A Paineful Slumber

San Clemente lit up with once-a-year conditions, even at this average beach break. Photo: Kailey Skelton.

While you were sleeping yesterday, SoCal did something special.

A steeply angled Hurricane Paine pushed in a surprising amount of swell to the south-facing beaches between San Clemente and LA. The sets were consistent and wave-rich, with spots like Newport Point pumping out 8-10 wave, overhead pulses on a regular basis. The size and consistency of this swell was met with sublime conditions, including balmy weather and dead winds until 11 AM. This led to a hefty supply of barrels on tap.

Locked and loaded at the Point. Photo: John Salanoa.

As mentioned before, the fickle Newport Point probably got the best of Paine. Watching the cam from work was a truly heart wrenching experience, as guys were getting blown out of tubes every 15 seconds. However it was pretty crowded, as seemingly every Newport local got the wave report by 6:30 AM.

For those of us not in Orange County, this swell came as a big surprise. It wasn’t hyped up on any forecasting sites, and there weren’t any real indicators that this hurricane would be the one to light up certain exposed regions. We’d be willing to bet that quite a few people slept right through it.

Hurricane Paine surf session at the Point, Newport Beach, CA
Just to rub it in a little more. Photo: Driftwood.