2020 Hurricane Season is Just Getting Started. Are you Ready?
With 9 named storms to date and a lull in storm activity, you may thinking that we’re getting close to the end of the Atlantic storm season. However, NOAA is predicting that the East Coast has only seen the beginning of what is yet to come. According to NOAA the “Warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon,” is pushing the average of two named storms a season to a potential of up to 25. Why does all of this matter? Well, if you’re a surfer on the East Coast, you know that most of the best swells come as a result of tropical storm systems. The thing that’s different about this year is that it’s predicted to be the most active in the last two decades.
Being prepared for hurricane season means having the proper equipment and knowledge before the swells arrive. If you’ve been questioning whether or not to purchase a step up board to handle those bigger days, this is the year to stop questioning and pull the trigger. With the recent spike in surfboard sales as a result of the pandemic, you may want to make sure you get your order in now so that your perfect board is waxed and ready for the water when the time comes.
Hurricane Isaias over the Eastern Seaboard. Photo Credit: NOAA
Larger and punchier waves add more risk, both to you and your board. We’ve listed some extra considerations when purchasing a new board and paddling out on those bigger days.
- Regardless of the conditions, surfboard dings are going to happen at some point. Surfing hurricane swell is a whole other story and one that brings the likelihood of buckling or snapping your newly (expensive) purchased step up board a lot closer to home. Protecting your surfboard with the Essential plan is smart move in the case that the impending storm surge gets the better of your board, but not your wallet. Protect your board against breaks, buckles and fin box damage for $7.99 a month, regardless of the shop you purchased at or shaper that made the board.
- Grab a membership to Surfline, so you can track when and where the swell is landing. You don’t want to be the last one to the spot.
- Surf breaks you are familiar with. Understanding the current, rips, undertows and topography of the break will help to ensure your risk taking in bigger surf is worth it. Not being comfortable in a spot is never a good feeling when things don’t go according to plan.
- Make sure you paddle out with a friend. Having someone watching out for you can make all the difference when you’re taking things to the next level.
- Invest in a better, stronger leash. Snapping your leash in hectic conditions shouldn’t be a concern.
- >If you don’t feel like your skills line up with the conditions, don’t paddle out.