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Surfers challenge big waves in Huntington Beach after storms

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A surfer rides a wave on the coast of Huntington Beach on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.

This week's stormy weather left behind some big surf and a few daring surfers were in the water challenging the big waves.

On Friday, waves at Huntington Beach were breaking 6 to 8 feet, but the strong rip currents were what made it extremely dangerous for inexperienced swimmers.

MORE: High surf dangers linger as SoCal sees respite from El Nino rain

"It's pretty challenging conditions, not necessarily because the waves are so big, it's that the current is pulling really hard from north to south, so you've got to be a strong paddler," surfer Grant Sharp from San Clemente explained.

Actor Bojesse Christopher, who appeared in the original "Point Break" film and the new remake, said a day like Friday is what experienced surfers look forward to.

"There's nobody in the water, and there's a small window where you can find the barrel right next to the pier and get as close as you can to the pier and get those waves you'll remember for the next couple of seasons," Christopher said.

The big waves have been in Southern California most the week, but the wind finally died down on Friday and the sun came out to help warm up the beach.

MORE: El Nino storms causes massive waves to pound Southern California beaches

Despite the beauty, lifeguards were warning people who aren't experienced surfers or swimmers to stay out of the water.

"If you're not in top physical condition, if you don't understand what the waves are doing, you're going to get into trouble," Lt. Claude Panis with Huntington Beach Marine Safety said.

Lifeguards had to rescue two surfers who paddled out and realized the ocean's power was too much.

"They realized that it was little more than they can handle, they bit off a little more than they could chew and they started waving for help," Panis said.

Health officials are also warning people to stay out of the water for 72 hours after a heavy rainstorm to avoid dangerous runoff water that could lead to higher bacterial levels.
Related Topics:
newssurfingstormel ninoHuntington BeachOrange County
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