It’s that time of year again! Yeah we’re all fired up for longer days, southern hemi’s and shedding our rubber, but summer also means the beginning of the Black Ball at most of our local beaches. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the Black Ball is a flag raised by the lifeguards to help designate certain areas as swimming or surfing only. While many surfers irritably regard it as a blue ball, the flags are raised to help reduce injuries between hard boards and swimmers in the surf line.
Regulations change from day to day and beach to beach, so the best way to avoid a heckling (or a possible ticket from the smurfs) is to ask the lifeguard where you can surf before you paddle out. In general, body boards are permitted in the swim area, but surfboards, skimboards, and other hardboards (doyl’s considered hardboards) must stay in the designated areas.
It’s easy to get upset at the lifeguard yelling at you for crossing an imaginary line when the surf is pumping, but in reality the flag is only up for 3 month out of the year. Those of us accustomed to the early morn dawn patrols or post-work sessions will barely notice it’s there. For those of you still upset, you can always grab a beater or a pair of fins and have just as much fun at the beach. With that said.. I’ll still be counting down the days until that damn flag goes down!!!
Below is a black ball list for Orange County – Check with local LGs for more details:
At State Beaches Black Ball is up from June 14 to Labor Day starting at 11am until the Lifeguard leaves. Weekdays at Newland St. Tower 9 to Tower 11 is not blackballed. Everything south of Tower 2 is never blackballed. On Weekends everything north of Tower 2 is Blackballed.
Aliso has a skim zone that’s enforced from June 15 to Labor Day. Subject to change by surf, crowd, and weather conditions.
Witchcraft is a doom metal band from Sweden that was formed by frontman Magnus Pelander in 2000. These fellas are heavily inspired by 70’s stoner rock. They refuse to update even the most ostentatious traits of what that ill-boding metal era offered. Witchcraft is apocalyptic metal meshed with neo-psychedelia. These Swede’s doom metal assault is what you want to be listening to when yer blazing with your friends in your parent’s basement and pounding good cheap beers.
Usually, I’m a sans-boardshorts kinda gal. But when the waves get big, you’re faced two options:
(1) Take the time to pull up your bikini bottoms and get pummeled by the next wave, or (2) keep paddling out and expose the elusive ‘white-dolphin’ to the beach for the entire set. So before this summer, the options were indecent exposure ops, or white tan lines to your knees. Thanks to a few surf companies finally realizing our dilemma, we now have the choice sport cute, girl-length, short boardshorts.