Black Ball Dates & Times for Orange County

June 13th, 2011 | By | 5,013 Comments
Any Surfer's Nemesis - The Standard Black Ball Flag: All Yellow with a Black Circle at Center.

A Surfer's Nemesis - The Standard Black Ball Flag

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!!!

Catch Surf Beater Board - Morgan Just

The beater can beat the black ball at certain beaches

Below is a black ball list for Orange County – Check with local LGs for more details:

Huntington Beach Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball determined by how many people are in the water at City Beaches. Usually it will be on the South Side of the Pier from 11:00am – 5:00pm during the summer months.

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.

Newport Beach Black Ball Times & Areas:

From May 1 – Oct. 31, 10:00am -5:00pm the Black Ball is up in Newport. That means no boards at the Wedge and 40-44th Streets, and just about every spot except River Jetties. River Jetties is open to surfing all day. There is NO Stand Up Surfing until Oct. 31.

Laguna Beach Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball is up June 15 – Sept. 15 on all city beaches. There are only 3 areas where surfing is permitted all day: Rockpile, Thalia Street, and Brooks Street. Other small skim areas are posted at Crescent Bay, Lagunita and TI. Times are subject to change but are generally open from 10:00am – 4:00pm Mon through Fri. However the lifeguard may close these down at any time. Black Ball is enforced only while the lifeguard is on duty. This is anywhere from 9 – 7 (most towers are 10-6) depending on the beach.

Aliso has a skim zone that’s enforced from June 15 to Labor Day. Subject to change by surf, crowd, and weather conditions.

Dana Point (Salt Creek / Strands) Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball starts Memorial day and is enforced every weekend until June 25th. On the 25th the Black Ball is in effect every day until Labor Day. Enforced while the lifeguards are on duty. Check posted Flags/signs for locations of surf/swim zones.

San Clemente Black Ball Times & Areas:

Black Ball is enforced from Memorial Day to Labor Day. T-Street to the South Side of the pier is Blackballed from 11:00am – 6:00pm on weekdays and 10:00am – 6:00pm on weekends. Surfing allowed all day from the Pier to the Clock Tower/HQ and Mariposa point to 204s. Trestles is open all year round, but good luck finding a parking sport during the summer.


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Black Out Bill’s Band of the Week – Witchcraft

June 12th, 2011 | By | 2,173 Comments

Witchcraft -

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.


Who Wears Short (Board)Shorts?

June 11th, 2011 | By | 3,403 Comments

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.


My top picks:
RVCA Block Stripe Boardshort
Billabong Nolan Boardshort
RVCA Better Stripe Boardshort

Top 10 Gifts for Dads Who Surf

June 10th, 2011 | By | 2,126 Comments

Want to be Dad’s favorite this year, but still can’t think of something to get for Father’s Day? Fret not. Here’s a list of no-fail gifts, guaranteed to keep pops from kicking your 31 year-old self out of the house for at least another few months. (FYI- meatloaf didn’t make the list)

1. A classic surf tee
He probably has a closet full of ’em, but think of the Dad as the Imelda Marcos of surf tees.

2. A ‘Casual Friday’ shirt
Our rule of thumb on this one: Would you paint a baby’s room in the same color? Then it’s good to go. Shop more aloha shirts.

3. Go Pro Water Video Camera
Pre-record an “I love dad” video- save it for when the cops call him about noise complaints coming from his house while he’s on vacation. If he already has a GoPro, opt for the GoPro Bobber – a personal flotation device for his camera.

4. Multi-Function Beach Gear
A cooler and beach chair all in one. Dad would be so proud of what a resourceful, young, beer-respecting human you’ve become. Heck, it could even be a wetsuit bucket or suitcase (according to this guide to cooler packing).

5. Surf Grass
Dads love surf-related gear, moms love clean cars. It’s a win-win in our book.