2010 Vans Pier Classic Surf Forecast

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2010 Vans Pier Classic Surf Forecast

What: The first stop of the ASP World Qualifying Series North America Tour, The Vans Pier Classic. Plus the Ezekiel Pro Junior contest.
When:
March 24-28
Where:
The southside of Huntington Beach Pier
Watch it live at www.vans.com

Surf Forecast Summary
Looks like a fun run of surf on tap for the Vans Pier Classic. There will be a decent S-SW swell already in the water as the contest kicks off on Wednesday and there will also be enough WNW-NW energy from local windswell, and a medium-period WNW-NW swell, to break up the bigger Southern Hemi sets. Wednesday and Thursday look like the biggest days with some shoulder-head high sets pushing through on the lower tides. The swell mix slowly backs down on Friday but holds onto enough energy to keep the surf rideable/playful over the weekend.

Weatherwise things look ok…there will be a bit of coastal eddy developing on Thursday that will bring in some overcast skies, fog, and light S-SW winds (basically the standard HB eddy crumble that plagues the region during Spring). Thursday’s wind looks like the funkiest day…by Friday, and on into the weekend, we should see the cleaner morning conditions return.

Keep in mind the tide-swings during the contest…the sandbars around the pier, (well really throughout a lot of Southern California), got chewed up by all the big winter swells and even a couple of feet of tide change can make a big difference.

Wednesday (March 24)
The surf will be a combo mix of S-SW swell (180-210) and WNW windswell. Sets will be a little inconsistent since the bigger waves will be coming from the Southern Hemi swell…but we can still expect surf to stay consistently in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high+ peaks setting up on the lower tides. Winds/weather: Winds will be mostly light and variable through the morning and we can expect a little bit of overcast weather early on. Winds will start to come onshore slowly through mid-day and we can expect some WNW flow around 10 knots by the afternoon.

Thursday (March 25)
The S-SW swell (180-210) will fade but a new WNW-NW swell (285-300) fills in and mixes with the smaller NW windswell. The surf will hold around the waist-shoulder high range on most of the sets but there will be more consistent shoulder-head high sets as the WNW’er pushes in a little more energy. Winds/weather: Conditions get a little funky on Thursday as winds in outer waters spin up the coastal eddy. Winds don’t look super-bad early but expect a bit of S-SSW texture as they pulse up around the 5-6 knot range. Expect much cloudier conditions early but it should burn off by lunchtime. The winds turn more SW-W by the afternoon but will stay below 10-12 knot range.

Friday (March 26)
The S-SW swell fades out more on Friday while the WNW-NW energy also starts to back down. Look for the average sets to drop more into the knee-chest high range with some inconsistent chest-shoulder high peaks still sneaking through on the lower tides. Winds/weather: Winds look a bit cleaner in the morning…still a bit eddyish but not as bad as Thursday. Expect some light-variable to light-S flow for the morning…mostly below 5-knots. Overcast/cloudy skies in the morning as well. SW-W winds around 10-14 knots set up in the afternoon…looks pretty choppy through the second half of the day.

Saturday (March 27)
The surf holds on Saturday as the mix of S-SW swell gets a little reinforcement and the WNW-NW energy sees a touch more windswell filter in to keep things from dropping too far. Expect more knee-waist high+ surf on the average sets with some inconsistent chest-shoulder high peaks setting up on the better sandbars during the low tide. Winds/weather: Still a touch of eddy hanging on Saturday morning…but nothing to bad. Look for light/variable winds for the morning…maybe even a touch offshore really early in the morning. Overcast/cloudy skies will be on tap for the morning as well. W winds around 10-knots move in by the afternoon…so expect increasing bump through till sundown.

Sunday (March 28)
The smaller combo mix will continue on Sunday as both the S-SW and WNW-NW swells manage to hang on. Expect the average sets to hold in the knee-waist high+ range while a few chest-high+ sets sneak in on the lower tides. Winds/weather: Winds look good for the morning…mostly light and variable with a touch of really weak offshore flow early on. The overcast skies and patchy fog will continue to hang around for the morning but expect them to burn off by the afternoon. Winds stay light through the middle of the day…eventually coming onshore out of the S-SW around 8-10 knots by the afternoon.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster
www.socalsurf.com