A big Pacific low pressure system could produce some solid Mavericks this weekend. Here's the left looking deceptively pretty. Photograph by Hank, from his Folio in our latest issue, TSP 70.
If you're in the Northern Hemi, start waxing the guns, because both the Pacific and the Atlantic look like they're about to explode with swell.
In Hawaii, organizers of the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau contest are watching to see if it'll go, and the Bank of Hawaii North Shore Tow-in Championship is also on stand by. Meanwhile, gunmen, and women, all down the West coast of North and Central America are getting ready as the giant low pressure system that bowled out of the Western Pacific earlier this week enlarges and becomes a 'complex low' - ie it now has multiple offshoot lows that will keep the Pacific pumping for the next week or so.
Pacific chart, not looking so bad ... "
While the surf will be big in Hawaii - a solid 15-18ft - it seems the system is going a little too near the islands to keep things super clean and it could be that dodgy Kona (S and SW) winds will mess things up before a proper onshore wind really makes things ugly for the weekend. On that basis, the Peahi tow surf contest has decided not to call the event for this weekend.
It does, however, seem like this system will offer up some great surf for Oregon, California and Mexico. The Mavericks contest organizers are keeping a close eye on the system, which doesn't look like it'll produce the biggest Mavs ever, but should throw plenty of giant bombs at Half Moon Bay. And with a friendly high pressure system sitting over California, the winds look favorable and the sun looks set to shine.
Atlantic juice, set to light up everywhere from Ireland to North Africa
Meanwhile, across The Pond, Europe is about to get whacked by another mega-low. One well-known forecast site is calling for 84ft seas on Sunday off Ireland's west coast, though the rest are claiming it'll be a mere 35-40ft. And again, the winds look like they'll mess things up for many coasts, though there's plenty of juice there to wrap into its nooks, crannies and gunk holes. Spare a thought for big-wave duo Richard Fitzgerald and Gabe Davies, both of whom will be away this weekend – Richie just got married to the lovely Briohney, his long time girlfriend(congratulations!), and they're off to the Caribbean for a honeymoon, while Gabe, ironically, is going to California to attend US premier of the film Wave Riders, a movie all about he and Rich riding swells ... just like this one. Ouch!
Best bets for Europe look like being Ireland's W coast on Saturday (strong offshores for a time with 15-20ft swell), and Spain's north coast for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Other places of some interest are, of course, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco, which will all get the swell, and should have some decent wind options. We'll keep an eye on these systems and keep you informed along the way.
Here's Gabe Davies on an exploding Irish bomb – as seen in Wave Riders, showing at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next week. Photo is by Mickey Smith