AS THE silly season gets under way and folks are enjoying their holidays, finding a clean and uncrowded wave at the moment is like finding a discarded winning Lotto ticket. It could happen, but the chances are slim.
The reality is there are plenty of folks both local and visiting who want to score some waves, and who could blame them.
So if crowds aren't your thing then it may be time to get those household chores done that we've been putting off all year.
However, if crowds don't bother you, then get amongst it, as we've had plenty of waves to go around.
As predicted, though gnarly and destructive in the Pacific, Cyclone Evan didn't really eventuate into anything more significant than a basic surface low by the time it reached the Tasman.
We still scored a week of E swell pulses from it around 1-2m, so we've been spoilt.
On Wednesday a low crossed the coast bringing W/SW winds and a change in swell direction to the SE although no more size.
This SE swell has been sitting around the 1-1.5m mark the rest of the week.
But it's the weekend and New Year holiday that we need to look into.
The bureau tells us we can expect E/SE winds in the 10-20 knot range, although I'd bank on winds being light early in the mornings. The swell should hold from the E/SE at 1-1.5m. So all in all not too flash, but waves none the less.
Be aware folks, there is a joker in the pack.
There is a massive low deep in the Bight. This most likely will be blocked by a high in the southern Tasman.
But it could also be held long enough by that high in our swell window to produce a long SE fetch and the possibility of a solid SE swell arriving on our open beaches around New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.
This means that on the more open beaches there is a risk of a sudden increase in long-period SE swell.
If you're planning to party on New Year's Eve and recover on one of our quieter south-facing open beaches, the conditions could turn from benevolent to gnarly and dangerous with very little warning.
This is not a given, but something to be aware of.
It's especially a good idea to stay out of the water if you've been drinking. Our lifesavers and rescue crew already have enough to do.
Have fun, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to again tomorrow.
Ben 'Bear' Bennink is a former professional longboarder and retired NSSIA master coach. He writes for Pacific Longboarder Magazine and is semi-retired in Byron Bay where he is editor of inbyronbaytoday.com.