Best answer: How do you read a surf swell chart?

How do you read a swell chart?


  1. WAVE HEIGHT. Not to be confused with swell height. Wave height represents the average size of the waves you may expect to see at the beach. …
  2. WIND DIRECTION. Wind direction is shown by an arrow icon. The direction of the arrow represents the direction the wind has travelled from. ( …

What is a good swell period for surfing?

By definition, swell period is the time required for one complete wave length to pass a fixed point, and it is given in seconds. Nearly all the swell you’re likely to ever see surf from will range from 4 to 22 seconds, but for lots of spots that high end swell never happens.

What does primary and secondary swell mean?

Swell is divided into primary, secondary, tertiary etc. … This means that there might be several different storms in different places out the ocean producing swell waves in different directions. A primary swell and a secondary swell moving in the same direction towards the same beach creates a bigger combined swell.

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Is surf better at low tide?

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.

What size waves should a beginner surf?

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).

What height of waves is considered rough?

Wave explanations

Description Height (metres) WMO Sea State code
Slight 0.5 – 1.25 3
Moderate 1.25 – 2.5 4
Rough 2.5 – 4 5
Very rough 4-6 6

What is the difference between a wave and a swell?

Waves are generated by wind moving over water; they indicate the speed of the wind in that area. Swell are waves (usually with smooth tops) that have moved beyond the area where they were generated.

Is Swell good for surfing?

Both types can create great waves to surf, but, ground swell is usually best. The swell size and direction need to be looked at together with geography of the coastline you are surfing. If a surf spot faces directly into, say a 3m swell, you can probably expect waves around the 3m mark.

What does Mixed swell mean?

Mixed swell means that there are two different swells occurring simultaneously. In this case, there is a 2-foot swell with an 8-second interval coming out of the west and a 1-foot swell with a 15-second interval coming out of the south.

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What makes good surf conditions?

Offshore winds are ideal for surfing because the 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.

What is a ground swell in surfing?

A groundswell, or ground swell, is a long-period group of waves created by a distant storm system over long distances, at least 2,000 miles away from the coast. The majority of groundswells are produced by mid-latitude depressions between 30 and 60 degrees and travel from west to east, swinging towards the Equator.

What is surf etiquette?

Respect the Locals

Keep in mind that the locals surf the spot every day. Give respect while visiting a spot, keep things friendly, earn some respect for yourself. Don’t mob surf spots in large numbers. Don’t rush straight outside, take your time.

On the waves