As many Santa Barbara residents know, this winter we have had El Nino come into full effect. Everything from rainy and cold weather, to large consistent runs of swell. Surfers are claiming it’s the best winter for swell in many years. This has been caused by the El nino. It causes more waves, “extreme” weather as far as California is concerned, which is good for the drought. It really is nice compared to last year when there wasn’t consistent waves, and driving to Ventura which is normally at least a 30 minute drive from Santa Barbara, just to get something that was possible to surf, was a regular thing. Not to mention all the breaks around Santa Barbara are much better the majority of the time, known mostly for the cobblestone pointbreaks.
The constant waves, have also opened up surf spots that are typically small, and not places you would think to go. Many times this winter, Sandbar (more known as sandspit) has been blown up on social media for hundreds of thousands to see. It has made it quite a bit more crowded with people that do not live here, but have seen the photos and videos on their phones and computers, and they all of a sudden want to come here. It is a hassle to say the least, but as long as the swell keeps coming, it will all be good. Most of the out of towners only come when there is a very known swell that everyone knows about. There is still some days you can get with not many people out at a spot that is normally very crowded. That is a lot of what surfing is about, being with your friends and having a good time. I’m not saying if it is crowded then surfing won’t be fun, because I surf with a large crowd a lot due to living in California. If your in a big crowd, you can either have a great session and the crowd doesn’t even bother, or it can go very bad. Surfing good waves with just your friends though is something special, and it should be recognized for that.