No one fully understands how the ocean moves sand around. When meddling organizations like the CoE dump sand on our beaches, the ocean immediately starts to take it somewhere else. Sometimes that works out to our advantage, (the SuperBank comes to mind) but when a reef is the main source of a wave’s shape, this sand can collect in the deep areas surrounding the structure. These deep areas define the shape and size of a wave and when they are filled with sand, the result is smaller, closed out waves. I’ve seen it happen with other types of structure like sand bars as well.
Photo by Maggie Marsek
The storms that raged through San Diego in December moved tons of sand dumped on North County San Diego beaches in 2000 to god knows where. By the next swell, peaks that were closed out or mushy for years were consistently producing long, steep waves. Thanks to this recent sand movement, I recently scored roping and walled up olas at an empty break that hasn’t produced a fun ride in years. The more crowded spots that day were working better than normal as well. (more…)