Oceanside sunset
21 Images

Big Wednesday

Oceanside sunset
As the sun sets on a day of big waves, a young surfer leaps off a jetty in Oceanside. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
A longboarder rides the waves Wednesday at the 26th Street jetty in Newport Beach. Legions of surfers took advantage of the epic conditions, created by the biggest oceanic swell to reach Southern California’s shoreline in nearly two years. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Swamis Beach
The waves and surfers drew onlookers to a bluff top above Swamis Beach in Encinitas in San Diego County. The sets there were as high as 15 feet. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Air time
A surfer maneuvers amid the crashing waves in the high surf Wednesday at the 26th Street jetty in Newport Beach. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A couple watches the waves from the relative tranquillity of the sand in Manhattan Beach. High surf warnings for the southern and central coasts remain in effect until noon Thursday. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Destructive power
The powerful surf had its downside too, as Tracey Meistrell learned Wednesday, his board having been snapped in two in Hermosa Beach. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Tube ride
A surfer checks into the “green room” as he makes his way through a tube in Hermosa Beach. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Broken pair
How strong were the waves at Hermosa Beach? Strong enough to break the board of Matt Wells, right, who commiserates with Derek Levy. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
San Elijo
Surfers walk north along the broad expanse of San Elijo State Beach and back to Swamis Beach, where locals report the best surfing in recent memory in this part of San Diego County. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
Pre-dawn at Seal Beach
With the sun barely rising, surfers take to the water south of the Seal Beach Pier as large waves pound west-facing beaches. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
With waves reaching over the rocks onto homes, San Clemente resident Dan Agriesti puts up plywood in front of his sliding glass door. The high swells caused minor flooding in several low-lying coastal areas. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Capistrano Shores
Waves crash over the rocks onto beachfront homes in San Clemente’s Capistrano Shores. Large swells of up to 15 feet and higher are rolling in along the Central and Southern California coasts. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Morning light
A surfer rides the heavy waves along the Ventura County coastline in the glow of the pre-dawn light. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Wave battle
Surfers battle for position on a huge wave in Redondo Beach. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Head over heels
A bodyboarder is head over heels in the Seal Beach surf. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Bloody face
A bloodied surfer emerges from the water after doing battle with the waves at Seal Beach. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Broken board
Jake Pryharski laments his broken board in the parking lot of the Seal Beach Pier. The powerful waves snapped several surfboards in half and claimed the life of one big-wave rider in Northern California. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Spectators are reflected in a window at Redondo Beach’s Charthouse restaurant as they snap shots of the high surf. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Air time
A surfer meets air as he shoots off the lip of a wave in Ventura. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Spectators line up on the berm at Seal Beach just before sunrise to watch the waves pound the shoreline. High surf warnings for the southern and central coasts are in effect until noon Thursday. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Dawn Patrol
Surfers dedicated enough to rise early were treated to high waves that were working their way down the California coastline. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)