Two weeks ago there were howls of "Awesome!" at Maverick's, a cove not far from Pebble Beach, when waves the size of six-story buildings roared ashore. Meanwhile PGA Tour officials bemoaned their bad luck when rain washed out the Pebble Beach AT&T and shortened the Buick.
Surfcaster Collins is surprised anyone was surprised. "I keep looking at my monitor and seeing back-to-back swirls lined up all the way to Siberia," he says, hunched over machinery that can measure the height of any wave on the planet within four centimeters. "I mean, these storms are no secret. Beach cities have been building berms and reinforcing piers for weeks."
According to Collins, this year's Wet Coast weather is nothing but "our usual stormy February, with El Ni�o throwing gas on me fire." He estimates that a West Coast swing anytime after mid-March might have a 5% chance of rainout; this month it's closer to 30%. If the Tour must visit California in February, he says, play should never be suspended when the sun is out, as it was at Pebble while organizers decided what to do next.
Now for even more radical advice: "Those pro golfers might want to stow their clubs and pick up surfboards for a few weeks, because this time of year the West Coast weather is rockin'."