How Does Sunset Beach Work? - Page 3

The secret to Sunset's surprising powers of wave magnification lies in the fact that Sunset, unlike almost anywhere else you might be able to think of, does it twice.

Out there in the deep water well beyond the takeoff zone, there's not one, but two areas that refract the wave and draw it toward the takeoff spot, or, more precisely, spots.

Each refraction area has its own axis, and each one can work more or less independently of the other, but the two of them also work together at the same time. As the swell angle rotates around the compass from hard west to hard north, each one comes into play as more or less dominant, but both of them are always there, are always functioning, and are always making some kind of contribution. The net result is that marvelous, but deceptive and ever-shifting, peak that defines the wave at Sunset Beach.

Sunset Beach West Refraction Axis
Here, the West Refraction Axis.

Sunset Beach North Refraction Axis
Here, the North Refraction Axis.

Sunset Beach Both Refraction Axes.
And here, both Refraction Axes.

And just so you don't go getting the wrong idea, keep in mind that the entire area, extending from west of the West Axis all the way across to north of the North Axis, tends to draw things into itself. The whole thing is a wave magnet. A giant double-barreled wave magnet.

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