There were days and days of continuous swell and really warm water. The highlight of it all was the very cooperative Hurricane Guillermo, which slowly churned for one solid week from south of Cabo slowly to the west northwest, driving swell up the entire coast from Baja all the way to Alaska. So. Cal. surfers started getting lazy and normally zooed spots became less crowded. And even when the spots were big and firing, there were plenty of waves and lots of surfers passing on the sets. I don't know if El Nino is a natural or man-made phenomenon, but summer '97 made me not care for awhile. The condition continued into the following winter, which broke all kinds of records for rain, snow, swell, and general havoc.