Big Waves off of California

Cortes Bank

While on vacation in Hawaii, I had the chance to head up to the North Shore a few times and get a peak at the surfing scene during the winter months. The winter storms churn up some good surf and the Triple Crown was underway. Those same storms gathered strength and slammed into California bringing record rains and an opportunity to ride some epic waves off Dana Point hitting speeds of 45 miles/hour.

From The New York Times

With a second major storm bearing down, four of the most experienced big-wave surfers in the world launched a boat and two Jet Skis toward Cortes Bank, an underwater mountain range whose tallest peak rises 4,000 feet from the ocean floor to within about four feet of the surface. The perilous spot, about 100 miles off the coast of Southern California, had been surfed only a handful of times in the past decade. With just the right conditions, its shallow waters turn huge ocean swells into giant, perfect breaking waves.

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