Heroins is pretty much a gadget wave…it can get good, and you can get pitted out of your gourd on the right swell, but it doesn’t break that often and really most people don’t even take the time to try and surf there unless there is a macking WNW swell in the water.
The wave at Heroins is a right-hander that breaks off the rocky shelf up around Monarch Bay. The bottom is a craggy pile of rocks with some jagged edges (sounds like fun doesn’t it) until you reach the inside sections closer to the sand. The take-off generally stays in the same place but you get a lot of water moving around on big swells thanks to all of the swell reflection off the reefs, cliffs, and rocks. In a lot of ways this wave is similar to spots up along the central and northern California coasts (minus the cold water causing extreme ball-shrinkage, man-eating sea-life, and the near consistent string of overhead+ winter swells)…ok I guess it isn’t really similar it just gives off a similar vibe on big days
Due to a few rock reefs along the top of the point and further off of the shoreline, Heroins actually has a pretty limited swell window. It can pull in a S-SW swell pretty easy but the orientation of the point/beach causes those swells to pile up and close out the sections. So in general it is not very surfable on S-SW swells. Heroins really starts to work on the bigger winter swells…W swells to be precise. The steeper NW-WNW swells have a tendency to skip past the point, which means that you lose out on a ton of potential swells…really if it had just a bit more open swell window it would probably be a decent and fairly consistent winter spot.
Heroins works best when you get a bigger, medium-long period W swell between 250-280…sometimes it will pull in some energy from a steeper WNW swell but the periods need to be pretty long and the swell needs to be very large.
When Heroins is firing you can get some pretty sick looking barrels setting up as the wave breaks the point section…it sort of opens up for short distance and then closes out as you get closer to the inside. It is a photogenic wave too…it is really easy to get some sweet looking shots from the beach with a telephoto. Personally I think that on most swells the wave looks better in a photo than it really it. Here is a good shot of the surf (it is on someone elses blog so I won’t actually post it here).
Heroins in action.
Best swell direction: W (250-280) with medium-to-long swell periods. Likes the larger overhead+ swells.
Best Wind: NE-E, light-moderate winds are the best.
Sea Floor: Sharp rock, sea-urchins, and sand on the inside
Best Season: Winter
Crowds: Not many people in the water most of the time…but it can get pretty aggro when a good W swell rolls through.