Heavy surf at the harbor mouth

Jan 21, 2017 Video Feb 18, 2017 Video

Before you head to the beach you may want to find out just how favorable conditions are for launching, paddling and landing a canoe. Numerous resources are available that offer advisory information. Under seemingly adverse conditions we can still, on occasion, paddle inside the harbor. The steersperson/beachmaster will ultimately determine whether it’s go or no-go. Club equipment including OC1s and OC2s should never be used under adverse conditions. Use your own best judgement as to your participation in any club activity.Key factors that determine favorability are: swell size and frequency, wind speed and direction, precipitation, visibility, the prospect for electrical storms and other short term weather forecasts and advisories. Here are some basic guidelines on unfavorable factors and a list of resources that may help you gauge the likelihood of paddling on any given day:

Unfavorable Factors:

  • High-surf readings for Ventura Harbor at 10′ or greater
  • Large competing short period swells (8-10’+ at less that 15 seconds)
  • 2’+ shore break on the cove beach
  • Exceedingly steep beach with shore break
  • Sustained winds of more than 15 knots
  • Sustained winds of more than 10 knots, with gusts over 15 knots
  • Strong offshore winds (Santa Ana)
  • Heavy precipitation, storm run-off (brown water), floating debris
  • Opaque ground-level fog
  • Thunderstorms
  • Imminent small craft advisories or warnings

NOAA Weather Radio NOAA provides continuous looping audio reports that can be received on inexpensive portable weather radios. There are three transmitters for the Ventura area:

  • Los Angeles KWO37: 162.550
  • Santa Barbara Marine WWF62: 162.475
  • Santa Barbara KIH34: 162.400

Online Resources*: A number of  web sites report current conditions and forecasts. Most are free. Some offer premium services for a fee as well as smart phone apps. A few are listed below:

Free sources:

Subscription based sources:

*note: These links can change at any time and may not work on all devices. Always check the time of last update. If you bookmark them be sure to refresh each time you visit or you may be looking at old content. Please let me know if they need updating or you have mo-beta.