Trouble is the internet has made people (me included) lazy, when i started surfing quite a few years ago we never had the luxury of typing in a particular break and finding out if it was worth the trip. We used to watch Michael Fish et al., with his isobars, wind direction etc and just wishing the bu99er would move out the way so we could see further left! Various other methods were used , listening to Radio Devon!! at 6pm for the surf report was one and to be honest it was more fun.
There is nothing more exciting trying to work out when a decent (ish!) swell was about to hit and which beach, then jump in the van and rush off in search. The sense of anticipation as you near the beach, craning your neck to try and grab a glimpse of it before you got there, it was bloody fantastic.
Mind you, the amount of epic fails was a lot, but you learnt.
However, the times we got to the beach and the waves were good with just a few out was a excellent feeling.
Dont get me wrong, I use Magic as a guide to what to expect, especially nowadays with work and family commitments. Knowing more or less what i'm gonna get in the 2 hrs window i have to rush to the beach is priceless.
But put a little leg work in and ye shall be rewarded.
Does anyone remember Big G's surf forecast (or any of the other telephone based), this was more or less the pre-internet surf forecast??