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Adam Wright
(Sunday) 5.11.08

Middles, Salt Creek, Dana Point, Orange, California

Sometimes the sheer laziness of surfers, when it comes to naming our surf breaks, is almost embarrassing…there are a lot of breaks simply named “middles” out there. Hell if you are standing on the beach looking at the surf in between two other people you run the risk of being named middles. Oh well…not much we can do about it…just try and think up some better names in the future. In the case of this spot it gets its name because it is in the middle of Gravels and The Point.

The waves at Middles break along a stretch of semi-permanent sandbar that sits between the deeper Gravels trough and the rocks that stabilize the sand along the Point. Basically Middles is a decent, dumpy beach break that is shoved between a hollow shorebreak section and a left handed reef/point.

The wave shape at Middles is determined by a few things…the tide, the swell mix, and how the sandbar is situated. If one of these factors get too far out of whack Middles turns sectiony and closed out, with just a few makeable sections over by the left coming off the point. As these different factors get more favorable the waves at Middles can get super fun setting up some hollow peaks and fast rippable shoulders.

When the sandbar at Middles is in its “normal” shape the best swell direction is definitely a SW/WNW combo swell (with the WNW swell being either a medium or short period swell). The mix of energy will get broken up and reflected off parts of the Point and end up combining up right as they hit the rather steep sandbar. As a result you will see a series of scattered peaks stretching through most of the beach, some of which will be hollow and barreling if you have timed it right with the tides…which tends to need to be in the medium-high range of the tide swing…if the tide is too low Middles starts to close out.

Middles will also work well on a single, moderately sized, S-SW swell…the natural beach shape along with its exposure to the swell angle can set up decent sections both near the Point and Gravels.

It is important to note that while Middles isn’t the greatest wave in the area it does act as a good pressure release for the crowd throughout the Salt Creek Surf area…without the more open, and sometimes shifting sections, the pack would be stacked up rail to rail along the point and it would probably devolve into something like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome…and really nobody but me wants that to happen.

Two men enter! One man leaves!

Just a typical Saturday afternoon for Adam

Spot details:
Best swell direction:
SW and W combo swells, Bigger SW swells, and medium sized W swells (270-280) It likes short-period W windswells when they have enough power.
Best Wind: NE-E, light-moderate winds are the best.
Sea Floor: Sand with some random rocks springing up as you get closer to the Point.
Best Season: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Season
Crowds: Generally mellow but it can get a little thick when the crowd at the point is overflowing.

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