How To Read Surf Forecasts

How To Read Surf Forecasts?

Key factors of reading surf forecasts are:
  1. Swell size. The size of the wave or swell height is a measure in feet or meters. …
  2. Swell period. The swell period is measured in seconds. …
  3. Swell direction. Swell direction tells you where the swell is coming from in degrees/bearing. …
  4. Wind direction. …
  5. Wind strength/speed. …
  6. Tide.

How do you know if waves are good for surfing?

You can tell a spot has a steep profile if it gets deep very quickly. In this case the waves will break closer to the shore and they’ll be packing some power. Spots that gradually get deeper will often have gentler waves ideal for learning to surf. Tides go in and out with high and low being roughly 6 hours apart.

What height of waves is considered rough?

Wave explanations
Description Height (metres) WMO Sea State code
Smooth 0.1 – 0.5 2
Slight 0.5 – 1.25 3
Moderate 1.25 – 2.5 4
Rough 2.5 – 4 5

What is a good wave height for beginner surfers?

1-2 feet high
What size waves are best for beginner surfers? As a beginner you should start by practising on small white water waves (1-2 feet high) and only move on to catching the bigger waves when you feel ready.Jan 27 2021

Are 1 ft waves Surfable?

Most surfers will call an average height rather than basing a session on rogue set waves/ the biggest of the day. … As a general rule if it’s only 1ft it’s pretty difficult to surf on unless you longboard or are a lightweight grom/ shredding machine!

Why do surfers go in the morning?

Wind in the morning is usually lightest meaning many surfers try to get up early and hit the waves as soon as they can. This is a good idea because wind can destroy waves for surfing especially small ones. This is because the wrong wind can make waves break less evenly and become more difficult for surfing.

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What does Lola mean in surfing?

So you want to track swell like a forecaster? Then it’s high-time you get to know LOLA Surfline’s proprietary buoy reporting system. … NDBC collects offshore swell data and displays the dominant swell height and period. This is great for mariners but surfers may need a bit more detail.

How rough is 3/5 foot seas?

A 15-20kt winds means 3-5 foot seas. 20-25 knots means 4-6+ foot seas. And variable wind that is the holy grail as it means near flat calm seas. Now if you read the marine forecast and it says winds 10-15 knots and seas 3-5 feet there must be something wrong.

Do waves push boats?

Though a wave will move your boat up and down the water actually moves in a circular pattern with just enough movement to keep the energy going forward.

How do you read an ocean swell?

The swell direction is usually expressed in cardinal points (N E S W). As a general rule of thumb a beach facing directly west will get bigger and better waves if the swell comes from the west. The swell direction is important — if the swell doesn’t hit your region correctly you will not receive good waves.

IS LOW TIDE better for surfing?

The best tide for surfing in most cases is low to an incoming medium tide. Keep in mind low-tide on shallow surf breaks jack the waves up higher leaving less room between the water’s surface and ocean bottom.

How big should surf waves be?

GOOD WAVE HEIGHT FOR BEGINNER SURFERS? Generally speaking the smaller the better — but not too small that you can’t get moving. This usually means waves in the 1.5 – 2ft range (occasionally 3ft if you’re up to it).

How often should I surf?

At least two days a week up to five days a week depending on what the waves are doing. Sometimes two sessions a day or sometimes just one long one or one short one depending on what I have going on.

How big is a 4ft wave?

wave heights for surfing
wave height in feet distance from base to lip of wave measured on front of wave
3 – 4 ft. waist to shoulder high
3 – 5 ft. waist to head high
4 – 5 ft. shoulder to head high
4 – 6 ft. shoulder high to 1 foot overhead

How high is a 2 foot wave?

four feet

Thus a “3-foot” wave is roughly six feet high (in actuality an Hm0 of ~1.8 m) i.e. head-high to a 6-foot (~180 cm) person a “2-foot” wave is roughly four feet high (Hm0 of ~1.2 m) i.e. chest-high to such a person and a “6- to 8-foot” wave would be 2 to approaching 3 times head-high to such a person (Hm0 of ~3.5 …

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Can you surf 1/2 foot waves?

While you may prefer bigger waves over smaller you can absolutely surf 2 foot waves. Although 2 foot waves may sound tiny they’re perfectly surfable. … Small waves do better with different boards than big waves.

Why do surfers touch the wave?

Just the action of touching the water will force you to get lower to your surfboard and maintain a low centre of gravity. It will also make you turn harder and faster which will send you back towards the lip of the wave on a more vertical trajectory and give your surfing a more dynamic look.

Why are surfers so cool?

Surfing is a mood enhancer full of positive feelings and a general reduction of negative emotions. In surfing it’s just you your board and the ocean. The individual struggle with the elements allows for much self-accomplishment it is very therapeutic.

Is surfing an expensive hobby?

In the beginning you should treat surfing as a hobby. … You may spend around $600 to $700 for new surfing gear. Surfing can be a cheap hobby or an expensive lifestyle depending on how devoted you are to it. Surfing can be expensive for the beginner especially if you live near the coast.

What is a surfer girl called?

There is no specific term for a female surfer. You can call a girl who surfs just “surfer” although there are terms like gurfer wahine that are used to refer to a female surfer.

What is a female surfer called?

Wahine – Female surfer. Wave Hog – Someone who catches many waves and doesn’t share with others. Trough – The point of the wave within a cycle where the wave reaches it’s lowest point.

Why do surfers say Yew?

Another widely used term for surfers is “YEW!” which is an indicator that a large wave has been spotted however mostly shouted while a surfer is catching or has recently finished riding a wave.

What does Seas 2 to 4 feet mean?

When swells are significant your local NWS marine forecast may indicate swell size along with the predicted wave height. … When you read a NWS marine forecast calling for “SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET ” the forecasted wave height refers to “significant wave height ” not the actual wave height boaters may encounter.

What size waves can a boat handle?

A rule of thumb is 1/3 of your boat length is what your boat can reasonably handle. Obviously with seamanship you can take more but the math is against you. Think a boat a boat balanced on a wave 50% of the length. The boat can go down at a 45% angle.

What does Seas 2 feet mean?

The interval is the amount of time between wave crests (wave length). So in this case there is a 2-foot swell coming out of the west at a distance where a wave crest will pass a stationary point every 8-seconds. In other words they’re calling for a fairly calm ocean.

At what angle do you hit a wave?

Take the seas ahead at a 45-degree angle first to one side then the other allowing equal time for each tack thus maintaining the same average heading. In a following sea throttle up to control headway and ease back as your bow falls forward off a wave.

What angle should a boat approach large waves?

45-degree angle

Approach waves at an angle. To lessen their impact on your boat approach large waves at a 45-degree angle. You may need to think like a sailboat zigzagging with the waves toward shelter or the dock rather than driving in a straight line.

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What is the best swell for surfing?

Swell size

If the surf forecast says 1-3m (3-9ft) then it’s usually a good time to go surfing. 3m waves are not appropriate for beginners but experienced surfers take on waves of incredible height. Under 1 meter waves are usually more suited to beginner surfers.

What are ideal surf conditions?

Offshore winds are ideal for surfing because they groom the waves surface and can result in a barreling wave. Ideal conditions for surfing would include absolutely no wind. This is called glassy conditions and a surfers dream scenario. However if you do have a little wind it’s not the end of your surfing world.

How do you read a surf buoy?

Is surfing better at high tide?

In general the best tide for surfing is anywhere from an hour after low tide to an hour before high. This gives you 4 hours plenty of time for most surfers. This is because rip currents going out to sea are much more likely on an outgoing tide so surfing after low on an incoming tide is best.

What winds are best for surfing?

An offshore wind is the best wind for surfing. It ensures that the waves rolling in are well formed and break cleanly. If you want quality waves then you want an offshore wind.

What time of day is best for surfing?


The generalized idea is that early morning is the best time to surf. This time would usually fall around sunrise. However another excellent time to go surfing is in the early evenings around sunset. This is primarily due to there being a swell present in the water.

What are good surfing conditions for beginners?

Generally speaking a mellow beach break with light offshore winds with wave heights ranging from 1-3 feet are the ideal conditions for a beginner to learn. As an oversimplification a beach break with one to three foot waves and a light offshore wind will be the best conditions to learn to surf.

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