You know what they say: the rarer the wave, the sweeter the ride. Or maybe I just made that up. Photo: San Diego Union-Tribune

You know what they say: the rarer the wave, the sweeter the ride. Or maybe I just made that up. Photo: San Diego Union-Tribune

Well, sure, Rincon’s been firing for weeks on end, Blacks has been gobbling up 8’0″s like candy, and [REDACTED] near San Diego has gone mental this El Niño-fueled winter. But you know what’s even more rare? Piddly peelers sneaking underneath fishing piers hidden way back in normally placid bays. Perfect little tubes rifling next to harbormouth jetties where you’ve never before seen ridable waves. Spitting mini-barrels whomping onto the pristine sands of protected beachwalking coves.

El Niño has busily lit up all the usual suspects for the last month or so, but it’s also turned a bunch of what if setups— normally host to micro-waves that are strictly mindsurf only—into surfable, if not spectacular, novelty waves.

And what could be more fun?

Strolling with a board through parking areas unaccustomed to surfers, looking back from the water at a familiar, but also unfamiliar shoreline, riding waves where you’ve always thought: “maybe…just maybe.”

Giant, coast-realigning west swells only come along so often. Well, ok, not this year, when there’s one pretty much every week. But who knows what next year will bring? Forgo that drive to the overcrowded and overfrothing winter standbys and carve out some time at your nearest novelty spot. It’s like a tiny, one-hour surf trip.