strong offshore winds
obviously surf is best with offshore winds, but what about when the wind is offshore but gusting and consistently in the 20 MPH range. For example saturday's forecast in NJ is calling for a bit of swell and 20MPH generally offshore winds.
On Swellinfo that puts us in the Green i.s. clean conditions. However, surfline forecast is poor to fair and the wind chart is in the red.
anyone have an opinion or insight what consitutes too much offshore wind?
my suggestion: stick with swellinfo!
Hard offshore wind is one of my favorite conditions! You can get the best barrels and you can feel your board skipping over the water- like your going super fast! The only downfall is sometimes you have to drop in with your eyes closed since the water is usually spraying all over your face and into your eyes...
But when there is hard offshores- get on it asap- since when there is a (wind) swell in the water and the wind switches offshore- the waves will begin to get smaller over time and the hard offshore wind could kill it in a matter of hours...
Too much offshore is when you cant carry your board down to the beach since the wind rips it out of your hands.
The colors Surfline uses have nothing to do with the color choices Swellinfo uses. Surfline's colors (for wind) are based only on the windspeed, not direction. So 20 mph winds will be red/orange whether they are onshore, offshore, or sideshore.
When surfline gives a poor/fair/good rating, it is factoring in swell size mostly in addition to wind direction/speed. Swellinfo doesn't make judgements on the forecasts like they do, but the color coding you are thinking of only includes wind data.
This past hurricane season, swellinfo changed conditions from green to blue (or red) during hurricanes when wind speeds were around 40-50mph offshore.
I know that by saying this I open myself up to the ridicule of my forum peers, but in all honesty, I don't really like it when it is blowing super hard offshore (20mph or more). Maybe I'm getting old and slow. Maybe because I ride a larger board (perhaps as a result of being old and slow) I have some trouble getting into the wave when conditions are large and hard offshore. I have had the wind blow the nose over the back of the wave. I have had the fin catch in the barrel and do an el rollo. I love the feeling of looking down at my board and realizing that I am actually looking UP.
Getting a barrel is great. But getting smushed when it closes out on your head gets old after a while. Of course hooking up on that magic wave that scares the hell out of you and you can finish cleanly is a wonderful thing. I guess you just gotta take your lumps on a few closeouts until the stars align and that magic ride comes along.
agree that strong winds blowing water in your face kind of sucks.
Going back to difference between surfline and swellinfo forecast, i get that surfline incorporates far more into their forecast than just wind direction (which is primarily what swellinfo goes by)
Surfline takes into consideration wind, swell direction, swell period and size. However, as i think i said above surfline shows winds in the red for saturday in NJ as well as offshore. So its taking into account the strength of those winds and saying they will have a negative impact on conditions. I guess Sean Collins doesnt like barrels and may or may not ride a longboard which will get blown back up the face of the wave?
I think it depends on you break as well...when it is blowing 20+ offshore where i surf you tend to get a ton of close outs. My favorite would be winds offshore from 5-10 mph.
Originally Posted by surfdawave
Swellinfo includes all of that data into their forecasts as well. The difference is swellinfo doesnt make a judgement call as to whether or not the conditions will be good, fair, etc.
Look at the wind forecast all over their site... it's the same color regardless of direction. I'm guessing the reason they are giving saturday a poor rating is mainly due to the size of the swell only being 2-3 ft. Compare that to tomorrow which they are calling "fair". Bigger swell, but sideshore winds at about the same speed.
Another thing to keep in mind... the forecast is for the whole state of NJ, WSW winds are not offshore everywhere.
i agree with the above...i think i have more fun when its a little but of an offshore wind, instead of 20-30 mph offshore wind. I already cant see out of one eye, makes it tough with all the spray coming back...lol
i agree with the others... offshore winds start to hit a point of diminishing returns for me. I've definitely missed my share of waves from spray hitting my face and blinding me while trying to take off.
But, I feel like there have been times, especially when it's small, that 20-25 mph winds make a knee high wave into a waist high wave. I don't know that lighter winds would still have that same impact on the size. That's my $.02.
Anything under gale force is doable. Not ideal... but doable. The day of the big Irene swell the wind got pretty radical in the late afternoon, but it was still shacking like mad.
Narrow noses with some vee in the entry helps...