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Surfing the Web

By Rob Pratt


AS THE PATH of the sun crosses the equator, heading toward its winter home in the southern hemisphere, Santa Cruz surfers get their gear together and renew an interest in meteorology. The first significant swells of the surfing season, which spans early autumn to late spring hereabouts, boom into town from equatorial storms--and the website at Stormsurf.com awakes from a summer hibernation.

Loaded with links to up-to-the-minute charts of weather conditions around the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Stormsurf.com is the ultimate surf forecast site for Central Coast breaks. Reports analyze and rate swell-generation potential storm-by-storm (last week the rating jumped up to 2.2 from a flat zero on a scale of 0 to 5) and precisely deconstruct wind direction, intensity and fetch area to build the most comprehensive overall view of waves headed this way. Eye-on-the-beach resources, like surfcams at www.santacruzwharf.com/camtides.html (Steamer Lane) and www.santacruzsurf.com/sclive/surfcameras.asp (Pleasure Point and the Hook), are perfect to check on the feasibility of a lunchtime surf session. But only Stormsurf.com tells whether a dedicated surfer needs to get the boss to OK a few days off next week.

Know about a great (or terrible) website that needs exposure (or denouncing)? Email us at .

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From the October 4-11, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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