The Big Swell

It has been a long time since a big swell came through LA. One that reshaped the coastline, ripped stairs from houses and rained for days. It made us remember why surfing in LA can be so special. This swell was unique, it dipped low coming from the west south west, with a similar structure of a hurricane. I once went through a category 5 hurricane in Baja named Jimena. This storm had all the similar feeling of that. Maybe not a category 5 but the feeling of wind that would never stop. It was a beautiful swell that turned some spots into pots of gold at the end of the rainbow and others into shit. This is what happened...


News people were all over the beaches.

It wasn't a joke about ripped off stairs. Some people had to jump off their houses to walk to the beach.

The rivers breached the sandbanks.

Andrew Wessen at Topanga


That's what Big Swell means for most of the surfers.

Ocean water had color patterns flowing through it like a timeline.

Matt Wessen "The biggest wave I ever caught at Topanga"


People observing craziness in the water.


The kings of the sea are gathering (Matt Wessen second left)


Matt Wessen's "wheelie"




The storm is ending.

Andrew Wessen getting ready for a sunny surf session.


Andrew is about to get barreled.


And after two days we are back to normal. 

  photo: Andrew Wessen

photo: Andrew Wessen

Matt Wessen in Northern LA county. It's sunny again and the summer begins.


Photography and story by Anna and Matt Wessen