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High surf warning hits Southland beaches

August 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
High surf warnings are out for Ventura and Los Angeles counties, as 6- to 8-foot waves pound California's coastline.While temperatures are soaring inland, beachgoers are enjoying near perfect conditions along the coast.

At The Wedge in Newport Beach, crowds were wowed by the waves that are only expected to intensify through Wednesday.

"It's beautiful. I grew up body surfing in Santa Monica but nothing like this. I don't think I'd try this," said Ben Card, a beachgoer.

If the size of the waves isn't enough to scare you off, the water temperature just might.

"The water is pretty cold - definitely got the full suit on today. It's a lot colder than it's been this summer," said Ryley, a surfer.

"Definitely wear your winter suit and no spring suits out there today. I'm watching a bunch of guys getting into the 58-degree water," said Jeff Dole, another beachgoer.

You'll still find the diehards who don't care about comfort. They're out there to challenge the waves.

It's not just Newport getting large sets and dangerous rip currents. From Ventura to San Diego, waves from 6 to 8 feet are expected on south facing beaches, with waves up to 10 feet at point breaks and jetties in L.A. and Ventura counties.

These are definitely not conditions for beginners. Lifeguards are on alert, and even experienced surfers say they use every precaution when venturing into the water.

"The waves are big and kind of dangerous. If you don't know how to swim, I wouldn't go out there," warned Jason Bergman, a surfer. "My buddy broke his back here a couple years back and it ruined his life, so it's not a place to mess around."

The high surf advisory officially kicks in at 5 p.m. and isn't expected to expire until 11 p.m. on Wednesday.


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