Welcome to the Spadre.com South Padre Surf Cam™ live from South Padre Island Texas, the #1 surfing destination in the Gulf of Mexico! Check the free live surfcam, surf report and surf forecast, beach conditions, South Padre Island Texas weather, local water safety information and rip current index, surf pictures, video, the latest hurricane advisories, surfing events and more from Island resident and surfing instructor Gene Gore of South Padre Surf Company Surf Camps and Surfing Lessons. Check live weather conditions and forecasts, pictures, video, and daily updated surf and beach report. Book hotels, condos, and vacation rentals, check out real estate listings, watersports and activities, dolphin watch, parasailing, restaurants, RV parks, or charter a fishing trip. Plan your family vacation, South Padre Island beach wedding, or Spring Break to South Padre Island on Spadre.com! "Space Padre Island" TM will be the best and closest public viewing area for the projected monthly liftoff of Space X Brownsville rockets and spacecraft at Boca Chica by 2016. SPadre.com is the most popular website for South Padre Island Texas!!
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surf texas book

Used Surfboards 4 Sale
New Listing 6-19-15
Al Merrick
"Average Joe"

5'7" × 21 7/8 x 2 5/8.
Good condition

$399 on SPI

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SPadre Mobile
SPadre.com Mobile Surf Cam
Check the South Padre Surf Cam TM and other Island web cams from your cell phone, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or other mobile device! New fast loading mini mobile pages with all cams, beach and surf report, buoys, weather forecast, news, and other essential data.

RSS South Padre Island Beach and Surf Report
South Padre Island Beach and Surf Report now available, Subscribe to the feed, or embed the RSS feed on your website, blog, Facebook, etc. and get the latest updates delivered to you instantly.

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SPadre.com South Padre Island Live Streaming Cam
The only web cam that sees it all! With user controls to view the beach, surfing area, jetties, Boca Chica, Dolphin Cove, Queen Isabella Causeway, Laguna Madre, sunrise and sunsets over the Bay and Gulf, even 24hr night views of the Island and surf. New streaming cam coming soon!

Roxy clothing brand designs apparel accessories for girls who love surf, snowboard, music, fashion: outerwear, jackets, jeans, pants, sweaters, tees, shirts, dresses, swimwear, wetsuits, footwear, shoes, bags, backpacks, watches, sunglasses, perfume, snowboards, skis. Discounts, events, pro rider photos, catalog, store, lookbooks, logo, blog. Quiksilver Inc
Shop on-line for ROXY swimwear, bikinis, clothing, accessories and more.

SWELL - Online surf shop
SWELL Online Surf Shop Surf Clothing, Sunglasses, Shoes and Accessories Billabong, Quiksilver, RVCA, Hurley and more!

Ocean Motion Surfwear South Padre Island - boardshorts, sunglasses, footwear, surfwear, bikinis

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at South Padre Island!
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Get a copy of the Travel Guide to South Padre Island for free visitor information by mail.

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by Gene Gore - documenting beach and surf conditions professionally as an ocean lifeguard and surfing instructor since 1986

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Surf Forecasting

News and Events

Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing - Haleiwa Nov 12-23 / Sunset Beach Nov 24 - Dec 6 / Pipeline Masters Dec 8-20 / Contest website and live webcast (-4hrs)

NLand Surf Park!!
World's largest and best surf park to open in Austin Texas spring 2016!
Built by Wavegarden. Click here to sign up for newsletter, construction pics and videos, job openings and more.

SpaceX launches
from Boca Chica beginning in 2017, with Isla Blanca being the prime viewing area (your surfboard might be the best and closest view). Cameron County is developing plans to build many new projects and facilities. We will post the SpaceX launch schedule as soon as it becomes available.

Rip Curl Pro Portugal - October 20-31 -
Contest website and live webcast (+6hrs)

Quik Pro France - October 6-17 -
Contest website and live webcast (+7hrs)

Vans US Open - Huntington Pier July 26 - August 2
Contest website and live webcast

NLand Surf Park!!
World's best inland surf park to open in Austin Texas! Built by Wavegarden.

ASP World Tour J Bay South Africa - July 8-19. Checkout the contest website and live webcast.

ASP World Tour Fiji - June 7-19.
Checkout the contest website and live webcast.

ASP World Tour Brazil - starts May 12-22. Checkout the contest website and live webcast.

Margaret River Pro Australia April 15-26. Checkout the contest website and live webcast

Rip Curf Pro Bells Beach Australia April 1-12. Checkout the contest website and live webcast

WSL 2015 - Season begins Feb 28 (+ 16 hrs, 4pm local time start) at Snapper Rocks Australia with the Mens Quiksilver Pro and Womens Roxy Pro. Checkout the contest website and live webcast

SpaceX launches from Boca Chica beginning in late 2016, with Isla Blanca being the prime viewing area. Cameron County is developing plans to build many new projects and facilities. We will post the SpaceX launch schedule as soon as it becomes available.

Hawaiian Triple Crown - Haleiwa Nov 12-23 - Sunset Beach Nov 24-Dec 6 - Pipe Masters Dec 8-20 ASP World Tour webcasts

ASP World Tour 2014 #10 Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
October 12-23 Checkout the contest website and live webcast.

ASP World Tour 2014 #8 Hurley Pro Trestles.
Starts September 9-20 Checkout the contest website and live webcast.

ASP World Tour 2014
- Billabong Pro Tahiti Teahupo'o. August 15-26 Checkout the contest website and live webcast Tahiti time is -5hrs, so 1pm start time locally to 9pm daily.

Surf Texas book SURF TEXAS -
A new 144 page 11x12 hardcover photo essay of the surf culture in Texas by University of Texas Press and Kenny Braun.

Billabong Pipeline Masters -
Dec 8 to 20 - Live webcast and Triple Crown website

Rip Curl Pro-
Oct. 9 to 20 - Live webcast and contest website

 10/5 Tropical Storm Karen sends the best swell in years to South Padre Island! Two days of overhead groundswell, very long lines with rides possible from the end of the jetty to the beach, light SW offshores on Saturday morning, light crowds and warm clear water. Inside corner was wedging similar to Sebastian Inlet with overhead peaks. National Hurricane Center

ASP Quiksilver Pro France -
Sept 26 to Oct 6 - Live webcast and contest website

9/12 Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ingrid developing in the southern Gulf,
currently forecast to strengthen to near hurricane force through the weekend and drift slowly towards the western Gulf, large windy surf expected for several days. National Hurricane Center

ASP Hurley Pro Trestles - Sept 15-21 - Live webcast and contest website

Teahupoo Billabong Pro Teahupo'o Tahiti -
August 15-26 - Live webcast and contest website

US Open of Surfing -
July 20-28 - Live webcast and contest website

Tropical Depression 2 forms
in the western Caribbean on Monday June 17 - forecast path tracks WNW across the far southern Gulf. National Hurricane Center

ASP Oakley Pro Bali Indonesia -
June 18-29 - Live webcast and contest website

Hurricane Season 2013 -
A very active season forecast, and off to a quick start with tropical storm Andrea sending a clean head high swell from the eastern Gulf. Another possible storm in the Gulf around June 20.

ASP Volcom Fiji Pro -
Kelly Slater's all-time greatest performance. Highlight video. June 2 to 14 - Live webcast and contest website

ASP Billabong Rio Pro -
May 8-19 Brazil Live webcast and contest website

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach -
March 27 to April 7 Live webcast and contest website

Quik Pro Highlight Humor Video - Link

Quiksilver Pro Snapper -
March 2-13 - 2013 ASP Professional World Tour begins in Australia, watch the live webcast here.

Volcom Pipeline Pro 2013 -
Jan 27 to Feb 7 - Live webcast and contest website

New Gulf Pier to be built at South Padre Island!
Clayton's Pier will be a 1000' fishing pier with L-head to be built at Clayton's Beach Bar & Resort next to Andy Bowie Beach Park and the Hilton. Certain to be the best surf break in Texas!C
Click here for drawing

US Army Corps Public Notice.
Texas General Land Office Notice

SPI Beach Patrol now hiring
for spring break/summer - $10/hour More info & application

SPadre.com South Padre Island Live Streaming Cam Live Stream Cam now has full user controls!
Now you can zoom in wherever you want and see how bad you are missing it all from your desktop! Check it out!

Overhead and offshore
at Boca on Saturday Jan 5, water temp in the 50's and air in the 40's.

Winter finally arrives
on SPI on New Years Day. 2013 starts with a weeklong run of rain, cold gusty north winds and rough surf. Water temps will be dropping into the 50's. For those of us that love winter surf, it also means more offshore mornings and big clean cold surf on the way.

Christmas Day Swell -
perfect surf with light offshores and warm sunny weather! Click4pic Even better surf on the mornings of the 28th and 31st with light SW offshores, overhead sets, clear blue water and good barrels breaking on the best shallow sandbar in years on the outside!

PIPELINE MASTERS - - Click here for results and contest website. Checkout Highlights video

Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing -
Haleiwa Nov 12-24, Sunset Nov 25 to Dec 6, Pipeline Masters Dec 8-20 - Click for Live Webcast - Hawaii Surf Report

South Padre Island beach dredge sand nourishment surf Isla Blanca Sand Project - over and out -
one big swell and the sandbank vanished, much less sand was pumped than in previous years - check out this picture from 11-3

Hurricane Sandy surfing pictures and videos Hurricane Sandy -
surf videos and pictures - click here

O'Neill Coldwater Classic Santa Cruz -
November 1-11 - Click for live webcast and contest website

HIC Pro Sunset Beach Hawaii -
October 29 - Nov 10 - Click for live webcast and contest website

Rip Curl Pro Portugal -
October 10-21 - Click for live webcast and contest website

ASP Quiksilver Pro France -
September 28 to October 8th - Click for live webcast and contest website

ASP Hurley Pro Trestles
September 16-22 - click for live webcast and contest website.

Hurricane Isaac
brings great surf to South Padre Island on August 27-29. Light offshore winds each morning and very clean swell, with the biggest waves being ridden by a few lucky surfers near dark Tuesday evening at the end of the jetty at 10-15' and clean (sorry you missed it). The swell peaked overnight Tuesday, and Wednesday saw flawless 5-8' lines with light offshores until vanishing midday.

Billabong Pro Teahupo'o
to be completed Sunday and Monday in a building large swell - Live Webcast

- Used Surfboards for Sale -
new listing 9' longboard - Click here

Tropical Storm Helene possibly forming in the Gulf. National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto
surfing pictures are now online at Seagypsyphotographs

Surfing and SUP in the Olympics??
Why isn't surfing in the Olympics when sports like curling are? Well, according to Corky Carroll..... NO!
- It seems that every time the Olympics come around, the same old "Should surfing become an Olympic sport?" question pops up. Should it? I don't know. When I was young and an up-and-coming competitor in surfing events, I would have said unquestionably "yes" to that question. But as I have gotten older, my viewpoint has swayed to the other side more than a little bit. The main reason is that surfing just may be way too cool of a thing to be subjected to being bunched in with ballroom dancing and some of the other Olympic "sports."

For a good example, let me remind everybody about the last Winter Games when we were subjected to unending hours of the great and thrilling sport of women's curling. I pretty much swore off ever turning on the television for the Winter Games again after that. I wanted to catch some screaming bobsleds and downhill racing, and if I had to catch a bit of ice skating along the way, so be it. I can flow along with that.

But really, curling? And why, why, oh why, oh why, did they have to have it on nonstop? And now we have the Summer Games, and I can't seem to catch a U.S. men's basketball game without already knowing who won first.

I did get a bit of enjoyment out of watching this massive Russian chick putting the shot the other day, though. After she let the thing fly, she screamed as loud as she could in a shriek that was something between a banshee and a water buffalo death yell. I ran it back about three times just to hear it again and again. That made me laugh, and laughing is entertainment. Curling, NOT.

The Olympics could be a great venue for the stand-up paddleboard people, though. Would fit right in. In fact, just thinking about it, this would be a good time to get a jump on designing some super-skin-tight flaming racing outfits, kind of like all of those weekend bicycle dudes wear when they are cruising down Pacific Coast Highway looking like the umbrellas outside the Italian restaurant.

I am not saying that being in the Olympics is not cool. It is. Especially if you are a swimmer or a runner or on the latest "dream team." But I think of surfing in a different time zone. Yes, competitive surfing could be an Olympic sport if held in a country with surf, or if they had really good indoor wave pools all over the world. But I just don't see surfing, ballroom dancing and curling in the same stratosphere. I guess they are. But not in my version.

The next thing you know, we will have a "Surfing with the Stars" reality show to deal with. It will come on right after "American Surf Idol" and just before my new favorite, "Surf City C.S.I."
Author: Corky Carroll - Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 August, 2012

US Open of Surfing -
July 28 to August 5 - click for live webcast - Mobile app at "ASPtogo"

ASP Volcom Pro, Tavarua Fiji -
June 3-15 pumping swell on the way for the start on Saturday at 3pm local time- Live Webcast - Mobile app at "ASPtogo" *Biggest cleanest waves ever paddled into in surfing history and the contest was called off...

Hurricane Season 2012
begins June 1. Although hurricane season is completely unpredictable, recent extreme weather events hint of an upcoming unusual season. Regardless, the media is sure to come up with entertaining new worst-ever terms for their extreme alarmist rantings such as "Hurri-pocalypse" or "Hurr-maggedon" that keep plenty of Americans glued to their TV. My advice, turn off the TV and check the National Hurricane Center and your local National Weather Service for accurate factual information, then go surfing.

Billabong Pro Rio -
May 9-20 - Click for Live Webcast

Nike Lower Trestles Pro -
May 1-5 - Click for Live Webcast

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
- April 3-14 - Live Webcast

ASP Drug Aware Pro
(hows that for an oxymoron) runs March 19-25 at Margaret River Australia, watch the live webcast here

Click for large image Best waves on the Island -
the beachbreak in front of the Hilton on the north end by Andy Bowie Park (map). This area is an erosion hotspot with deeper dropoffs, shallower sandbars and much hollower waves than the jetty area. Sand is trucked in here occassionally helping create even better sandbars. No crowds. Checkout these pictures from Saturday March 10 - 1 2 3 4 5 6.

Spring Break Texas Week 2012 -
March 10-18 - click here for info on Coca-Cola Beach, bikini contests, events and more

Click for large image
Man-o-War Jellyfish
wash up in massive amounts on Sunday, February 26.

ASP World Tour 2012
February 25 - March 7 (4pm local time) with the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks, Australia. . Snapper Cam and Surf Forecast / Live Webcast

A New Andy Bowie Pier?
I recently presented to Pct. 1 County Commissioner Sophia Benavides a plan to build/rebuild a new Gulf pier at Andy Bowie Beach Park at the site of the original pier that was destroyed by Hurricane Allen in 1980. SPI is the only coastal city in Texas, and possibly the entire Gulf Coast that does not have a public pier over the Gulf. The TGLO is building and funding a new Gulf pier on High Island near Galveston, you'd think we might have a chance? While the SPI government continues to build the finest and most modern of facilities for itself, perhaps a pier is not too much to ask for us peasants?

Burleigh Pro -
Feb 8-12 - 3pm local time start - Live Webcast

Australian Open of Surfing -
Feb 11-19 - Live Webcast

Surfboard repair on South Padre Island - call Jimmy at 956-299-1328

Volcom Pipeline Pro - Jan 23 to Feb 4 - Live webcast and website - Surf forecast

Pipeline Masters
runs Dec 8-20 - Huge surf on the way for opening day Thursday and Friday. LIVE WEBCAST

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing -
North Shore Oahu - Nov 12 through December 20 - Women's World Champ Carissa Moore gets wildcard - Live Webcast

Rip Curl Search San Francisco
runs November 1-12 - Live Webcast

SeaGypsy Photographs - South Padre Island Surfing Pictures, nature, birding and more
Support your local surf photographer,
downloads are only $2 ea. In Hawaii or Cal surf photogs charge $30-40 ea. Checkout your pics of the last swell! SeaGypsy's Photographs

Rip Curl Pro Portugal -
October 15-24 - Live Webcast

Quik Pro France -
October 4-13 - Live Webcast

Hurley Pro
begins Sunday Sept 18-24 at Trestles California - Live Webcast

Quik Pro New York
may score epic hurricane swell this week from Hurricane Katia!
Live Webcast Sept 5-15

The perfect storm Tropical Storm Lee
sends 2 days of perfect surf with overhead sets and light offshores at Boca Chica and South Padre - Hurricane Center

Billabong Pro 2011 Teahupo'o - August 20-31 -the best surf contest of all time.
- Watch: Tow-in session and Event Highlights

Tropical Storm Don Surfing Pictures
Tropical Storm Don
Surfing Pictures from SeaGypsy - Click here

US Open of Surfing Nike US Open of Surfing
at Huntington Beach August 1-7. Hurricane Eugene swell on the way for the weekend finals - Live Webcast

Cheap Used Surfboards for sale -
PRICE DROP on select boards
click here

Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido - July 21-28 - Live Webcast

ASP Roxy Pro France -
July 11-17. World Longboard Championships and Womens Shortboard World Tour. Live webcast (+7hrs - 1am to 9am local time)

ASP Billabong Pro J Bay South Africa -
July 14-24 - Live webcast (+7hrs - 1am to 9am local time)

Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro
is live now from May 3-7 Live webcast

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
April 19-30 - ASP World Tour Event #2 Contest website and live webcast

CoastalW  atch Australia Check out CoastalWatch -
Australia's Surfline

Margaret River Pro -
April 3-10 live webcast

Bells Beach Australia ASP World Tour Event #2 -
50th Anniversary Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Australia - April 19-30 Contest website and live webcast

Hurricane Gustav 2008 Hurricane Gustav 2008 -
click for large image Hurricane Season 2011 starts June 1

- 2 Used shortboards for sale
by Brent Thrash - click here

ASP World Tour 2011 ASP World Tour 2011 begins
Feb 26 to March 9 at Snappers Rocks Australia with the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro. More at ASP website

Eddie Went In these "modern" surfing times,
the worn out word "Legend" applies to virtually everyone that owned a surfboard before 1970. Read this short feature on a true legend, Edward Ryan Makua Hanai Aikau.

Plastic Pollution Texas Photo Challenge
, a statewide photo competition. The competition will center around pictures of pollution in Texas waterways.

South Padre Island is now recycling plastic, aluminum, cardboard, newspaper and tin every Saturday from 9 – 12 at 108 West Retama. 

Volcom Pipeline Pro Volcom Pipeline Pro -
live webcast - Hawaii Surf Report

10 year old Micah Gore
from South Padre Island makes the semi-finals at Makaha on a borrowed board (thanks Buttons!) at the Rell Sunn Menehune Championships!

Quiksilver Pro New York -
Sept 4-15, 2011 $1 million dollar purse. ASP story

Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational
- not big enough to run Thursday - Live Webcast

Billabong ASP World Junior Championships -
North Narrabeen, Sydney Australia
January 8-16 Live Webcast

Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing -
Nov 12 to Dec 20. Mens and Womens events held at Haleiwa, Sunset Beach and Pipeline. Watch the live webcast at all events.

Kelly Slater - 10x World Champion Kelly Slater, 10x World Champ!
Surfline feature

Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico ASP Rip Curl Search Puerto Rico - the most unforgettably Triumphant and Tragic
surf contest in history. Event website
King Kelly's Last Stand - The Greatest Athlete of All Time Don't miss the biggest moment in surfing and all sports history when Kelly Slater clinches his historic 10th World Title.

Andy Irons, 3x World Champion died in Dallas
on his way home from the Rip Curl Search Puerto Rico. Incredibly tragic day in surfing. Slideshow tribute. ASP website

McTavish 9'1" - Used surfboards - new listings

Tropical Storm Richard
in the NW Caribbean headed for the southern Gulf, but again no swell.

Hurricane Paula in the NW Caribbean
, but no swell for the Gulf... Hurricane Center

ASP Men and Women Rip Curl Pro Portugal -
Starts Thursday October 7-18 Live Webcast (2am local time start)

Quiksilver Pro France
- Sept 25 to Oct 5 Results and videos As you can see, if you haven't surfed France, you are really missing out!!! September-October is the best time of year for surf there.

Hurricane Karl, 4th storm in the southern Gulf this season. Karl will bring some fun size E to SE swell for the weekend, nothing big but several days or more worth of up to 6-8' surf, it should help ease the pain of missing epic east and west coast swells. Giant storm swell from Hurricane Igor for the East Coast this weekend, and a bomb south swell for Mexico and California this weekend. Time for a frequent flyer miles check...

ASP Hurley Pro - Lower Trestles California September 12-18 2010 ASP Hurley Pro -
Lower Trestles California September 12-18 2010. Big south swell on the way for the rest of the event beginning Thursday! CONGRATS to my boy Micah for winning the Hurley "Who's in First" contest, be sure to try your luck, its running for the remainder of the event.
Hurley Pro Website and live webcast

click for Hermine surf pic Tropical Storm Hermine
sends nice overhead swell with SW offshores September 7, take a look at this pic and see how many lefts and rights are peeling off unridden.
Hermine also sends the Mexican shrimping fleet running for safe harbor at the port of Brownsville, but several boats washed up on the beach. pic

Click for large image First cool front of the season
and a weak low in the Gulf brings some rare offshores and fun surf in late August.

Channel Islands Flyer Channel Islands Whip - Used surfboards for sale - new listings

Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Anomolies 5th consecutive month of all-time record sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, and latest Hurricane Center forecasts 14-20 named storms for the upcoming peak of hurricane season.
National Hurricane Center.

U.S. Open of Surfing - results
Also skate, BMX and live concerts.
More live webcams at the US Open: Lifeguard cams ; HBCams northside

Local surfer and SPI Beach Patrol member Stefan Lewis needs emergency surgery
to save his vision after a surfing accident, click here to learn more or donate.

Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido July 16-23 live webcast

ASP Billabong Pro J-Bay South Africa
starts July 15-25. Watch the live webcast here. (+7 hours = 1am local time to 9am)

Tropical Depression #2
made landfall on South Padre Island with surf building to around 8'+, checkout SeaGypsy's Pictures.

Save Isla Blanca?
Cameron County Commissioners Court has approved a beach guest trash bag return pilot program for access #5 and #6 for the remainder of the summer. You will be required to pay an additional $5 fee at these beach access points, given a trash bag, and if you return the bag with trash in it you get your $5 back!

Tropical Storm Alex? Hurricane Alex caused no damage to South Padre Island, and the surf was very choppy. In general, any tropical storm or hurricane making landfall south of here or along the Texas coast will not be good for surfing, for good hurricane surf must make landfall from Louisiana eastward.

Click for NOAA page on Gulf of Mexico oil spill Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - NEW INTERACTIVE OIL SPILL MAP
This disastrous oil spill is currently not a threat to South Padre Island.
- Latest tracking and forecast path from NOAA.
- 12 different Live ROV Cams
- New - 120 Day Oil Spill Forecast
- Gulf Surface Currents animation and forecast.
- Roff's Tracking - (suspended as of June 3, out of business due to fishing closures!)

Island of Praise - Isla Blanca Saturday June 12 -
4 stages and 37 performers from noon until 10pm. Website

Texas Gulf Surfing Association State Championships -
On call for this weekend June 12-13 Isla Blanca website

Satellite Tracking of "Will" a Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
(endangered, hopefully not soon to be extinct species endemic to the Gulf). Notice how Will's eastward migration (similar to Smartie) was suddently halted off the central Louisiana coast, and appears to be back-tracking towards Galveston. Could Will be at the leading edge of underwater plumes?

NOAA National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Season 2010 -
starts June 1 to November 30. Pray for no storms in the Gulf this year. National Hurricane Center

Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Results.

Billabong Pro Brazil results
live webcast runs through May 2

ASP Women Beachley Classic
Finals will run Sunday evening. Watch the best women surfers in the world live from Australia.

Ex-Texas surfer and Kauai resident Jim Rawlinson attacked by 14 foot Tiger shark, lands on top of the massive shark, swims to shore, then swims BACK OUT to get his chomped board, and continues surfing?! Nuts. Read the breaking news story in Honolulu Advertiser.
Jim took me out for my first session at Sunset Beach, woke me up at dawn and said its 6-8' and good, pulled up and it looked like 15-20 to me!! I paddled out a half hour later, he goes "where have you been?" I said "... waxing my board ".

Tiny Tim says
"there's a new sheriff in town boys, no more dropping in..." pic

No Beach Parking Surfrider Beach Cleanup
Saturday April 24, 9-12 at Dolphin Cove. General meeting April 25 7pm at Brewing Co. to discuss SPI's new "noone can park on my street" ordinance. Link

Recommended Reading:
Rusty explains Rocker ... it's all subjective and heavily dependent on the waves you ride... My 2 cents- Remember that one "magic" board you had?? If you ever are so lucky as to own a "magic" board, record every dimension in detail and guage all your future boards off of it.

Big E swell
Friday and Saturday April 16-17. When's the last time you heard the bell ring on the buoy at the end of the jetty? Check back for pics... Here's one picture you'll like, check out the spray coming off this guys face! Hows those urchins in your butt? And the barnacle rash? If you can't paddle out you don't belong out.

Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures
are at an all-time record high, an ominous sign for hurricane season 2010. Click here for more.

Check out the new Texas Gulf Coast Surfing Magazine available at your local surf shop. You can even submit pictures or video of yourself schralping! New online version coming in May.

ASP Women Pro
New Zealand April 10-16 - Live webcast

WCT Rip Curl Pro
2010 Bells Beach Australia. March 30 - April 10. Live webcast

Spring Break Pictures, Inertia Tours Spring Break Discount Party Packages 2010
Spring Break Texas Week is March
13-20, with most schools out on the same week so expect heavy traffic on the bridge in the evenings, especially Fri and Sat. Click here for schedule, events, Coca Cola Beach info and more.

WQS 6* Margaret River Drug Aware Pro live webcast in the evenings March 16-21, giant swell on the way by Friday for the finals.

2010 World Tour begins Feb 26-March 10 with Quiksilver Pro and the Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks, Australia

Used Surfboard Sale - longboards, shortboards, quads, jr pro, kneeboard. Click here

South Padre Island Texas Fire Department Beach Patrol Beach Patrol now hiring for Spring and Summer, click here for more info.

Spring Break Texas Week - March 13-2. South Padre Surf Co is offering 50% off on surfing lessons for spring break, March 1-31 only. Click here for info and reservations

Mavericks Big Wave Contest is on for Saturday Feb 13, watch the live webcast here.

Broken beer bottle on beach Beach Cleanup Saturday Feb 13, 9a-12pm at Dolphin Cove by Junior Leadership Laguna Madre Class VI at Port Isabel High School

Surfrider Shindig -
Saturday Feb 6 Louie's Backyard. Check Rob Nixon's Blog for more.

South Padre Island Surfing Pictures - Friday Jan 29 Friday January 29 Surf -
a few water shots: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Volcom Pipeline Pro Volcom Pipeline Pro -
Jan 23 - Feb 5. Live webcast and contest website 12pm-8pm local time.

Sunday Morning Glass
1-17-10 Sunday Morning Glass -
leftover swell with perfect form and only a few lucky surfers out. Checkout Seagypsy's pics

1-15-10: Overhead and straight offshore all day Friday,
surf was biggest by far at the end of the day with solid overhead sets breaking at the end of the jetty with near double-overhead peaks and straight offshore winds at 10-15, really nice surf! Inside had some nice drops and barrels. Buoys peaking were peaking at near 12-14' ESE with 9-10 second interval. Check out Seagypsy's pics from the morning and midday (no evening pics from the end of the jetty peak of the swell though)

Australians Rule! Laura Enever wins the Billabong Jr World Championships. Aussies win nearly every title in 09/10 including the Mens World Title and top 4 placings in the world, PipeMasters, Triple Crown, Sunset World Cup, Womens World Title and Womens Triple Crown.

Click for large image
Strong low pressure forming
in the Gulf this week, with an overhead SE/E swell building for Friday. Latest forecasts indicating a SE to not so desireable NE wind on Friday due to the low being south of us, but with heavy rain forecast conditions are likely to change through the day with variable winds. Saturday looking good for Boca but NW wind may be strong. Small clean leftover swell for Sunday. Winter/spring 2010 is looking to be very active wave-wise with a strengthening El Nino.

Billabong World Junior Surfing Championships
- North Narrabeen, Sydney Australia.
Watch the live webcast starting January 9-17 (4pm local time start).

Click for large image
Pre-frontal perfection - Thursday Jan 7 - Great surf with light offshore winds in the morning before the arctic blast.

Click for Alaska surfing pictures
If you don't own a 4/3,
booties hood and gloves then you won't be surfing Texas for a while. An arctic front with several nights of freezing temps along the Texas coast from Jan 7-9 will drop water temps to near 50 in SPI and likely in the 40's on the upper coast. Good news is... its still better than red tide! Don't forget to fill a couple of gallons of hot water jugs for the after-surf thaw so your fingers will move enough to open your car! Click here for some Alaska surfing pictures

Melia Gore at Quiksilver HQ in Huntington Beach
Our precious Melia's
recent California trip included ROXY fashion, runway and catalog shoots, a coldwater surf at Huntington Pier, snowboarding at Mammoth with the Roxy crew and a hula performance at the new Quiksilver flagship store at Mammoth Mountain. Click for more on Roxy's blog!

Click for Pacific Wave Model animation
"Mass Texodus to Mexico" -
Multitudes of Texas surfers headed to Mex for Christmas holidays. Check out the Pacific wave model.

Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing O'Neill
World Cup and Pipeline Masters pictures, videos and results Check the Hawaii surf report here

Bob Hall Pier Bob Hall Pier NW offshores and overhead perfection
at Bob Hall Pier on
Saturday Nov 21 - photos by Jon Steele

Check out the new Surfline feature of Hurricane Ida on Texas and the EC.

Hurricane Ida surf Hurricane Ida Dolphin Cove South Padre Island Hurricane Ida Texas Surf Hurricane Ida surf picture Click photo for a large image of surf during Hurricane Ida. More to come...

The current issue of Surfers Journal has a 10 page spread of Texas by Jon Steele, there's quite a few Texas surfers that are going to be really stoked!

SPI Artificial Reef Update:
Texas General Land Office announces plans for artificial reef on South Padre Island. Click here for PDF file (Page 5 Project #1459). Also check project #1453 for Isla Blanca. Although not designed as a surfing reef, it is designed to trap sand in the surf zone creating some type of sand point/reef. The project must be completed in 2 years. Surfside Beach will also soon have a new renourished beach after Ida's surge destroyed 2 homes that were causing the state to hold back on rebuilding the beach. Story

WQS 6* O'Neill Coldwater Classic
results pics and videos here.

Cold fronts, offshore winds and perfect surf.
Central Coast got really good while SPI gets blown out sideshores on October 30-31. Sometimes you gotta go north!

ASP Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal -
Men & Women - October 19-30.
Checkout the round 3 and quarterfinal carnage on Heats on Demand

Red Tide Surf Overhead and offshore surf on Thursday Oct 22... with red tide. Click 4 pic
Seagypsy's pics here

Epic Mundaka - video on frame 16 of Surfline feature

coming to South Padre Island! City approves underwater geotube reef on the north end near La Quinta close to the site of the old Andy Bowie Pier. Read more

Billabong Pro Mundaka ASP Billabong Pro Mundaka:
Adriano DeSouza wins, Slater 3rd - 800 pts behind Fanning for the Title. Oct 5-17 Heats on Demand (+7hrs)

Click for large imageOctober is finally here,
and the longest flat spell in Texas surfing history is finally over. An early season cold front at the end of September brought 2 fun days of clean 4-5' surf at Boca and Mansfield with offshore NW winds, and the southerlies have kicked back in for what looks like an early active fall/winter pattern with a week-long south swell and more strong early season fronts.
Checkout Seagypsy's Photos of last week's swell.

Surfaid Tsunami Earhtquake Relief SURFAID Tsunami & Earthquake Relief
for Indo & South Pacific Islands. Donate to Red Cross or SURFAID online - read more.

Quiksilver Pro France Sept 23 - Oct 4
ASP World Tour Event #7 Results & Video

ASP Hurley Pro ASP World Tour Event #6 Hurley Pro at Trestles runs Sunday September 13-19. Results and video.

Trash our Beaches - noone cares Isla Blanca's litter crisis -When will anyone (you?) do anything about it? Its your beach.

Roxy blog
Check out the Roxy Team Blog with Melia Gore ripping in South Padre Island!

Hurricane season 2009: El Nino means a more active tropical Pacific season and an obviously less active Atlantic season. But, its likely to mean a much more productive winter with cooler wetter conditions and stronger fronts with more surf, especially compared to winter 2008.
Tropical info:
National Hurricane Center
NWS Brownsville Tropical Weather

Quiksilver Pro Puerto Escondido results, pics and video

Huge surf for the U.S. Open of Surfing
at Huntington Beach with the largest prize in surfing history, $100,000 for 1st place. Watch the live webcast finals Sunday starting at 10am-6pm local time. PICTURES

Rachel gore tanker surfing at South Padre Island Texas Tanker Surfing in South Padre
with Rachel! Take a look at this 17 mile long wave!

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay 2009 BILLABONG PRO JBAY

Win a free custom surfboard!
Win a Free Custom Surfboard! -
To enter, simply show us your link to SPadre.com on your website, myspace, facebook, blog etc. contest starts July 1 and ends September 5. Winner will be selected by random drawing, and will receive a free custom shaped South Padre Surf Co. surfboard by Gene Gore. Click here to enter.

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay 2009 ASP Billabong Pro J Bay - STARTS SUNDAY NITE. Watch the world's best surfers on one of the best right points in the world. Unfortunately they are running the "new format" with top seeds not surfing until round 2, but a large swell is forecast to arrive by then. World Tour event #5 runs July 9-19. Time zone is +7 hours so its an all-night LIVE WEBCAST starting by 1am-9am local time.
In a major coup for surf fans world wide, this year at the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay spectators can watch a LIVE webcast of 80's superstars Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo as they re-ignite their intense rivalry in the world's best right hand point wave, going head to head for the first time in over two decades. Each has won eight of their 16 previous encounters and the Clash of the Icons will provide yet another chapter in their 26 year rivalry. Don't miss the OCCY VS. CURREN duel!

Watch the live webcast here
ASP Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro - Kelly Slater wins.
World tour event #4 Saturday June 27 through July 5. Watch the live webcast daily from 6am to 3pm local time.

Keanu Asing Hawaii's Next World Champ - want to see some really polished surfing? Check out 16 year old Keanu Asing absolutely dominating the NSSA Nationals at Lowers.

Roxy ROXY Weekend in Galveston June 27-28 -
new surf movie "Dear and Yonder" premiere (watch trailer) (CHECK THE LIVE STRAND CAM AT 8:30pm SATURDAY) Meet Roxy's top exec and waterwoman Cedar Carter, Roxy's top model and pro surfer Kassia Meador, Roxy's Teenie Wahine model and youngest team rider 6 year old Melia Gore, and Roxy's Texas team riders Morgan Faulkner and Brittany Tupaj. Autograph signings at these locations Saturday: Latitude 29 Surf Shop in Crystal Beach 11am-12, 2-3pm Jammin Sportswear on the Strand, 3-4pm at Surf Styles on the Strand. "Dear and Yonder" free surf movie premiere outdoors on the Strand at Saengerfest Park from 8:30-9:30pm. Sunday will be a free Roxy surf camp at Galveston State Park 9-1pm. Be sure to stop by the Crystal Beach store during Roxy's visit, there will be free giveaways as well. Latitude 29 Surf in Crystal Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Ike last year, and is partially reopened. Here is a quick story from the owner on their experience with Ike:
"We never imaged that we would ever be able to re-open the store...it was devastating!  The pictures do not do it justice!!  However, with lots of work and faith we managed to open 1/3 of the building on March 15th (6 months after Ike!).  Everyone has their story...ours, we had actually driven to Orlando, Florida on Tuesday for the Surf Expo.  On Wednesday, everyone from Crystal Beach was calling us in a panic...we were confused because the news in Florida was still showing the storm heading toward Corpus Christi and only a Cat 2.  Anyway, we decided Wednesday evening that we needed to return to Crystal Beach to get our 4 dogs!  We drove all night and made it to CB around 9:30 AM Thursday Morning.  We boarded up, had the cars loaded down with plans of leaving early Friday morning.  Exhausted, we went to sleep at 6PM and awakened at 3AM Friday Morning.  It was too LATE!!!...the ocean was already taken over our neighborhood and our store!!  So long story short, we were helicoptered off the peninsula in a Black Hawk with 10 other humans, 6 dogs and 3 cats!!!  We were forturnate to have our lives (and we our loving dogs)!  Presently, it is wonderful...the community is coming back strong!!  There is so much work being done, so many houses being rebuilt!!   It looks so, so much better now!! " Russell Standridge, Latitude 29 Surf Shop

Team Texas competing in Hawaii at the Duke's Oceanfest
Surf Polo -
Sunday May 31, 12-2pm at the jetty. Open invite, boards provided, just show up. If you're not sure what surf polo is, its simply water polo on surfboards, 2 inflatable goals anchored in the water... water polo rules would apply except our version is that we don't really have any rules, we like to call it surf rugby. About the most fun you could have on a flat day. Picture

New SPadre.com website and webcams New Cams, New Website:
check out the all new SPadre.com high definition webcams, with the highest resolution available anywhere, and FREE as always. South Padre Surf Cam and South Padre Beach Cam are now located closer to the surf and beach. Also the most powerful live streaming cam ever made which we are installing now, mini mobile pages for your iPhone, cell or Blackberry, RSS feed Beach and Surf Report, interactive buoy map, discount coupons for Island businesses and hotels, free stickers and more.

Dont cut me off  kook! Surf Etiquette 101. Summer is here, time for the annual "open your eyes when you paddle" reminder. Longboarders, shortboarders, SUP... drop in on this article by Surfline.

Texas State Surfing Championships - TGSA (board members) have moved the longest running and most prestigious surf contest with the best surf in the state from SPI to Corpus Christi. In the process, they missed out on the best swell of the year Memorial Day Weekend!

Early Season Storm Surf - a low pressure system in the eastern Gulf the week of 5/18 sent 5 days of solid E to ENE groundswell, with several days of offshore winds, clear blue warm water and perfect conditions. Check out Seagypsys Photos and WWD for pics. For comparison, take a look at what the east coast got on the same swell...

Billabong Pro Teahupoo - Bobby Martinez wins. Check out highlights. Runs May 9 - 20. Event runs live local time from approx 1pm until 9pm daily. Website and live webcast.

Hurricane Season 2009
is just a few weeks away. Historically there is a tropical storm forming in the first weeks of June nearly every year in the Gulf of Mexico. Check out the National Hurricane Center website for important changes to this year's forecasts, 2009 storm names and more.
Check out the new Texas Hurricane Guide by NWS Brownsville.

“Blues on the Hill”
is sponsored by City of Harlingen each year at McKelvey Park, 6-10 PM this Saturday. Food and drinks available, free admission. Family oriented.

Surf Movie - The Present
at the Rice University Theater on  Friday, May 8th at 7pm.
View trailer at http://www.trimyourlifeaway.com/Also, BIG Surfrider Foundation party May 16 at the St. Arnold Brewery in Houston celebrating 10 years of Surfrider Foundation in Texas.

New SPadre.com website coming soon with the newest most powerful streaming cam available!Cams are back up,
will try to keep doing daily photos by popular demand at least when there is swell. Look for a brand new website coming soon, with new cams including the latest most powerful streaming cam ever built, free stickers and more...

"Texas Paradise"
Check out this original Island music by local surfer Zeke Aguilar.
"I have been an Elementary Music Teacher for ten years and now am focusing on my career as a songwriter. I am trying to share a song I've written about Padre. The song is located here:
It's a free download.  Take a listen and if you like the song, then I would appreciate any help you could give me in passing it along. Between school (working on Masters) and work in the studio, I have not been able to surf this swell.  I'm finally going to get wet today.  Yeah!
I hope you enjoy the music,"
Take care,
Zeke Aguilar

Non-Stop Surf! Weeks of pumping surf through the end of April with no end in sight, water temps in the upper 70's, thousands of unridden waves and light pre-summer crowds. There's no place like Padre....

1st Annual Jetties Trash Roundup
(spearheaded by Surfrider Foundation South Texas Chapter)
Saturday, May 2, 2009 – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at North Jetties inside Isla Blanca Park. Free Admission to Isla Blanca Park for all Volunteers plus gloves, bags and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. 1st 50 volunteers get a commemorative t-shirt and 1st 100 receive a free chicken plate following clean-up! For more information contact Rob Nixon at 956.433.1472

SeaGypsy's Photographs - surfing picturesSpring swells -
back to back weekends of great surf with more on the way! SeaGypsy finally got a new camera, check out her new high res surf shots of the action. Don't forget to download your $2 picture (Hawaiian Water Shots charges $35), support your local surf photog.

Expression Session
surf contest to be held this Sunday April 26 in yet another of the recent back to back solid spring swells. .

Lauren Kenney at the Galveston Open Saturday April 25TGSA Galveston Open is on this weekend, April 25-26, then a 2 week break until Texas State Surfing Championships on South Padre Island May 16-17 surf permitting. TGSA website
Click picture above for a shot of Galveston longboard stylist Lauren Kenney on this Saturday morning.

Artificial Reef coming to SPI? - Island Breeze article

Surfrider Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup will be this Saturday, April 25 from 9AM-12PM!  We will be meeting at Dolphin Cove at our adopted beach at 8:45 but of course anytime anyone can make it would be much appreciated.  As always, gloves, bags and drinks will be provided.  Hope to see everyone there! General meeting on Sunday, April 26 at 6:30PM upstairs at the Padre Island Brewing Company. 

Rip Curl Pro websiteASP World Tour Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach Australia mens and women round 1 complete, check out the highlight video. Men's Round 2 through finals on call for large building surf by midweek, 5PM start local time. Rip Curl Pro website and live webcast

100 foot wave
surfed off the coast of Chile!
Picture and story on Surfer Mag

WQS 6 Star Margaret River Pro
runs now through April 5, watch the live webcast starting around 7pm local time.

Spring swell -
after a long inconsistent winter of surf, and a rowdy but surfless Spring Break Texas Week, we finally got a great week-long spring swell to end the month of March! Check out SEAGYPSY'S pictures of the swell. A late winter weather pattern could mean a good spring.

Jon Steele and John Olvey
Art and Lifestyle Show at the Brew Pub, Friday March 27 at 7pm. $5 cover. Flyer
Friday at 7pm at the South Padre Brewing Company Jon Steele and John Olvey will be premiering a new surf movie and incredible Surf Art. Many of you may be unfamiliar with these names, but I guarantee you will have a great time. Supporting art and culture on South Padre Island is part of Gypsy Productions goal and YOU are HOW that happens. Cover is $5 and greatly appreciated as these events are allotted in our area only via our support!
Also, please look for our next email as we are proud to announce our next music production in April!
See you there!!
Aarin Hartwell and Matt Fockler
      Gypsy Productions
    South Padre Island, Tx

Hurricane Season 2009: The National Hurricane Center will implement important changes in some of its text and graphical products. It will also make some additions to its Web site and experimental products. This is part of a continuing effort at the National Hurricane Center to expand and enhance its level of service. Click here for a PDF description of the changes. The 2009 hurricane season early forecast indicates an above average season with a strengthening La Nina along with existing above average water temperatures.

Joel Parkinson wins
the Quiksilver Pro at Kirra in pumping hurricane surf. Pics, videos and stories: ASP Surfline Transworld Surfer Surfing
Next event is the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach April 7-18

ASP World Tour 2009 has begun!
Quiksilver Pro semis and final to run today at Kirra in pumping hurricane surf with Joel, Taj, Mick and Adriano, 4pm possible start but likely to be later in the best possible conditions, don't miss it!! LIVE WEBCAST
The Mens Quiksilver Pro and Womens Roxy Pro runs Feb 28 through March 11 at Snapper Rocks Australia. Watch the live webcast daily (4pm start local time)
Check the surf report and live cam on CoastalWatch.

Quik Pro Round 3 pics

Rookies dominate round 1 of the Roxy Pro. Check out Surfer Mag story and pictures. Surfline story and pics

TGSA Port Aransas Open
likely to be called on for this weekend, March 7-8. Click here for Texas Gulf Surfing Association website, schedule and more information.

Jet Ski hits surfer.
Surfline pics FYI, Texas law prohibits PWC operation within 50 feet of any non-motorized vessel, swimmer, surfer etc. (including tow-ins through the lineup at Dolphin Cove). Simply call Coast Guard and they will ticket or confiscate the PWC.

High Surf Jet Ski Rescue Training
Looking for up to 4 people to attend this class which will be held on the North Shore of Oahu in April. If you are a surfer looking to improve your big wave riding or tow-in skills, or interested in a career in any nationwide ocean safety team, this top level extreme PWC training and hazard management course is held by the worlds top ocean safety experts and lifeguards in Hawaii. Tuition fee is only $400 for a 2-3 day class. Must be able to swim 500 meters in 10 minutes or less, and be in top physical shape as training will be held in the highest possible surf conditions on the North Shore. Airfare mid-April from Houston to Honolulu is currently as low as $387rt, and accomodations are extra. For more information contact Gene

Spring Break 2009 Texas Week March 14-21.
Time for a surf trip, check out some surf travel destinations
South Padre Island spring break pictures

Big Brotha Urban Sk8 Fest
Saturday Feb 21 12noon - 10pm. Live bands, skate contest, b-ball tourney, paintball and more. Don't miss it this Saturday at the Brownsville SK8 center. Flyer

Surfrider Foundation South Texas Chapter events:
~ Wednesday Feb 18 3:30pm the South Padre Island Board of Aldermen will be holding a joint workshop with the SPI Planning and Zoning Committee and the Beach and Dune Task Force to discuss public beach access and dune protection plans for the town's ETJ north of the town's limits.  There will be a presentation by Fred McCutchon who is the Chair of the Nueces County Beach Management Advisory Committee.  The meeting will be in the new City Hall on the second floor in the boardroom.
~ Saturday Feb 21 the Surfrider Foundation South Texas Chapter will be holding its winter cleanup at our adopted beach at Dolphin Cove in Isla Blanca Park.  The cleanup will begin at 10AM and end at 12PM.  We will provide drinks, gloves and bags.
~ Also on Saturday we will be participating in a Dune Vegetation Harvesting at 1PM.  We will be meeting at Wanna Wanna and drinks and tools will all be provided as well.  Afterward there wil be a potting event at 3PM at the UTB greenhouse so that we can start propagating the plants for future dune revegetations.  To get to the UTB Greenhouse, take International Blvd to Elizabeth St., turn left on Elizabeth St., turn Right on Ringgold St (First Right), turn Left on Neale Dr. (at end of road), the greenhouse is just ahead on the left.

South Padre Island Beach Patrol Tryouts

12pm Feb 9-10 at the Brownsville Aquatic Center
Starting March 1 through summer, $10/hour, 8 part time positions open.
Contact Jim Pigg at the SPI Fire Dept for more information.
Download application

Seagypsy's Photos - $2 Digital Downloads
Great price considering most photogs charge up to $40 a pic
Check out the last swell to see if your shot made the cut

Surfing Ecomomic Impact Study
Click here to fill out a quick online survey and help preserve your local break.

Surfrider South Texas Meeting
The Surfrider Foundation South Texas Chapter will be holding their next general meeting on Tuesday, Feb.3 at 6:30PM upstairs at the Padre Island Brewing Company.

Bowl Jam
Brownsville SK8 Park
Saturday Jan 31
150 picture slide show
Wade Dunkin Gallery

New Beach, New Sandbars

Checkout the beach renourishment project on the north end of Gulf Blvd. Looks like some nice new sandbars in the area.

Send in your Surf Trip Pictures

Been to Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica or anywhere else lately?
share your pics here.
"When making reservations with an individual or a hotel/motel, be sure to get a copy of the agreement and the signature of the principle in charge of where you plan to stay. During the first 2 weeks of February, some friends and I made arrangements to stay at Chuck's house near Maderas beach in Nicaragua. The charge was $150 per person for a 2 week stay. Upon arrival, Chuck bumps up the rent by $60 per person! Very shady tactics! In addiition, bring your wet-suits as the water is ice cold! This is because the offshores ( which blow at gale force most of the time) blow the warm top water out to sea and the upwelling is ice cold! Also, the good spots are privately owned with no access, except by boat, which is not cheap! Signed: Mike Behrens. "

Spring Break 2009

Texas Week is March 14-21

  • 2015 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing 2015 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
  • NLand Surf Park - Austin, Texas NLand Surf Park - Austin, Texas
  • Used Surfboards Classified Ads Used Surfboards Classified Ads
  • Photo slideshow featuring Port Mansfield Photo slideshow featuring Port Mansfield
  • New Surf Spot on South Padre Island - coming soon? New Surf Spot on South Padre Island - coming soon?
  • Texas Surf Museum Texas Surf Museum
  • TANSIT - the classic surf film by John Johnson TANSIT - the classic surf film by John Johnson

Surfing Resources
  • Surfline
  • WSL
  • Surfer
  • Surfing
  • CoastalWatch
  • SNN
  • Surf Map
  • Surfers Vlg.
  • Links
Association of Surfing Professionals
Surf Map

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Well known as the best surf in Texas, South Padre Island has the biggest, most powerful, most consistent and best shaped waves by far than anywhere else on the Texas Gulf Coast (***see below!). Fun surf year-round, with clear water and lots of empty waves make South Padre the #1 surfing destination for Texas surfers. If you want to catch the best and biggest surf in Texas here at South Padre Island, Spadre.com live surf cams and updated surf report gives you the up-to-the-minute report on conditions, and surf outlook for 3-5 days out.

(*** It's a mathematical fact that South Padre Island has MORE surf than Hawaii, and probably anywhere in the world! Here's why... our waves are short interval swells with an average 6-8 second period between waves, compared with Pacific Ocean waves that average 15 second interval or more. Sets of waves come very rapidly as well, as frequent as every 1-2 minutes, compared to 5-15 minutes or more in ocean swells which travel much further therefore are spaced much further apart. So, in a day, we may see several thousand or more set waves breaking versus only a few hundred in Mexico, California or Hawaii... not to mention the fact that there are less surfers here than probably anywhere in the USA!)
Surf Spots on South Padre Island

Listed below are the 10 most popular breaks, with pictures and information
on how and when they break best. Wind and tides have major effects on the surf conditions, check Spadre.com's live surf cam, report and forecast before you come so you'll know just when and where to surf, as conditions change frequently. Getting here when its good is up to you!

Isla Blanca Beach Park - The Jetties on the south end of the Island is home to the premiere surfing wave of the Texas Gulf Coast, with its clear clean emerald-turquoise water and long peeling waves. Deep water just offshore, and east facing beach exposed to any nearly any swell direction makes it by far the most consistent wave on the coast. The first parking lot as you drive up to the beach is the gathering place of Texas surfers. The "inside" sandbar is less than a hundred yards from shore with fast lined up waves, it can hold surf up to 8-10'. The outside sandbar starts to break when waves reach 6-8' and it is not uncommon to see 12-15' surf or bigger in tropical storms. Paddle outs can be rather difficult on bigger days. Best on E or SE swells, wind from the SE to S is common and good, SW to W wind is offshore and perfect. Take a right on Park Road 100 immediately after crossing the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway, entry to Isla Blanca Beach Park is $4/vehicle/day or annual passes are available for $38. Map of Isla Blanca Beach Park

2) Second Lot - Just a few hundred yards further north from the jetty, the second parking lot (Second Lot) is best on Southerly swells that miss the jetty area. A fast-breaking wave, can get nice and hollow with offshore winds. Subject to longshore currents.

3) Dolphin Cove - A legendary big wave spot located inside the channel on the Padre side, a clean powerful left that only appears on the biggest of swells, very rare. Paddle out from small sandy beach on the bay side of Dolphin Cove restaurant, it is very dangerous to attempt to jump off the jetty into the channel. Also, the jetties are heavily infested with urchins, climbing onto the rocks can be a very painful experience!
Be aware of extremely strong currents during high surf.

4) Barracuda Cove - Also located inside the channel on the Boca Chica side, this long peeling right has a powerful shorebreak as well. Breaks more consistently now on big E to NE swells, the sandbar is becoming better formed due to recent tropical storms. Seas must be 12' or more, and the tide must be outgoing for it to turn on. You can paddle across the channel to surf it but the currents in the channel can be extreme.

5) Boca Chica -
Across the channel, the south jetty at Boca Chica Beach is mainly a winter surf spot, also handles tropical storm and hurricane surf very well. A 1 hour, 45 mile drive through Brownsville and back up the beach. Go back over the bridge, turn left at Walmart on Hwy 48 then left on 511 at Port of Brownsville, then left on Hwy 4 to the beach, turn left and drive on the sand for 5 miles. It is much faster to paddle across the channel but the swift currents in the channel can take you for a ride! The inside is best on medium size swells and incoming tide, outside can get very big with an easy paddle out next to the jetty. Long, long lined up lefts and often clean bowling rights near the jetty. Best on N, NE or E swells. NW to N winds are best.

6) Town Beachbreaks -
There are many free public beach access points along the stretch of high-rise hotels and condos on South Padre Island, leading to miles of unsurfed powerful beachbreak sandbars. Drift sessions are the call as longshore currents can be strong. Offshore winds can turn these town beachbreaks into gaping board-snapping tubes with only you and your friends out. Definitely worth a check on most swells. Good on most swell directions, but offshore winds from the NW, W or SW are best.
The beachbreak in front of the Tiki is currently the best.

Port Mansfield Jetties:
A completely undeveloped secluded beach nearly 30 miles north, (although the pristine beauty is heavily trashed by disgusting disrespectful local fishermen, beware of thousands of broken beer bottles. Take Fish - Leave Trash is their motto.) with two jetties and a small boat channel dividing South Padre Island from the Padre Island National Seashore, the channel cuts across the Laguna Madre to the town of Port Mansfield. There are no roads, no facilities, it can only be reached by 4-wheel drive on the sand or by boat up the Laguna Madre or from the village of Port Mansfield. There is safe anchorage just inside the channel. One of the last places in the U.S. where you can find undeveloped beach, huge sand dunes and quality surf with noone for miles, a fine destination for a surfari. Bring a shovel, water, food and anything else you might need.

7) The Dunes - Driving north up the beach towards Port Mansfield jetties you will pass some of the largest sand dunes on the coast, approximately 12 miles from the last beach access road. Some of these dunes are very close to the water's edge and have an obvious effect on the beach contour and sandbars. This area can be the biggest surf around on small days, and some of the hollowest tubes, keep a close eye on the surf as you are on the way, if it looks good... its always better than it looks!

8) North Jetty - Solitude and perfection. One of Texas' great surfing secrets, the north jetty is an excellent surf spot from small to well overhead. Long lined up rights with an easy paddle out next to the jetty. Best on E or SE swells with SE, S or SW wind. N or NE wind makes for choppy conditions. More recent pictures: 1 2

9) South Jetty - A much shorter jetty than the north side due to accretion of the beach, a fun hollow right and long left peels of the end of the jetty with a short easy paddle out next to the rocks. Best on small to medium size
winter days with N, NE or E swells and N to NW wind. On big north swells it will be closed out, go to Boca Chica. Picture

10) Mansfield Channel - Few people know, but now you do... the Mansfield channel is breaking better than it ever has! Recent tropical storms have caused large amounts of sand to shift into the channel, and it now breaks very consistently. A very long peeling wave, best for longboards but can get powerful on bigger swells. Paddle in and out from the small sand cove just inside the jetty, or jump off the jetty. Check the current, it is usually moving quickly either in or out with the tide, best to catch it on a standing tide. Best on E to NE swells with N to NW wind. Sharks.

Climate and Seasons

The surf in Texas varies in form and consistency with the seasons:

Summer - Summer is the least consistent time of year for surf, but there are fun playful waves nearly every day that are great for beginners. June is typically fairly consistent month for surf with strong, hot S to SE winds. Air temps on the Island are usually in the 90's, with water temps very comfortable near 80. The surf tends to be small from July through August, except for the occasional tropical storm or hurricane which can create really incredible surf. The water temperatures at South Padre stay a few degrees cooler than the upper coast due to the deep water just offshore, but the sun and sand can get blistering hot.

Fall - Fall can be the best season of the year for consistent, warm surf. September and October are the peak of hurricane season, and early cool fronts begin making their way down by October. A springsuit or vest may be needed after a cool front, fullsuits usually aren't needed until December.

Winter -
South Padre has fairly mild winters, with a few arctic blasts each winter. A full collection of wetsuits may be needed to take advantage of the powerful winter surf, but many days are also warm and sunny. Winter swells are often much bigger than the rest of the year.

Spring -
As the days warm, strong south winds return with consistent spring swells. Coastal fog is common due to the cool water and warm air. Don't forget, South Padre Island is a major spring break destination with massive crowds and hotels completely booked during most of March.

Monthly Water Temperature Average
at South Padre Island
Jan - 58 Feb - 60 Mar - 64 Apr - 70 May - 77 Jun - 79
Jul - 79 Aug - 80 Sep - 83 Oct - 78 Nov - 71 Dec - 64
Local water temps can fluctuate from these averages by 3-5 degrees or more.

Tides and Buoys

Buoys - One of the best surf indicators are the many National Data Buoy Center buoys offshore in the Gulf of Mexico that are accessible on the internet and by weather-radio. The hourly data obtained from these buoys is amazing, windswell and groundswell are separated into charts with wave interval, direction, sea surface temps, barometric pressure and wind speed and direction. Learn to "read" the buoy data charts and you'll be on top of every swell.

Tides - The tide has a fairly major effect on wave quality as well. A moving tide, either incoming or outgoing is usually best. The tide range, or distance between high and low, is usually only 1-2 feet on the Texas coast. Always check the tides when you are planning your day at the beach. Today's Tide Chart

Surfboards and Accessories

Choosing the Right Surfboard

Having the right board for the conditions and for your ability will make the difference in whether you have an enjoyable session or don't catch any waves at all. Start out on a longboard thick enough to float you so that you can paddle out comfortably. Remember, if you can't catch waves you aren't having any fun, so consider a larger board regardless of what looks cool. As your skills progress you can move down to shorter boards, but most days in Texas are better suited for fuller template shapes, meaning thicker longer and wider. Softboards are the best choice for kids, they are safe and easy to learn on. If you have any questions or need assistance in picking the right surfboard for you, feel free to contact us.


Along with your surfboard you'll need a few other essentials:

Leash - get one the same length as your board, but don't substitute your leash for swimming ability.

Extra fins -
try to get a board with removable fins, you can drastically alter the performance of your board to fit the surf conditions or your surfing style by either moving or changing fins.

Board Bag -
Keep your board out of the sun when you are not riding it by using either or board sock or padded travel bag.

Racks -
hard racks are more expensive than soft racks but much stronger and dependable, make sure they are securely tightened.

Wax -
before every session you'll need to wax your board, or use a wax comb to roughen your existing coat. There are several different formulas of wax to be used in different water temperatures, make sure you have the right one.

Sunscreen -
Summer or winter you should always use waterproof total sunblock. Skin cancer kills.

- If you want to take advantage of the best surf, which often is in the winter, you'll need to invest in a wetsuit. A lycra rashguard is good for keeping the sun off your shoulders and back. A springsuit for fall and spring days, and a fullsuit with booties are necessary in the mid-winter. A neoprene hood is a big help in keeping warm, since most heat is lost through your head from wind chill.

Ding Repair- If you get a ding in your board you should fix it before surfing or water will enter the board. There are new simple to use sun-cure repair resins and puttys that cure in just a few minutes, you can even do a repair on the beach!. Simply dry the board, sand the ding area lightly, apply the resin (in the shade) and set in the sun to cure. Sand with 80 grit (rough), then 220 grit (fine) sandpaper, and paddle back out!

For Surfers at South Padre Island

Surfers need to be aware of the surf conditions and related currents. ALWAYS take a few minutes before you paddle out to study the waves, noting where the best waves are breaking, and the strength and direction of the rip and longshore currents.
South Padre Island recently started a new Beach Patrol program in 2009. Although there are not lifeguard towers (yet) the beach patrol is trained to respond to swimmers in distress with jet-skis, rescue board or rescue swimers. Many rescues are performed by local surfers. The most common surfing injuries are from surfers trying to jump off the jetty, or from being struck by your own surfboard. Also on big surf days, beware of the strong rip current next to the jetty. Before you jump into the waves, take a few minutes to read this important water safety information and discuss it with your family and friends. The surf you've come here to enjoy is irresistibly beautiful and enjoyable, yet powerful and dangerous and must be respected.

Surfing Safety & Etiquette:

1) THREE SECOND RULE - When you fall off your board, your first instinct is to immediately pop up for a breath of air... if you do, your board is probably going to come down and smack you on your head, so STAY UNDER WATER FOR 3 SECONDS, AND COME UP WITH YOUR HANDS PROTECTING YOUR HEAD!! Its not a matter of if your surfboard is going to hit you, its a matter of when and how hard, so remember the 3-second rule, it can save your life.

Never jump off the jetty. A slight miscalculation on your jump and you and your board are both gonna have a really bad day, but more likely you will get washed off the jetty by a wave (see pictures below). If you can't paddle out you don't belong out, you gotta pay your dues. There is also a dangerous rip current next to the jetty during high surf that can sweep you out to sea.
"I had a pretty bad surfing accident, broke some bones in my back / neck. After seeing several surgeons i was told never to surf again , too big of a risk of becoming paralyzed if I had anymore accidents. I was slammed into the jetties and broke some bones on the leftside of the mid section of back , as well I suffered compression fractures to the C-7 , C-6 vertibraes to right side of my neck."

Check out these pictures of surfers getting washed off the jetty. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

One person per wave, look both ways before you take off.

ALWAYS take a few minutes to study the waves before you paddle out. If you are new to the break, or anywhere you may travel to surf, ask a local surfer or lifeguard about the conditions BEFORE you paddle out, you may save yourself from an embarrassing or dangerous situation. Avoid the MULLET SYNDROME, don't paddle out straight into a pack of surfers, if you take a few minutes to study the waves you'll see that most often there are better waves breaking nearby with noone on it!

Don't paddle out further than you can swim back in. Eventually your leash will break or come off. If you really want to improve your surfing and paddling, spend some time in a pool doing laps on flat days, or in the ocean.

You are responsible if your surfboard hits another board or surfer, always maintain control.

7) SMILE - If you aren't enjoying your session go home, noone else wants to hear about it.

8) SHUT UP AND SURF - nothing is more annoying than a loudmouth in the lineup. You should focus entirely on getting into the rhythm of the swell. Save the yapping for the chatrooms, parking lot or night club, noone wants to hear it in the water. Hooting for good rides and friendly conversation is great but even then you'll find yourself out of position and the best waves either breaking on your head or watching everyone else riding them.

9) HURRICANE SURF - The surf at South Padre Island can get very big during hurricanes reaching heights of 20-30'. Its always much bigger than it looks, and your board and your leash is probably not right for big waves.
Most importantly though, few if any surfers have the swimming ability required to make it to the beach in 20' waves from 3/4 mile offshore. Remember too that if you need rescued you are likely to be headlines in the morning paper, there are no lifeguards here. If you break your leash and are forced to swim in, you will likely panic and swim for the jetty where your only hope of surviving means a thorough thrashing on the rocks. Rip currents are extreme during storm swells, even the best swimmers are at risk. Jetty jumping is for kooks, if you can't paddle out AND swim back in, you don't belong out.

10) RIP CURRENTS - You better know where they are before you ever enter the ocean anywhere. Ask a knowledgeable local. Use the rip to your advantage. Remember at South Padre and anywhere there is a jetty, pier or reef there will be rip currents, actually anywhere you find waves there will be rip currents. The rip by the jetty here is a powerful river flowing out to sea, the worst place to be if you are in trouble. "Swim to the side to stay alive."

If the rocks are wet from waves, DO NOT walk any further!

Your Surfboard - The most dangerous thing about surfing is your own surfboard. You can be seriously injured or killed from being struck by your board. Practice the "3-second rule", it may save your life.

Jetties - Located at the southern tip of the island in Isla Blanca Park, the jetties are not designed for public access, although it is allowed. Never jump off the jetty. Many surfers and their boards are swept off the rocks and injured while attempting to jump off the jetty into the surf. Being washed up and down barnacle encrusted - urchin infested granite boulders is humiliating at best. If you can't paddle out, you shouldn't be out, you will likely find yourself in a situation that you can't handle, or swept out to sea in the strong rip next to the jetty.

Rip Currents
The rip current you need to be concerned about as a surfer is located next to the jetty. This rip current is the strongest and most dangerous on the entire Texas coast, and on big days it can suck you out to the end of the jetty into the "pit" where the biggest waves will break, and likely wash you back onto the rocks. If you get caught in the rip, simply remain calm and swim or paddle to the side away from the jetty and the surf will push you back towards shore. Do not hesitate to call for assistance. Longshore Currents are simply the current that moves along the beach, usually in the direction that the wind is blowing. I there is a north wind, the longshore current will sweep you towards the jetty where it will become a rip current sucking out to sea.
South Padre Island's North Jetty - Great Fishing but use EXTREME CAUTION

For Visitors to South Padre Island

Before you jump into the waves, take a few minutes to read this important water
safety information and discuss it with your family and friends.

Beachgoers need to be aware of the surf conditions and related currents. The waves you've come here to enjoy are irresistibly beautiful and enjoyable, yet powerful and dangerous and must be respected, even on the days when the surf is relatively calm. There is now a Beach Patrol on SPI, but many rescues are performed by local surfers, and were recognized in 2003 by Cameron County for the many rescues performed with a proclamation of "Surf's Up Week".  Taking simple precautions like wearing a lifejacket can easily avert a tragedy.

Water Safety Rules

Rip Currents

Rip currents are common on all South Padre Island Beaches. Rip currents
occur around the world at "surf" beaches, including both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico including South Padre Island. Rip currents are also the #1 cause of drownings. If you are caught in one, how you respond could make the difference between life and death. Unlike undertows, rip currents are shallow water processes that do not pull a person under. They form when water, piled against the shore, begins to return to deeper water. Typically, strong wind and swell waves push water over a sandbar allowing excess water to collect. Eventually, the excess water starts to return seaward through low areas in the sandbar, "ripping" an opening. Rip currents can be readily seen from the shore. You can spot a rip current by looking for objects or foam moving steadily seaward. Wave heights are also lower and choppier in rip currents. Since rip currents are NOT undertows, you can be pulled away from the shore but not pulled under the water. The most common mistake drowning victims make is to panic and try to swim directly toward the shore. Even the best Olympic swimmers are not able to successfully swim toward shore in the strongest rip currents. If caught in a rip current, simply remain calm and swim or paddle to the side and the surf will push you back towards shore. Do not hesitate to call for assistance.
Rip Currents are common, be aware!

Rip Current Index

Rip Current Outlooks use the following, three-tiered set of qualifiers:

Low Risk - Wave Heights 0-2' and/or Wind Speed less than 10 kts.
Wind and/or wave conditions are not expected to support the development of rip currents; however, rip currents can sometimes occur, especially in the vicinity of groins, jetties, and piers.

Moderate Risk - Wave Heights 3-5' and/or Wind Speed 10-20 kts.
Wind and/or wave conditions support stronger or more frequent rip currents. Only experienced surf swimmers should enter the water. Use a lifejacket, bodyboard or flotation device.

High Risk - Wave Heights 6'+ and/or Wind Speed greater than 20kts.
Wind and/or wave conditions support dangerous rip currents. Rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf. Stay in waist deep water or less!

-Rip currents are NOT undertows,
you can be pulled away from
the shore but not pulled
under the water.
-If caught in a rip current, simply
remain calm
and swim or paddle to the
side and the surf will push
you back towards shore.

Helpful Links:


Surf Conditions
sistema de aviso con bandera
-heavy surf
-dangerous currents
-oleaje fuerte
-corrientes Peligrosas
-calm to moderate water
-does not mean safe water
-agua calmada a moderada
-no asuma agua segura
-presence of
venemous marine life
-presencia de
vida marina venenosa
Absence of flag does not assure safe water
La ausencia de banderas no asume
condiciones de agua segura
Dial 911 for emergency
Marque el 911 para urgencias
As you enter any County beaches you will notice the Flag Advisory signs.
There is no flag system on City beaches

Holes, Sandbars and Dropoffs
The waves may SEEM calm at times and the ocean look safe, but the bottom is irregular and uneven with quick dropoffs and deep holes. These conditions change daily. When you step off the beach, in just a few steps you can be in 5-7' of water, this is very dangerous for children and non-swimmers. After this first trough, the first sandbar is around 50 feet out and can be a shallow as 1-2' on a low tide or much deeper on a high tide. There are many deep holes, even in shallow water. You may be wading in 2' of water and take one step and be in 6' of water. This is very common in the first trough close to shore.

Longshore Currents
Longshore Currents are simply the current that moves along the beach, usually in the direction that the wind is blowing or the waves are breaking. You will notice the longshore current as you enter the water, causing you to drift along the beach. These currents can run as fast as 3mph. Not a hazard for swimmers, unless there is a north wind, the longshore current will sweep you towards the jetty where it will become a rip current sucking out to sea.

The tide plays an important factor in water depths in the surf. The tide range, or difference between high and low tide varies between 1 to 3 feet. High tide will cause more powerful waves to break closer to shore and deeper water near shore. A low or outgoing tide can greatly increase the rip current risk.

The Jetties

If the rocks are wet from waves,
DO NOT walk any further!

Jetties - Located at the southern tip of the island in Isla Blanca Park, the jetties are not designed for public access, although it is allowed. Never swim near the jetty. Many people have been swept off the rocks and injured or swept out to sea in the strong rip next to the jetty while attempting to walk out the jetty during high surf. The granite boulders are barnacle encrusted and urchin infested. Always bring some type of flotation device to be used for rescue in case someone falls into the surf. There is a strong rip current located next to the jetty. This rip current is the strongest and most dangerous on the entire Texas coast, and on big days it can suck you out to the end of the jetty into the "pit" where the biggest waves will break, and likely wash you back onto the rocks. If you get caught in the rip, simply remain calm and swim or paddle to the side away from the jetty and the surf will push you back towards shore. Do not hesitate to call for assistance.

South Padre Island's North Jetty - Great Fishing but use EXTREME CAUTION

Surf Rescue
If you notice a swimmer in distress in the surf, first have someone call 911. Then, before you ever attempt a rescue, be sure to take some type of floating object such as a bodyboard or inflatable float or you are very likely to also be a drowning victim.
As you approach the victim, present the float to the victim, keeping the float BETWEEN you and the victim, and continually reassure the victim and make your way towards shore. If you happen to be caught in a rip current with the victim, remember to paddle across the current, then back towards the beach.


Undertow is a concern mostly for weak swimmers or the unfortunate non-swimmer. An undertow occurs when a wave is about to break on a shallow sandbar where a swimmer might be standing. The water will suck underneath the wave as it breaks. This "undertow" can sweep a weak swimmer off of their feet and into deeper water, and he may panic as the wave crashes over his head. The undertow disperses almost immediately until the next wave approaches, then the cycle starts again. An undertow can drown a person just feet from safety.

Stingray are occasionally found in shallow surf and have a sharp barb at the base of their tail that leaves a small puncture wound, and injects a very painful venom. The pain will travel up the legs to the groin and armpits. APPLY HEAT IMMEDIATELY (never ice) directly to the wound. It is advisable to seek follow-up medical attention. Infection rate is 100%
Whenever a blue advisory flag is flying, stinging jellyfish are likely in the surf. Reactions vary in individuals. Rinse with fresh water, in most cases the sting may be treated with vinegar and unseasoned meat tenderizer mixed in a paste, applied directly to the sting.


Local Emergency Numbers
CALL 911 first for any emergency.

South Padre Island EMS (956) 761-5454

Cameron County Park System (956) 761-5494

U.S. Coast Guard Station South Padre Island (956) 761-2668

Cameron County Parks Police (956) 761-5283

(This Water Safety Information was written by local Ocean Safety expert Gene Gore with the purpose of educating visitors to
South Padre Island in the hope of preventing drownings. For additional questions or comments feel free to email Gene. )

Hawaii Lifeguards 1993
Hawaii Lifeguards

Wind and Wave Formation

As your experience in the surf grows, so will your knowledge of the wind, the source of the waves we ride. You may be miles from the coast one day, you feel a stiff breeze and look up at a flag or tree, a cloud... a sign. You don't need the internet to tell you, you know that's a south wind, blowing for two days now... trees bending and whistling, flags whipping, low clouds whisking by... it means one thing, a new south swell is building!
The Texas coast is entirely unique in the way that the local weather affects the waves. Our coast is mostly dependent on wind-driven surf rather than ocean swell. While most coastal weather patterns elsewhere only affect the general texture of the ocean's surface they will have little impact on swell generated thousands of miles away (groundswell). The Gulf on the other hand, being roughly less than 1000 miles wide is almost entirely affected by passing weather systems.
Another surprising fact about Texas surf: Texas (especially South Padre Island) has more surf than anywhere else on Earth! It is a mathematical fact, you'll discover when you are paddling out... you sure get pounded by a LOT of waves on the way out! Our waves are short interval, mostly 6-8 seconds between waves versus 12 to 15 to 20 second intervals on other coasts. Our waves are nearly constant as well, while say in Hawaii you can wait 20 minutes for a set. So, in a 1 hour period at South Padre there may be over 600 waves breaking, while in Hawaii you may only see a few dozen. And since there will be dozens of surfers in Hawaii competing for those few waves, and sometimes only a few surfers out in Texas picking the best waves, if you want to catch more waves then surf Texas!
Wind generates waves, and when there is a storm system in or near the Gulf the winds begin to blow and the wave-making process begins, forming windswell. In Texas, on stormy windy days when no normal person would even think of going to the beach, this is when you'll find the avid Texas surfer waxing up. This is also what makes Texas surfers a unique crew; stoked, appreciative and dedicated to riding whatever Old Man Gulf will hand out, no matter what the conditions.
Waves are created by the wind, wind is caused by differing atmospheric pressures between high and low pressure systems. Onshore winds (SE, E or NE) are winds that blow towards shore. Onshores cause the waves to build but make for choppy conditions. Offshore winds (NW, W or SW) are winds that blow from land towards the surf. Offshores cause the waves to be perfect and hollow, but also causes Texas surf to go flat. Sideshore winds (N or S) are winds that blow directly up or down the beach, and can cause extreme longshore currents. If the wind is blowing from the south, you want to surf on the north side of the jetty, the conditions will be much better. If the wind is from the north, then surf the south side. The wind is labeled by the direction from which it originates: a south wind comes from the south.
High pressure usually means nice weather but the surf is likely to be small or flat. The wind rotates around a high in a clockwise rotation. Low pressure systems are the source of most swells. The more intense the low is, the stronger the winds become, building the surf as they intensify. Low pressure systems have a counter-clockwise rotation. The wind is measured by an anemometer, air pressure is measured by a barometer. Barometric pressure is a very important measurement used to predict weather and surf. On a weather map, you can see little white lines in swirling patterns called isobars. These are lines of equal air pressure. The more isobars and the closer they are together, the stronger the wind will be. The wind roughly follows the direction of the isobars. In time, one quick glance at a weather map and you'll know just how big the surf will be and where!

The Three Keys

There are three factors that determine how large and how well-formed the waves will be, and how long they will last:

Fetch - The distance or area over which a sustained wind blows over the water is called the fetch. Study the buoys across the Gulf to see the effect of a short or long fetch.
Duration - How long the wind blows over the water in a sustained direction. The direction of the prevailing wind flow determines the dominant direction of the swell, and each surf spot breaks differently on differing swell directions. The longer the duration, the larger and better-formed the surf becomes.
Velocity - Of course, the speed and strength of the wind will determine the size of the swell, but this is dependent on the fetch and duaration.
Learn to understand and "read" the wind, it is the key to predicting surf on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes

Texas surfers live for hurricanes! While the approach of a hurricane signals evacuation, boarding up windows and panic shopping for most people, for the Texas surfer it means one thing... Big Surf! There are few spots (and few surfers) on the coast that can handle the really big waves that major hurricanes produce, the wind is almost always a major factor in the surf conditions. Remember that hurricane surf can be very dangerous, with heavy currents and huge waves washing up the beach pulling debris out into the surf. Wear a strong leash, and realize that if you do lose your board you may get sucked out beyond the 1/2 mile long jetty by our infamous rip currents here at South Padre Island next to the jetty. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the most active period being mid-September through October. Hurricanes can produce massive surf of 20 feet or more, challenging the best surfers to not only ride them, but to even make it out! The immense size of hurricanes compared to the Gulf of Mexico usually creates a common dilemma for Texas surfers... too much wind. Most often winds will be N to NE causing poor conditions, but when storms are in the eastern Gulf we are not hardly affected by the winds, only receiving clean groundswell. Storms that move north from the southern Gulf, as they pass by the winds will become offshore, sucking into the storm, causing classic conditions. Smaller tropical storms can often produce the better waves, with less wind and they tend to hang around in the Gulf a bit longer.

Coastal Environment
South Padre Island is fortunate to have the most beautiful, well-kept beaches on the coast. A strong sand renourishment program is keeping check with erosion, there are no refineries to pollute the air, no big city nearby to contribute to runoff pollution, strict dune and beach protection policies, and regular trash pickup. However, litter is always a problem at any beach, take a minute and pick up any trash you see. It may not be yours, but its your beach. South Padre Surf Co. is the State Adopt-a-Beach sponsor for Isla Blanca Beach Park and the South Padre Island jetties. Beach cleanups are held 3 times each year, contact us if you would like to get involved. We are also on the General Land Office Coastal Texas 2020 Advisory Committee, giving a voice to area surfers, fishermen and beachgoers in the coastal management processes, please contact us if you have any comments. We are also long time supporters of the Surfrider Foundation, the Texas Coast's leading advocate for public beaches. Contact Surfider through their link below to learn more.

Surfrider Foundation Texas Chapter Central Texas Surfrider
Texas General Land Office - Coastal Issues Website

Learn to Surf!
If you or someone you know would like to learn to surf,
we'll make your first experience a great one at South Padre Island! South Padre Surf Company offers professional Surfing Lessons year-round and fun day Surf Camps.

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