Schizo Spring Surf, September 24 – October 9, 2011

6 Oct 2011 0 Share

The morning after epic Thursday September 29 there were still some tasty treats. Empty peak Just south of Sydney on Friday morning September 30.

The morning after epic Thursday September 29 there were still some tasty treats. Empty peak Just south of Sydney on Friday morning September 30.

School Holiday Crowds in Eastern Sydney.

School Holiday Crowds in Eastern Sydney.

Words by Ben Horvath

Variable weather is a common feature of early spring. Temperatures in Sydney and surrounds during the first 23 days of September were well above average; in fact it was quite hot right up and down the eastern seaboard as northerly winds dominated.


During the NSW school holiday period stretching from September 24 to October 9, it was a different story. If you think the water and land temps were a tad cool for this time of the year, you were not mistaken. Since the Spring Sydney scorcher back on September 23, when maximum temperatures peaked at 32.5 degrees, we have experienced 13 consecutive days under the October average of 22 degrees. The water temp bang in the middle of the holiday break in Sydney on the October long weekend was a chilly 16 degrees.

The good news is though - there have been waves.

Empty A - frame at a southern Sydney reefbreak on Thursday September 29, 2011.

Empty A - frame at a southern Sydney reefbreak on Thursday September 29, 2011.

South Sydney pointbreak. Thursday September 29. - Horvath.

South Sydney pointbreak. Thursday September 29. - Horvath.

The last two weekends have been dominated by East Coast Lows and there’s another trough set to move into the Tasman this weekend, so expect more cloud, cooler temps and reasonable waves for the remaining few days of the NSW school hols.

Historically the Sept/Oct third term school holidays are hit or miss on the swell front. The first week of Oct 2011 was definitely more hit than miss. The swell didn’t drop under three feet all week in Sydney. Tuesday October 4 and Wednesday October 5 were the pick, as fresh southerly winds that limited options on the long weekend (except Saturday morning) eased and swung offshore, coinciding nicely with a solid 4-5 foot peak in SE swell.

Dru Adler boosting at D'Bah.

Dru Adler boosting at D'Bah.

The final week of September – the first week of the school holiday break was even better. Thursday September 29 was most definitely the highlight of the month in Sydney and surrounds as a 4-5 foot ENE swell was fanned by freshening offshore WNW winds as documented in last week’s Standout Session.


There were mid-size 3-4 foot waves every day of the week, and it was strangely uncrowded. I enjoyed a  mid afternoon session on Monday September 26 in peaky 3-5 foot waves right in front of the Corso at Manly alone. Then on Thursday I surfed a southern Sydney Point with a handful of guys. Weird! Matty Grainger noted a similar lack of crowds. He said, “I drove past a bunch of beach breaks on Sydney’s northern beaches on my way back from BL’s Blast Off up at Av on Thursday and spotted numerous 4-5 foot hollow, running banks with barely a few guys per peak.”

JC reports that the spring school holidays weather has been similar in SE Qld and northern NSW. Johnny said,” It’s been feeling a lot more like autumn than spring, with coolish overnight temperatures, strong SSE winds, SSE swells and steamers still in use.  Two East Coast Lows in a row delivered fun waves earlier this week and last, but it has been crowded up here.”

Watch Video from Coal Coast...

Let us know if you scored some strangely uncrowded quality during the holiday break...


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Tags: australia , nsw , sydney , swell , wrap (create Alert from these tags)

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