The ability to understand a surf report is an essential part to find good waves to surf. Before when the internet was not the there, surfers had to rely on tide charts and weather reports to get a forecast for surfing. Most times, people would go into beaches with a board, only depend on luck to get a wave. If waves were there, the surfed; otherwise you don’t.
But today, the surf report provides all helpful information to the surfers like wind direction, wave height, the tide, swell directions, etc. A surfer can just report before going out for surfing as surf reports show current conditions for surfing. If you can read the surf report, you will get a clear picture of how surfing will go based on weather conditions.
1. Swell Period & Height In Surf Report
Surf report can answer to your question, “how large the waves will be today?” We get the answer in terms of swell period and wave height. Swell period signifies the time it takes for the wave to cross a certain point. If the swell period is longer, the waves will be faster and a lot more powerful.
For example, the report says 3ft at 15 seconds then it means the wave is coming from an extensive distance. It ensures that there will be powerful waves. The short period of swells mostly means that the waves didn’t travel enough hence didn’t gain the power and speed. An 8ft swell with a period of 22seconds will be huge.
2. Swell Direction
Knowing the direction of the swell will prepare you with the idea of how the wave will heat in the area. Many areas in the world receive waves from various directions, making it an awesome surfing experience for surfers throughout the years. Waves that comes from the West is known as West swell, and the same goes for all the other swells coming from different directions. Depending upon from which directions the swells are coming to the waves break differently when they approach the coastline.
3. Wind Direction Shows In Surf Report
For a surfer, an ideal condition for surfing will be when the wind is not blowing. It is called glassy condition and every surfer’s dream scenario. But with a little wind, you can also enjoy your surfing.
Wind Condition Types For Surfing
On Shore Winds:
These winds come from the sea towards the coast. For surfers, these winds are not helpful as the winds take them towards the bumpy and choppy surface. It becomes harder to surf on. Towards the seacoast, the wind breaks the wave height and not good for surfers. Some onshore wind is preferred by the performers of aerial maneuvers as surfboards stay close to the feet when they in the air.
Off Shore Winds:
Apart from no wind conditions, only offshore winds are next best for surfers. This type of wind comes from land and goes towards the sea. It creates some smooth and good waves that take barrel shape.
4. The Tide
Tide has a significant role to play when it comes to the wave breaking at a specific surf spot. Some of the surf spots are better during the high tide while others are better during low to medium tide conditions. It takes time to know which surf spot is best for you. So first you have to try it to know which one you prefer most.