If you talk to anyway wave hunting lately, most everyone is pretty annoyed with this season's swell. We usually expect big nor'easter storms to roll thru in the winter months, generating big waves and heavy offshore winds. Last season we were totally spoiled with head to overhead 6-8'+ days regularly occurring once a week. This season has been a little different, but perhaps that's a good thing to get me more accustomed to swimming in cold conditions.
I haven't been in the water for sunset in a while. But the opportunity finally presented itself a couple weeks ago. The sky was clear for once, there was a bump of swell in the water but apparently no one really deemed it worthwhile because the lineup was empty. Fellow photographer friend Gus Potter grabbed his board instead of a camera, and the two of us hopped in with only half an hour or so before sunset to catch a few with the one other soul already in the water.
It was a little windy and wonky, and certainly cold, but it was one of my favorite sessions this month. You just can't beat that dusky light!
Shorebreak is a specific phenomenon. When the change in bottom contours is so significant, and the wave action is high enough, these specific beach waves get jacked up and come crashing down right on the shoreline in a big way. There is obviously the danger -- if the swell is heavy enough -- of getting caught in the impact zone just like any another wave, and having a massive force of water come crashing down on your head. But perhaps the bigger shorebreak danger is getting sucked over the falls. These waves are characterized by breaking on the shore, which means next to no water upon impact if you get sucked up and over and the wave slams you into the beach. Now take all of that, and go swimming with a 7lb water housing.