With the arrival of the much anticipated El Nino and its large amounts of rain and powerful winter storms, many Californians have rejoiced. Specifically, the weather anomaly has greatly benefited the California surfer community. Large, powerful open ocean swells have pounded the California coast, with iconic surf breaks such as Mavericks and Ghost Trees breaking with wave face heights in excess of seventy feet. Other iconic spots such as San Francisco’s Ocean Beach and Newport Beach’s Wedge have had barreling waves resembling those of the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii or Puerto Escondido in Mexico. For less experienced surfers, both Bolinas and Stinson Beach have also had excellent waves. With such powerful swells and surf, one must always remember that the ocean will always have the upper hand. Rip currents, large surf, and sneaker waves all pose threats to beach visitors and beginner surfers when they are not careful. Always keep in mind the golden rule of surfing big waves: “when in doubt, don’t go out”.