SI is ok for east coast but must be combined with Windguru & along with local knowledge of how the bars are lined up (or not) along with swell direction on any given day.
Surfline for cams & SoCal, and sometimes Surfline gets the east coast correctly, but they rarely take into account the wind factor, relying heavily on swell direction / size alone for the east coast (which I find to be an odd way of forecasting, but what do I know).
MSW is better for Central America than SI. Same for Caribbean.
Surfchex has some nice HD cams for when I'm stuck at the desk.
Windguru is a must for any surfing effort on the east coast, IMHO.
In my opinion, SI has NY dialed in rather well, but I only get out 1-3 times a week ... so my empirical data may be insufficient for proper judgement. For local forecasts, I'm SI do or die. I peep SL's cams if I have any chance of making it out (refresh... refresh... refresh...).
Can't go wrong with the SI + Windguru combo. There's not much for wind protection in my area, so knowing when the banners will change direction is critical. Gotta love those days when the wind is predicted to be sh*t on both sites, but I wake up, look out my window, and see the banners blowing NW.
The best part of Windguru is that they use 'MPH' (Meters Per Hour) for wind; whereas Swellinfo uses KTS (KilomeTers per Second). So if the wind is ever too strong at your local, just check Windguru, as they always forecast less wind.
Swellinfo forecasted winds are in mph, so not sure what you are referring to? It used to be in knots (nautical miles), but that was switched a while back. T
Originally Posted by Slashdog
The buoy data remains in knots as its the standard measurement for winds over the ocean.
1 knott = 1.15 mph.
sailquik i might have surfed with you either sunday or monday i was in puerto rico and surfed those 2 days and i even saw that guy in the speedo before paddling out. what kind of board were u riding?
For standard forecast it's SI, for Major Swell Events is SL. I use both and it always seems to work out. Check both forecasts, find the middle ground, then if you have a premium membership you can look at all the HD cams all over the world. I will say though, many times I had a great session with really good waves only to check the camera rewind and see that the cam didn't pick up just how good it was that day, the timing of the waves and camera angles didn't match up and it only views limited areas, so if the sandbar down the beach is firing, you'd never see that on the cam.
So you gotta take those with a grain of salt too. I find it's just best to go to the beach anytime you can and check yourself. Having these websites help increase your odds of scoring, but you can get in a great session when the forecast AND report don't reflect what's really going on out there.
SI without a doubt. all of the other site just focus on popular spots and unless it is over head it says flat
SI and SL for Croatan, Sandbridge, and 1st Street. MSW for VA Beach. Surf-forecast.com for Dam Neck. SI is my preferred for forecasts, while I use SL for reports and their webcams. Each site has its strengths and weaknesses. I compare them all, but not infrequently they'll differ significantly. I'll check Virginian Pilot Online for area weather and sometimes listen to the NOAA radio marine and weather broadcasts.
But often it comes down your own eye and knowledge/experience of the break.
Swellinfo.com... All Day Ay Day
Holy crap! Doug got a new avatar!!!
I look at em all. SI is good for the local breaks, MSW is hit or miss, SL doesn't care about the northeast and inflates SoCal when I'm there (they seem to report plus sets as if they're the majority), windguru as others mentioned helps with it's primary purpose that seems to be elusive with the others, Solspot has great long term swell forecasts and good a lot of the time otherwise, and the Surfer mag app has good charts. I cross-section all of them so much that I don't know what's what anymore. It's kind of a pastime. Can't beat checking out the break itself though. As much as it disappoints, there will usually be something to ride if you stick around long enough.
Here in NY SI does a pretty good job. Usually I'll check SI then the bouys and the weather app on my phone for wind. The bouys have been down so now I mainly rely on SI and the weather app. The weather app almost always forecasts a lighter wind, sometimes it's correct, sometimes SI is. I do most of my surfing before work, I try and get in the water at sunrise so no cams for me. If SI shows a bump in swell I'll wake up early, see what the winds doing by looking at a tree, and if I think if it's even close to being a good direction or light enough I'll take the drive and check it out for myself. This means I get up early and take that ride and turn around because conditions are not good. I get very upset if I miss a day off surf because I relied on a forecast so if there's a chance I check it out.