Goleta - Santa Barbara - Carpinteria, Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Flashback 2009: 265 Degree Super West Swell

By Staff

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Contemplating the Opportunities       Photo: SHAFER

When The Swell Turns Very West

      Due to the unique geographical properties of Santa Barbara — namely its Southward-facing orientation and the islands laying offshore — well, it’s not always a “surfer’s paradise”.  Our coastline requires a particular swell angle to fit into our “swell window” to create the perfect conditions that all surfers crave.  Unfortunately, most years the swells generated in the Pacific come in from too Northerly of a trajectory, and they lose their potency before breaking.  However, during so-called “El NiƱo” years, the storm track shifts Westerly, resulting in a swell angle that is ideal for creating perfect waves along our coastline.  Several years ago a strong West swell struck our local coastline, opening the window to epic possibilities for local surfers.  Check out the slideshows below and witness for yourself just how good the surf can get here at home when conditions come together.

Jon Shafer’s Images









Steve Bissell’s Images

Stay tuned to Santa Barbara Surfer for premium local surf coverage!


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» wrote on 12.22.09 @ 06:30 PM

take more pictures of different people. thatnks

» wrote on 12.22.09 @ 08:41 PM

i went out after work and got so many funs barrels what an epic day

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 03:13 AM

Yes please post pics of the afternoon when it really turned on and got much bigger and better.

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 01:15 PM

winter seas…swells come and go…fabulous shots

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 03:20 PM

Yeah donkey thanks for the exposure…. why dont you stay down south and wait for Kelly to show up so you can get pictures and fill more non existant parking spots for the next swell. We dont want, need or like documentation of our land. Stay south

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 04:04 PM

I think its pretty sad that we cant get one picture of someone riding a board other than a 6 ft thruster. I was out there and saw many guys shredding singlefins, hulls, longboards, alaias, and fishes. Try to mix it up a bit?

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 06:43 PM

love the kneelo shot!

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 08:19 PM

I’m so torn between giving you props for the shots of friends at my favorite place and wanting to choke you for the exposure.

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 10:47 PM

Killer shots brah.  Whoa!!  Never mind the wankers.  Only people who live here will know where they were snapped.  And besides, it breaks there only once every three years on a blue moon.  Lol.  Thanks for not naming the spot just the same.


» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 11:05 PM

great shots and to those bitching, there is no name calling here so bug off.
keep up the good work.
merry Christmas everyone

» wrote on 12.23.09 @ 11:29 PM

You can’t claim this is a “secret spot” since it’s visible from Highway 101.

» wrote on 12.24.09 @ 04:40 AM

all these negative comments are ridiculous. the crowd wasn’t that bad that day, there were a few collisions but people learned their lesson. as for the localism. are you living in the STONE AGE? the Ocean is EVERYONE’s! it is nature’s gift for everyone to share, anybody trying to have some sort of attitude of entitlement is just ignorant and stupid. if you want more waves…train harder, get stronger, read waves better, and become a better surfer!

» wrote on 12.24.09 @ 05:26 AM

glad to have some killer surf at home!

» wrote on 12.24.09 @ 05:46 AM

This website’s called: “Santa Barbara” Surfer, stay down there.

» wrote on 12.24.09 @ 03:16 PM

Nice shot of “Jefe the bearded one” there Jon…

» wrote on 12.24.09 @ 09:27 PM

Cool pics! i"ve been riding my ** *** like spot for 2 days now! by myself! of course it"s Kodiak, Alaska!

» wrote on 12.26.09 @ 02:41 AM

Mikey G. and Josh. You got to be kidding. The place is so famous you could go just about anywhere in the world show them a photo and say it was in California and they would know exactly where it is. I would not be too surprised if you guys utilized the many on line surf reports to determine where you are going to surf.It is over man…People are savvy enough to figure it out. These photographers are NOT the bad guys. Hey YOU are here looking at these photos aren’t you? What are looking for? Maybe you are just upset a Pic of you getting shacked wasn’t posted. Merry Christmas friends.I hope you are blessed to find peace where ever you surf.

» wrote on 12.26.09 @ 03:42 PM

I know where that spot is- I’d kinda forgotten about it, but thanks for jogging my memory. Now I’ll show up with about 10 of my friends, who will tell all of their friends, “butterfly effect” anyone?

» wrote on 12.26.09 @ 07:00 PM

Psst.  There’s even a website dedicated to Goleta surfing.  Don’t get your panties all in a bunch.  Besides, that place only breaks (I mean really breaks) once every few years, so WTF?

» wrote on 12.29.09 @ 07:01 PM

Hey thats ** ***! See you all there!

» wrote on 12.29.09 @ 07:22 PM

** *** doesn’t get better.  Everyone should be there this week

» wrote on 12.31.09 @ 01:20 AM

they have found In recent studies that in certain locations of the pacific ocean, including ours and others with oil riggs offcoast. It is proven to be highly cancerouse most always fatal, so stop surfing and if you haven’t started then don’t. Thank you very much, and if the cancer doesn’t kill you…

» wrote on 01.08.10 @ 01:40 AM

lots of the SBL boyz holding down the fort.  LIKE WE ALWAYZ DO…...

» wrote on 01.11.10 @ 12:14 AM

Lets see some photos from Today Macking :}

» wrote on 02.08.10 @ 10:54 PM

Hey, if you think localism is Dead, Go to Hawaii, Drop in on a Local Hawaiian and see what happens…..... Talk about respect, you’ll learn what they didn’t teach you in your surf class real Fast like, Brah…..... Or you can wait til’ the next “SUP Laird Wanna-Be” drops in on you and wants to share the “Aloha Vibe” w. you….....

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