Wondering when and where those big, incoming swells are going to hit tomorrow and this weekend (Friday, Jan. 6th – Sunday, Jan. 8th) in and around South Orange County’s Laguna Beach?

Well, this year, LagunaBeachBest will be gathering intel from two Laguna Beach born-and-raised guys who’ve done little else but surf every flippin’ day of their lives. When surfers start babbling about epic surf and swell heading our way, I figure there’s no better than these two pros to share their prognostications – particularly as I’m a Denver girl who understands the riptides of bathtub water and frozen water Vail chutes and, ehrm, that’s about it.

Rod Greenup, the owner of the famed Laguna surf shop, Costa Azul, will be giving us the lowdown for central Laguna Beach and its northernmost corner. Rod grew up in Laguna Beach as a kid, started shaping boards in his dad’s garage in 1985, and really only left Laguna Beach to set up the first surf shop on the tip of Baja for a number of years. He returned to North Laguna Beach thereafter, and only leaves us now to fly all over the world for great surfing. (Fellow surfers call this guy a “flight risk. Even as I chatted with Rod today, he was packing up for a scuttle to northern Baja tonight.)

Kaj (pronounced Ki like “hi!”) Garmshausen will be talking to South Laguna Beach thru Dana Point and maybe even a bit of San Clemente as … well … big waves are worth traveling for.

Kaj grew up in Laguna Beach as well, spent one year in New Zealand in 1979 to surf, and then returned to Laguna Beach and has been living in and around its environs ever since.

I love talking to these guys. They likely ditched every third morning of high school to surf, but they come off sounding like triple PhD Physics profs when they start talking about the waves they love.

So, back to the huge swell rolling into Southern California tomorrow …

As I write this, we have a great “swell train” chugging its way in from Hawaii. The buoys started bouncing tonight at high tide, and Friday we’ll see that swell make its landing in Laguna Beach in the morning hours and build as the day wears on.

Now, Laguna Beach is a series of pocket beaches and coves, so it takes a serious swell with a lot of width, breadth and patience to work its way into our coves in the winter.

This swell looks to have some serious patience.

As Rod relays, given that this epic swell has taken on a serious west trajectory, you won’t see the usual Laguna Beach summer spots like Brooks going off, but Rod’s thinking that midtown breaks at Thalia and the Laguna Rockpile (Heisler) should provide some above-decent winter rides and some serious photo shots.

There’s a good possibility that the reef off of Treasure Island (the Montage Laguna Beach) could pop substantially, and Salt Creek and Strands to the south of Laguna Beach should continue to provide the great rides it showed up with earlier this week.

Having spent all of his waking free time at Trestles (San Clemente) this week, Kaj stayed through high tide tonight to confirm that things will definitely be bumping tomorrow, but senses that the introduction of a westerly wind and drop in temps will likewise drop the incoming barrels.

As Kaj notes, if you want way-above-average rides OR photos of this ocean of ours this weekend make tracks to Salt Creek, Dana Point’s jetty (photos only of course), and any part of the Trestles strip. On Rod’s end, he recommends the siting of bigger waves at The Wedge (Balboa Peninsula) or making tracks to Huntington Beach or points farther north in Santa Barbara’s realm.

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