At wide beachbreaks with multitudinous peaks, sometimes it’s tricky to decide where exactly to get your shred on. Here’re a few helpful pointers:
1.Crowd. If you see a nice peak with crew already on it getting waves, don’t be a sheep. The worst person to surf with is the one that decides which peak is best by the number of crew already out there. Instead, live and let surf: keep walking down the beach until you find another. Conventional wisdom states that more fun is to be had on an empty 61/2 out of ten peak than a completely zoo’d-out 9.
2. Tide. In much of SW Britain for example, the tide will give vertical movement of a over metre of depth every hour. Particularly on springs, don’t chase the tides – you’ll always lose. Plan ahead, ideally choosing a bank that might be doing the do in just over an hour’s time, (the average tide position you’ll be surfing on, assuming the average sesh is 2 hours long and it takes you 15 mins to get your rubber on and get down the beach). By the same principal, a mid-tide bank should work much better on neaps.
3. Current. Try using the current to your advantage. If there’s a crowd on a good peak but everyone is going right with the current (as it’s taking them continuously too deep to go left), consider jumping in up-current from the peak, and surfing left against it. Most crew, particularly your average summer crowd won’t want to paddle continuously just to stay in position. Going the opposite way to the masses is one effective method of getting a little something on crowded days.
4. ‘Secret’ banks. Sometimes, quality secluded banks actually attract more decent surfers than the ones out the front. Sometimes, these are merely crowd aggregation devices, and you might well be better off out the front of the main car park with a dozen or so kooks than at the ‘hidden’ peak swarming with clued-in rippers.
5. Remember: If you and a friend can’t agree on which peak to surf, have a minor off on the beach and paddle away in different directions, the peak you surfed was always way better.