can happen at any time of the year.

The hype is the potential of the hurricane swell. Sometimes, everything comes together.

The storm will stay well out to sea, not threaten any land and the people and structures that are there. It will arrive at a good angle, be accepted by a favorable sandbar or reef on the floor of the ocean near the shore and produce a nicely breaking wave.

Winds on the beach will come together to assist in the combination of events that go into the “formula” of a well-breaking wave.

As can be seen, a lot of factors need to combine to produce the ideal scenario.

This chain of events doesn’t happen that often. It becomes rare and almost mythical. Ah, but it’s the potential.

The potential is what keeps us looking and hoping. It’s the boon and the bane, all part of the allure and the frustration.

We recently had a situation in August when Henri moved north out to sea.

Henri was a named tropical storm/hurricane. It produced overhead waves at times and coincided with an Eastern Surfing Association-Delmarva district contest.

At times, there were some good ones to be had although a lot of waves closed out, coming over all at once. Unfortunately, our sandbars are such that they can only handle so much swell unless the angle of the swell is just right as it approaches the beach.

Again, it’s all about the potential. Whether it be from a named storm or a more local weather system, that potential is always there, always a factor.

Oft times, we’ll get waves from these weather systems that don’t receive the hype. Combine this with the advantages that the fall season brings, as in the lessening of crowds, lack of restrictions, warm water and bingo! The mixture becomes more inviting.

Technically speaking, hurricane season goes from June through November, with the historical statistical peak occurring in mid-September.

So keep an eye on things. Monitor the conditions, and especially the potential. Afford it some attention because the rewards can be good indeed.

– Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City

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