Summer hit with a vengeance yesterday. After a three-day weekend of fun 2-to-4-foot clean southwest swell in Imperial Beach and everywhere else, the surf picked up a notch on Tuesday — a day off for me. My first session yesterday was a 5:45 a.m. before the school go-out with my sons Israel and Daniel. The south wind hit at 6:05 — which was a bummer. The surf had noticeably picked up from the day before. But we still surfed for an hour and then I took the kids to school.

Although the wind was still up after the boys left for class, I meandered back down to the beach. The tide had picked up and there were more consistent sets coming through on the north side of the pier. Luckily, after I paddled out a local ripper gave me a set wave — a nice bowl left off the pier (I profusely thanked him after I returned to the lineup).

I have been surfing south swell north side of the pier beauties for 30 years. With a steep drop that provides time for a big bottom turn and then a wall that tapers off down the beach, they never bore me. Luckily my buddy Chris Patterson, who I’ve surfed with for 29 years, was also out. We headed in after an hour and grabbed coffee and bagels. The pleasure of being “surfing dads.”

Later in the afternoon, the wind dropped as the tide came up and I picked up the boys from school. After homework was over, we made it back to the lineup. As the tide pushed, so did the sets, with a few overhead waves breaking through the pier.

So what is the secret of Imperial Beach? Well if you watch HBO’s “The Making of John from Cincinnati” on June 8th you might learn what it is.

Despite IB’s recent F grade by Heal the Bay, the water isn’t always polluted. And yesterday, the biggest crowd in the water was about eight guys. We do suffer down in IB. I mean we really do. But on those days when the swell is running, the wind dies and the surf rocks, we truly score. And then it is all worth it.


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