Surfing at Seal Beach FYI

Read a acticle on surfing at Seal Beach in the L.A. Times this morning, the subject was on all the gross stuff that is allowed to be washed down 29 miles/ 685 miles square radius down to the mouth of the San Gabriel Rivermouth.The article stated that PCB’s and other toxins are in the water and surfing there may get you ill or worse may cause brain damage if you are one of the few that surf there regularly.All the fish have died and surfers talk about the human waste that floats by when you surf out there! Are you one of these locals, please give me some more info about the water conditions before i subject myself to evils that the reporter mentioned. never surfed there but i hear that it’s a great longboard spot that’s easy to ride with slow mushy swells and is rarely over 2’ a great learners spot for a novice like me.But i don’t want to get brain/stomach damage from all the pollution run off,I’ll go to Bolsa Chica #16 my favorite spot!Aloha

Are you one of these locals, please give me some more info about the water > conditions before i subject myself to evils that the reporter mentioned. > I’m no local, but when I lived nearby, I surfed Seal almost every day for about a year straight. First of all, it’s cramped quarters over there! It’s a very short stretch of beach, if you can call it that. If someone loses their board, it’s like the bowling alley. Everyone’s a pin. Contrary to rumors, all the fish are not dead. Just ask all the Stingrays that lay on the bottom at the River Mouth. The water’s really warm there, because of the plant runoff, and they like that. Sure, they’ve all got five eyes and three mouths, but they’re definitely alive and thriving, so don’t wade, just paddle. One thing you can’t forget about that place is the smell. No matter when you go…it smells like rotten fish skin, petroleum, and sewer all mixed together. You can smell it several miles away. The petroleum smell is what got to me. I could just imagine petroleum mist dewing-up in my lungs. But seriously, it’s not really that bad until it rains. You really don’t have much to worry about if you go when it hasn’t rained. DO NOT go there right after a rain. That’s when all the storm drains dump into the river, and thus into Seal Beach. I picked up a short-duration throat infection in one day. But overall, it’s not a bad place to surf once in a while, if you can hit it on a good swell when it hasn’t rained, and hit it EARLY…on a weekday.

Just read my post and realized I didn’t say anything about the surf there…in case you’re wondering… There are three main peaks, going from south to north: The Pier (north side). Crabs (the jetty). And the Rivermouth. The Pier gives really nice, clean lefts, not extremely long, though. Very crowded. Guy closest to the pier and farthest out has right of way. In winter, on HUGE swells, the south side (of the pier) goes off for spongers. Fun to watch guys get spit up on dry sand. And about 200 yards south of the pier is another long jetty, where on the BIGGEST swells, you can get REALLY long rides (lefts). Crabs is more of an aggro spot for short, fast rides, best going right on a shortboard. The wave you’ve heard about is the Rivermouth (northernmost break). Much less crowded than the Pier for several reasons. Mainly a spot for loggers. I like the vibe here much better. Really only breaks on chest/head-high-plus swells, but gives pretty long, slow, relaxing rides. Not as crowded because: Long paddle to the peak; slower waves; doesn’t always break; Stingrays; and of course, junk floating out of the river. Hope this helps…deeb…