What if there's no surf at Trestles?

Stu Nettle
Form Guide

Here's a simple way to gauge how good the surf is gonna be at an upcoming CT comp: check how many sites do early forecasts.

I work with forecasters and I know how damn excited they get when they see storms advancing into the waiting period. God how they love to be the bearers of good news!

However, there's also an inversion of that law: a lack of forecasts is directly related to how bad the forecast is gonna be. And unfortunately for the upcoming Hurley Trestles Pro the forecasts are thin on the ground. Yep, it's gonna be bad - dire in fact.

The competition starts on September 6th, which is one day after a small southwest swell, say about chest high, tapers off leaving the opening day with knee to perhaps chest high waves, which, improbable as it seems for an eleven day waiting period, may just be the biggest surf of the competition.

Trestles, not this week.

We can say that with some degree of certainty owing to Trestles orientation toward the south. The long-period swells that constitute Trestles' summertime bread and butter originate deep in the southern hemisphere. Spawned in the South Pacific Ocean they travel north, cross the equator, and then progress on into the North Pacific Ocean before striking the Californian coastline. Their travel time is around a week, sometimes more.

Therefore if the forecast was promising we'd be seeing the storms brewing right now, however instead of wind-whipped ocean the South Pacific is a bit more, erm, pacifying. Hence why you're not reading much about it.

Adding to the difficulty is Trestles location inside a Californian State Park making it subject to timetable restrictions. The WSL can only run on one day of a weekend, yet there are two weekends in the waiting period meaning they could potentially lose two days. Plus they can only run from 8am to 5pm so there'll be no dawn to dusk squeeze such as we saw at Teahupoo recently.

The WSL has some form on the board vis-a-vis extending waiting periods. In recent years they've extended Snapper Rocks (2015) and Teahupoo (2007...yeah I know it's not recent), both to finish the contests in a swell falling outside the waiting period.

Whether the WSL can pull strings over a tightly regulated spot such as Trestles remains to be seen.

And if they simply don't get enough swell to finish the comp?

Again, there's some history to call upon.

In 1992 at the Quiksilver Surfmasters Biarritz the contest was cancelled after the quarter-finals with the remaining contestants splitting the prizemoney. While in 2013 The Women's Roxy Pro Biarritz was cancelled due to lack of swell, though it was simply rescheduled to later.

The WSL rulebook states that if a contest is cancelled wihout having commenced, the prizemoney is split evenly and no points are awarded. However, the surf forecast at Trestles ain't that atrocious, there will be some surfable days in the mix. Therefore the previous rule in the book is of greater concern, and it states that all remaining surfers receive the prizemoney they'd get if they were eliminated in the next round, then the balance is split. And as for points, arguably more important as the title race speeds up, each remaining surfer will receive the points earned from the previous completed round.

Another photo of Trestles not flat.

The last time an event was cancelled, though it wasn't for lack of surf, was J'Bay 2015 when Mick copped a rub from the shark and the final was cancelled. Many people thought Mick and Julian Wilson should've split the points for first and second, however as per the rules they both received the points for second place. If Mick won he would've taken the yellow jersey off Adriano de Souza, but he didn't and ADS retained the jersey, exchanging it at the end of the year for the first place trophy.


freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 11:39am

I haven't had a proper look but Trestles can also fire from hurricane swells being generated off the baja coast the "chubascos".

Any sign of that in the waiting period?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 11:45am

There's one spinning around right now, not named yet but falling in the 'potential' basket. And any swell potential appears limited to the east of the tip of Baja. Lotta swell for the Gulf of California.

Long range is uncertain.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 12:14pm

Maybe move the whole shitt show to Zippers at Cabo San Lucas?

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 12:17pm

The problem is compounded with both women's and men's events to be run in the same waiting period. That's 78 heats (men's 51 + women's 27).

wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8 commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 12:31pm

I think Trestles is also restricted by how many days it can use within the waiting period, so it's not like they can set up then stop. If they choose a day they really need to see it through to the end.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 12:58pm

No swell, no problem. They can all head over to Kelly's wave pool and hold the comp there. In fact, they can hold the next one there too, and the one after that.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 1:15pm

Two years ago they ran a Legends heat at Trestles with Shaun Tomson, Simon Anderson, Cheyne Horan, Mike Ho, and Rabbit Bartholomew. The afternoon following it, the comp had ended and there were few people around, meanwhile Shaun paddled out to a pumping Trestles lineup.

We ran a story on Swellnet, however it's worth re-running this sequence shot by Simon Anderson.

Shaun, north of 60 years, still styling.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 2:32pm

I am probably the only one who is of the opinion that the wave looks vastly overrated particularly for surfers of the WSL calibre. Great fun for me and my mates but for these guys not real challenging except for an airfest. Yeah, yeah hi performance and all that, however, I want to see these guys challenged by the wave not jumping around and flipping everywhere. Stuff that I would seriously think about surfing in.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... commented Tuesday, 5 Sep 2017 at 3:36pm

If the pro's had to surf one of the surf locations pumping on tour by themslves for an hour, I reckon it would get a few nods. Those rights at 4ft look bloody fun for all levels

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 7:30am

Actually looks quite fun today, when its like this i actually think its a decent competition wave, very rippable.

Ada gula, ada semut!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 7:57am

Just had a massive downpour of rain and It's Wilson vs Ewing on now.

Smoothly bowl and coffee for breakfast with a surf in the near future.

Unreal day so far.

Did you see Fanning v Igarashi ?

Kanoa won despite the fact that Fanning was surfing literally twice as well.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 8:20am

Kanoa and Mick gonna have a restart.

KI the victim of new blocking priority rule - good to see it being enforced.

PoolsRules's picture
PoolsRules's picture
PoolsRules commented Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 12:37pm

This event has been extremely dismal and I'm surprised it has run. We only like watching surfers in gnarly big waves like what we like ride!

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