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  • Writer's pictureEarl Sullivan

Year of the Tiger’s Claw

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

The eye of the Tiger

In the immortal words of my good friend Simon Aitken, “There are Asu years, and there are Bawa years.” But, 2022 was most definitely the Year of the Tiger.

Weather tends to swing in cycles, chaotic and unpredictable in many ways, but in 14 years of observation around here I have noticed something. Warm ocean water creates low barometric pressure and brings rain too cool it down. Cold ocean water creates high pressure and attracts sunshine to warm it up. It’s a seesaw that finds the balance in nature over time.

Cold water years are full of sunshine, high pressure, blue skies, and south winds. Warm water years we get smothered in clouds and receive a lot of rain. 2022 was a cloudy year. We watched the chaotic weather change at a moment's notice all around us. Many trips out in the speedboat, I was carrying an uncertainty that anything could happen, an afternoon squall could come from the East or West, the wind might switch on the way across to another spot. For the most part, these weather swings came in 10-14 day cycles, so we had 2 weeks of rain and dodging storms and then 2 weeks of reasonable, what I call ‘stable’ weather, that tended to be far more predictable and enjoyable. Lucky for us, all of our clients got a little bit of everything, and some got more than others.

In Bawa years, we cherish the Asu days. Those lovely sunny days when we get to wake up with the birds, watch the clean lines pour into Asu and choose the best hours of the day to enjoy our surf sessions right in the front yard. This year they were few and far between, maybe 2 days at Asu every 2 weeks was about the average. We were literally plagued with North winds.

One of the sicker pits of the season

Now, some plagues can be dealt with… we don’t need vaccinations out here, we just need to tune into the cycles of nature and be in the right place at the right time. And that we did.

It's not always just barrels at The Claw

It wasn't really a problem, it just required a bit more leg work, more boat rides, a touch more effort and strategic timing, which is our specialty.

We had some amazing sessions at the Tiger this year. Here’s some of my favorite moments:

Cheers to everyone that made it out in 2022 and helped us to make our COVID comeback so memorable!!!

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