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Swell Sites

surfer Websites showing video images of the surf make it easy for office dwellers to go from keyboard to surfboard

By Bob Hansen



There are a number of Internet web sites devoted to surfing. One of the coolest is www.surfline.com. The site points live video cameras at some of the best breaks in the world. Want to check out Pipeline? Just click on the Pipeline icon and a color image of the best tube in the world pops up on your screen. The "surf cam" images are updated every five minutes. For aficionados of Steamers Lane, a camera at the Sea Cloud Restaurant on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf snaps photos from four different angles. You can check out the surf from way out at the point to deep into the cove at Cowells. Other surf cam sites include Topanga Beach, Huntington Beach, and several in Florida.

The Internet is also a great tool for wave forecasting. There are several sites that provide up-to-date oceanic weather conditions and swell information, but you're probably better off just pointing your browser to the Surfer Magazine site. The site links you to everything from the University of Hawaii's meteorology department to unclassified global WAve Model (WAM) data courtesy of the U.S. Navy. WAM, in case you were wondering, is based on the spectral energy balance equation, which equates the evolution of the wave spectrum to the sum of the local wind input, wave dissipation, nonlinear wave-wave interaction and the propagation of waves from non-local sources (swell). Got that?

And, of course, there are numerous sites that contain really hot surf pics. To find them, use one of the Internet search engines or hit the surfer.mag.com and click on Linkages. And be sure to check out the Surfer Girl Magazine site. Those shots of wahines ripping the waves are awesome.

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From the February 20-26, 1997 issue of Metro

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