December Waves

December 06 was a great December. Alek Parker… parking it. Photo: M-Dub.

spot 1

Friday 6:30am WFL Updater: Calm today, SE winds tomorrow in front of the low pressure. You know it’s calm when you go on IG at 6am and guys already have the boat headed out at dawn as their story. I saw that in the gulf and the Caribbean this am, calm everywhere… This next system looks solid. What is the perfect GC winter time low pressure? IMO it starts in Texas like 1003mb and while strengthening crosses slowly towards Alabama. When it gets to the Panhandle it’s 999 and lifting NNE up towards Western Tennessee after bumping into a slow to move out high pressure. In it’s wake it hit the gulf with gale force west winds and now seas are 10ft at 10seconds west swell. Behind the low a weak high drops in to meet the swell with light offshore winds… That IMO is the perfect GC low. With those days we got into a routine of hitting the low tide spots first and hitting a 2nd spot on the way home as the tide filled in. Those were good days and not even that cold bc the low brought mid latitude cool air and not polar air. On this day in December 2006, we got to surf perfect chest to head high barrels at spot 2 with Alek and Cory. Both of those guys are great tube riders and it was super cool to watch the pros get some GC shacks. Now that your all pumped up for the next one the weekend one has gone notch down a bit. It looks 1008mb when it gets close and then it double barrels off South Carolina forming a 2nd front in the ATL which is forecast to make it to the 18 degrees N Latitude Caribbean middle next week with rain and cool WX. That 2nd low keeps the wind from going NE almost staying NNW but the WFL land breeze will veer it. One model did not match the other and I think real time it will blow 20-30 and not just 20. The pattern sticks and the one a week from now does the lift out so good time to be a WFL surf rat, waves for days as Fuggin said. Peace out…

Alek Parker, WFL 12/06. Photo: M-Dub.

Thursday WFL Future Forecast brought to you by the Compound: The next low pressure for Sunday looks really good, a Texas scraper just shredding the gulf all the way to Jacksonville and then on out into the ATL. Monday looks chunky… Pencil in a sick day for next Tuesday b/c it could be swell and favorable winds. check back for more…
Thursday WFL Surf Forecast 12/6/2018 7am The models look the same today as yesterday, that’s a good thing. Solid low pressure will cross the gulf: Saturday return flow warming with SE winds and a 1ft south line, probably not rideable but maybe right before dark. Sunday building south swell with gusty south winds early going west- chest to head high and getting chunky and choppy. Monday chest to head high with strong NW winds. Tuesday waist to chest swell with N winds, go surf! 2019: It’s that time of year. If your stoked on the forecasts and reports there is a donate button below. Your donations inspire me to forecast and report. Thanks for your generosity.


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91 thoughts on “December Waves

  1. Ericito

    Yea I’d go with 7.5! Biggest in a while. Bigger than any of the 6 named storms we got last year. It was just a shorter event I feel…but yea it was fun! On a side note, Its pretty cool out this morning!

  2. m-dub

    Here’s my scale

    Best wfl swell: Juan 85 ten days of waves=10
    Wilma: 4 days of perfect channel swell=9
    Ivan: 13 second bombs Rita: the most hollow Katrina: big and clean=8
    Gustav: 7.5 what am I leaving out?
    Which was your favorite?

  3. John Irving

    I remember Surfing Ida in 2009 for a few days. Super clean 4-6 up in Clearwater. I remember when I was younger sitting outside at pier 60, behind the ropes off of the jetty. Waiting in the pylons our back for a big set to peel out of the Chanel and shoot a head high glassy bowl. Don Burns, Brandon Fraley, Cory and Pete Lopez, Josh Payne the Clearwater lifeguard, and old Ham and Eggs local ripper we Called him, Bill with the silver Jeep Cherokee. I could hold my own at this time I was 24 and learning to fins out cut backs. But Irma was a 9 out of 10 all of us Sand Key locals were having a zoo party at that Clearwater Pier 60 spot called the Wall. Corey was doing big 360 airs Brandon Fraley was ripping an Erie surfboard in the fickle tubes. Pete Lopez fighting Don Burns for the outside bombs running the wall to paddle out the pylons into the channel. Was an awesome day I will never forget we could see Sand Key Parks 2nd bouy but we we’re riding head high plus from the point all the way past Shepard’s that spot and day was amazing we all would tip that crazy Valet dude 10 bucks each and he would just let us surf the Wall all day long. That spot is very tricky with a ton of fickle from the waves bouncing off of the wall, but when the conditions are right and the tide is super low it will line up from the point 400-600 yards all the way to Tropics we were riding so far the skimmers at the end would have to watch us fly in and bomb a missed air out the back of a long ride. That was a day I will always remember watching all the Locals from the Key stomping waves at the Wall, so for me that storm was a 9!!!

  4. m-dub

    Katrina is there. Katrina was to me probably an 8 it was big like reminded me of hermosa in Costa Rica lots of power then the next day we surfed Bel Air with some pros from Southeast Florida yeah I didn’t forget that one

  5. fuggin

    Ill give Michael an 8.5+(7 if you factor in the poopy water 😐) Tues pm really turned on down here on Lido, overhead and clean fast throwing barrels on the rights. Definitely biggest since Ivan but was a short event with the next day being VAS. Wilma was exceptional with the LP channel swell for a few days. K wasn’t that great down here as winds went onshore here before the size showed up. I’m still itching for some consistent coldfront waves. I think the Texas/LA lows that sweep accross the gulf are the best imo especially with those wnw rights that light up my go to spot. Sidenote… Saw one beach down here that rarely works (the one with the trees) with some waist high swell wrapping around the inlet 90° 🤙🤘🤙

  6. Rob Hyypio

    Oh … yeah – I see that you have that rated. My eyes are going bad for sure. Anyway – that was one of the best sessions I ever had on the Gulf. Unforgettable in my book. Aside from inhaling that red tide foam ball that almost killed me, I remember walking back to my car … me you and TC … and were were all rating it a 10 at the time. In looking back, I don’t think that it could get much better than that. Those long freight train lefts are burned into my mind. If I could rewind time, I would. That whole year was amazing, really wave-wise.

  7. m-dub

    The 2 pitchers of yuengling at beefs and hot wings washed out the red tide taste post6ft bomb session … Ok there iis something I miss…

    Super fun Rob your post brought a smaller to my Monday thanks

  8. JDH

    #1 for me was Wilma on that Sunday as it came ashore down by Naples and the swell that showed up on the outer shoal where Lido point bends around into little pass, was unbelievable if you weren’t there. It was in my top 3 days of waves I’ve ever caught anywhere in the state.
    The water depth goes from over 30 feet to abruptly 6-8 with a perfectly arching shoal, that amplified all that swell, making for the biggest and longest waves I’ve ever seen. That’s with surfing many big swells at Rc’s, Ponce, Jupiter, and PBI.

    You’re are full of it JDH, right? Thats ok.

    Katrina would be my number 2. That Saturday I surfed ami in the morninh, then went down to the Compound to pick up my 5′ 6″ Eric Napals Fish, that I took out an hour before sunset at Lido point, that were heaving over stand up barrels that I had a hard time adjusting to with that fat fish. I had to jump towards the front of the board to get the foward momentum. In that hour, the full brunt of the swell was pushing in and I wish I had pictures.
    That Sunday of Katrina, I surfed from Central Ave to the Clearwater jetty, which was solid all day.
    By sunday, Katrina was on approach of making landfall and I remember continuously thinking how strange it is, getting so much enjoyment seeing the coast line that I grew up playing in the sand, while all out destruction is about to take place.

    One of these years, we won’t be so lucky and an October storm will be pulled into WCFL with an early season front. If the eye wall hit Tarpon. It’d be our worst case scenario as all that onshore would be focused onto the coast and into the Bay.
    We can’t keep getting this lucky.
    There’s nearly 5 million people in the total TB area (Statistics don’t include Manatee or Sarasota counties on the .Gov sites)
    If we were to get a Michael, the devastation here would be absolutely mind boggling.
    I pray we don’t but it is inevitable.

  9. m-dub

    Man I’ve been saying that for40 years but it never happens. Whydoes irb stick out? Its just sand

    If you look at percentages of the Bahamas the Caribbean Texas the northern gulf… West Florida is so low you guys just don’t line up to get hurricanes once in a hundred years maybe

    Am I right?

  10. JDH

    You are right. There’s lot of factors involved.
    We’ve dodged the bullet a few times.
    Our records don’t go back very long, so we don’t know exactly what’s taken place in the past.
    Yeah, irb is just sand. I’ve found aerial photos from the late 30s and forties in a book about Gulfcoast bathsymetry and barrier island sand movements and it wasn’t so rounded off. It used to be more jagged with different sand formations.
    Something about how irb sticks out is like a repellant, or its just atmospheric conditions and steering currents.
    I know storms like staying in the warm loop current but they also break off from that and head to the big bend like hermine and many smaller storms like that. 12 hours difference in drier air to the west which pulled Irma east earlier than projected. Charlie was like that too.
    I don’t know if it’s just timing, or some other reason but the TB area has been spared. I don’t think it can last forever. The locals in Vero Beach used to call itself Veero Beach because storms used to bend north or traverse the state south of them, but never directly into them, until 2004 with Jeanne and Francis. It’s nearly impossible to call but every year I keep thinking wow, we might be untouchable.

    Speaking of Rita, I concur with you on cleanness.
    I caught a sesh at white av that was like oil glass during that swell. Red tide was around too.

    Sweet shot of Shea. Before his injury, he was a real contender. Was bummed when he had to quit the tour.

  11. admin Post author

    I saw a website with percentages once I think Eleuthera was #1 to receive a hurricane on avg like less than every 3 years.
    The storms are stronger now and move slower due to climate change… honestly a cat 1 can be a walk in the park for the Caribbean(we dont even board up), upper cat 2 and it gets dicey, 3 is really bad, 4 and 5 are catastrophic… what do you tell someone in Mexico Beach that has no house anymore?

    here they just went and stayed with family and in many cases their homes were rebuilt by different organizations, but they are like 800 sq ft wooden kit houses but built to withstand 250mph winds now with hurricane ties and clips tied to the footers buried deep. the old houses were a joke, so poorly made, just nails, no clips… after 92 and Andrew Dade Co everything changed… Andrew was my 1st hurricane at beech street (white ave is a misnomer) Cory and Shea were out with their dad and a dozen EC pros came over, mind blowing shred fest. I could not get a wave off the pros so I went up north 200yrds and surfed in front of that A frame with the turquoise roof, chest high left barrels for hours, so sick

  12. m-dub

    Yeah that was sick! Strong high pressure in the Atlantic right now is more symptomatic of la ninya. Hoping for el niño but it may be late

  13. Heath

    Micah I emailed you.
    Taking my daughter Ashtyn to the island 2nd week of November for her 18th bday. Was hoping to ship a few boards to you, if that is ok.

  14. Connor Geis

    I remember reading a passage in an Environmental Studies course at New College of Florida. The section was talking about Native American inhabitants of Sarasota Bay. It said the ancient indians settled around Sarasota Bay due to the highly productive estuary and because the area was very rarely hit by hurricanes. Interesting stuff.

  15. Rob Hyypio

    Let’s talk about next week’s potential system. As of now it looks to me like we get swell Sunday and Monday … low in Gulf looks to provide some building waves Saturday as front digs south of Louisiana giving us a west swell .. then pulling up and away with a NW shot before quickly going N 180 hours out … is this a mirage or is it a real thing? I am looking forward to some waves!!!

  16. Rob Hyypio

    Edit … building waves Sunday … not Saturday (late maybe Saturday, but I meant Sunday) … thoughts on that Weaver??

  17. Ericito

    Caught a few waves while the kiddo sat on the beach. Red tide is still real nasty here on spb. Wouldn’t let him go in the water even though there was a fun surfable knee high grom wave. Like rifling rights down a point all in nasty water.

  18. Rob Hyypio

    Yeah … forecast models have it speeding up now … That’s what i see too as of this morning. Frustrates me though cause i am working Saturday and Sunday both days til like Noon … messes up my plans a little bit. Good news is that it’s looking more and more “real” … hopefully the red tide won’t be too bad.

  19. admin Post author

    This right now was my fave time of the year in WFL. I am envious of the behind the front temps! get out and enjoy the fall perfect WX!!!!

  20. fuggin

    Clean water in south tampa bay. Just got back from fishing Robinson Preserve and hooked into a dozen small snook and one decent red. Some small trout and bait in the grass too. Good to see the ecosystem still thriving. Water around Sarasota looking more murky but better than it has been

  21. Rob Hyypio

    Red tide is very bad on South Pinellas beaches today (Friday) … lots of red tide irritant in the air … everyone is walking around coughing out here. Lots of dead fish washing up …

  22. fuggin

    Chunky waves (looks 4ft) on Lido with red tide conditions and large dead mullet on the beach. Looks fun otherwise 😞

  23. RUSS-D

    I am sitting any wave event out until that Red Tide is gone. I used to play in it, but not anymore. I just can’t believe how bad it is this time. And it doens’t seem like it is going away any time soon 🙁

  24. Austin

    Upper north pinellas, (north of Clearwater pass) the beach is clean. No sign of red tide. Waves were thigh high with the occ bigger peak.

  25. Rob Hyypio

    This Sunday morning, it’s really small out back … can’t say it’s rideable in SoPine … what remaining swell that is in the water is all out of the North … less than knee high here. (8 am visual)

  26. Cde

    Thigh -waist south of Venice. Still a little shallow but fun and peeling. Zero red tide, tons of birds were feeding.

  27. higgy baby

    i’m with Russ, i’m not going out untill it’s clean, i can’t afford another sinus infection the last one cost me $400 to get over

  28. greg

    Surfed north of the zoo and had no problem with water quality. Friday night was solid chunky fun.Saturday late morning til late afternoon was a little cleaner and a tad smaller(lots o fun). Sunday morning used my floaty board and got some small stuff for a couple hours. Sandbars on the north beaches have shifted since I was last there and it seems to have improved things there. Overall not a bad weekend for a starved gulfster.

  29. m-dub

    Awesome thanks for the updates guys. Props to you guys for charging iit and finding clean water… You guys are hardcore!

  30. JDH

    I went on a bit of an adventure today.
    Hearing the red tide reports made me want no part of it, so my plan was to drop the kayak in at Anclote park and paddle over to the Island with my thick fish leashed onto the kayak, to see what is breaking out there. I’ve heard stories.
    Well, once I got beyond the river heading out, the wind was whipping down the St Joseph Sound, the currents with the low tide were swirling…
    Needless to say I turned back after getting about a 3rd of the way out. Ended up walking dragging the kayak through the exposed grass flats until finally making it around the bend, where the current wasn’t insane.
    Made it back to the park with my tail tucked between my legs and decided to head to the Causeway to paddle over to Caladesi.
    Wow has that beach changed. Passed 880 it really bays around facing north. Just south of the shoal in front of Hurricane pass, there was a really sweet log wave that really surprised me. 1-3 ft but good form for the conditions, with real nice slides offering a few turns on a log. I caught a few with the kayak but I learned a kayak doesn’t want to turn once sliding down the side and flipped it soaking all my supplies and phone. Lost the paddle. Lost my flip flop.
    Went into full scramble mode to retrieve everything.
    All in all, it was a fun day. As fast as that wave was breaking, the winds bent onshore and tore it apart.
    I spent another hour picking up trash and enjoying the solitude.

  31. fuggin

    Saw some guys with rubbing their eyes and rinsing them with bottled water Sat pm for some choppy waist high waves on Lido. It looked fun but those guys were miserable. Sun DP Lido had super low tide and knee high sets running down the shallow sandbar really fast, water looked cleaner. Checked back again after work expecting some waves to fill in with the tide but no dice. Pulled the trigger on the drive down to VSJ after watching SL cam and found some thigh-waist shorepound runners that were really fun on the 8ft barge. Water was poopy smelling but no burning eyes. Glad I drove south instead of going for beer and watching the Bucs lose

  32. admin Post author

    great song super appropriate… I heard clean in N Pine and south of Venice, dirty in between SRQ to IRB, anyone confirm? Saturday is looking good 🙂
    DEAD MILKMEN you’ll dance to anything!

  33. Rob Hyypio

    Charging on that floaty 7’0 Micah … it was a game changer for me when I made the switch. You handle all that foam like a boss.

  34. Ericito

    Got out to spb for an evening sesh around the new structures! Brought my son and got to surf with herbalist! Waves were thigh to waist high and the lefts were wayyyy long! Easy 30 ft + liners! New set up is dope! No pics but hopefully some tomorrow ! And the best part……No RED tide!!!!!

  35. admin Post author

    thanks Rob, you inspired me…. I went to Domes looking for herablist I thought he was down here hahaha, stoked to hear Upham is back thanks for the report Ericito

  36. DW

    Good call MW, SKP was fun, chilly morning DP with Russ, call it waist w occ. rib but clean and side-offshore. Matty came out later and Russ got some pics of him posted on Gulfster. Egmont was 5.2″ @8s from 7:30 to 10a and that was the peak of this little swell. Fun waves two Saturdays in a row, who’d a thunk it!

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