Ocean City Today

Few surfers brave cold for waves

Surf Report
By Dave Dalkiewicz | Jan 04, 2018

(Jan. 5, 2018) The last few weeks of the year there has been nothing to write about surf wise. Plus, this last week has been way cold, as in below average, as in not even getting over the freezing mark on some days.

Add a heavy northwest wind to this formula and things get even more frost prone. Lack of surf in these air conditions can become less bothersome. Keeping your body warm becomes more of a chore thus the urge to surf might very well become less of a factor.

Ironically, a little knee-to-waist high south swell popped up on the second to last day of the year. With the lighter offshore wind that day conditions were clean and smooth; desirable even with the colder atmosphere.

Low and behold, a couple of fully clad wetsuited surfers were visible toward the southern end of town. The fact that they happened to be female was of no consequence but of interest just the same. That they were having fun was fairly obvious.

Lots of reasons to be out there was apparent to me but in the counter intuitive realm they were probably warmer in the water than I was standing up on the beach.

With water temps in the low 40 range and the wind not too brisk, one could assume as much, with the air being colder, though not too popular with common thought. Probable good feeling though, closing out the year, on a positive note, with a session in an unlikely scenario such as this.

My hope is that this new year is going to be favorable for surf, especially with the recent replenishment program coming to an end and sandbars still viable. Close to the beach is the operative phrase but it could be a lot worse.

Sand has already started to erode back into the water and we’ve yet to have a proper winter storm. Thus optimism is running high, at least in my mind, and maybe Ocean City can get back to its more usual, regular breaking form.

“Breaking in the dirt” is anything but a good situation, never mind the added danger that it can produce.

The danger factor is also prevalent for swimmers and naturally that’s going to be more of a summer, warm season situation.

But here in January there’s at least five more months to go until summer, tourists, swimmers and beach goers. That’s quite a few days of possible erosion time and a “return to normal.” Beneficial for all concerned who are ocean users.

Ocean City has been well known for slamming beach break especially in larger swells. Nothing new in that regard with the situation only becoming more exacerbated in times of replenishment. But the sand on the bottom and around the ocean, in these parts, is always moving. Rarely is the ocean sand not moving to some degree.

When it is calm, it’s not for long. Thus, it’s all subject to constant change and sometimes in the most subtle of ways.

So look forward to this current and new year. Change and surprise are always evident even if the outcome is slight. Vigilance can be rewarded, once again, even in subtle ways.

Surfing is very much a dynamic activity and thus the ocean where it is “played out.”  Keep a lookout and you too can gain access both in the present and going forward.

Happy New Year!

— Dave Dalkiewicz is the owner of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in Ocean City

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