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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    18

    Why does the northeast get better waves than the southeast?

    Both the northeast and southeast have large continental shelves when you look at Google earth, or satellite view from Google maps (you can even check the depths), I've noticed beaches in the northeast, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, RI and the rest of New England etc. seem to get better, and bigger waves than the southeast (with the exception of Outer Banks, NC). Anyone know why? What's going on here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    UGHHH! :(
    Posts
    314
    Look up "swell window".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    18
    Yea I get that, but look at the swell window (or exposure) of most of New England, it doesn't even look that good. Take New Hampshire for example, from the map it seems it should never get waves, clearly that's not the case though, it gets REALLY good up there. Jersey I can kind of see why they get waves, maybe the ocean floor, or some sort of wind/weather pattern thing. I've also seen theory's about New England catching southern Hemisphere swells. If you draw a string around the glob you'll see what I mean. I seriously doubt that's it though.

  4. #4
    aside from the obvious continental shelf...silt could be adding to that by shallowing some southeast breaks even more

    btw, new smyrna, fl gets a pretty damn good and consistent wave, so the continental shelf theory looses a little cred
    Last edited by waterbaby; Aug 8, 2013 at 03:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    sea
    Posts
    1,500
    i beg to differ,did you not see the florida footage from hurricane sandy.we dont get waves like that in the northeast.the eastcoast holds to about 8ft before it starts closing out.average surf from a decent groundswell is head high to maybe a foot overhead(6ft),then u get a screamer coming off the coast and its a washing machine.all depends on the seafloor,winds,and tide.you can get an epic groundswell but without a good sandbar youll have 5ft shorebreak

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Long Buried Island
    Posts
    706
    The Northeast beach breaks has much deeper water. The SE has generally long shallow sloping beach breaks. Here in Jersey especially Central & North Jersey, once you get into the water you go from knee high depth to over head water depth within a few feet. Much more water up here to play with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Charleston
    Posts
    1,204
    Images
    8
    One reason is the continental shelf. The dark blue is very deep water, light blue is shallower. The SE has much more continental shelf than NE so the waves and wave energy have more time do dissipate.Capture.JPG

  8. NH has a deep canyon that goes from the shore in rye to Jeffreys ledge which allows energy to flow through

  9. Sorry man but the points and reefs of nh and maine can hold much larger than 8ft. I'v had some decent 12-13fters at points from nor easters

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,001
    It gets good everywhere at one point or another. Some of those spots you name that can hold really big swell during a hurricane or major low system usually don't come to life until something like that comes along. As far as consistency you won't find a more consistent spot than New Smyrna / Ponce Inlet or the OBX, that's well documented, but if you want heaving barrels than NJ is where it's at. We get barrels down this way too, but it isn't as frequent. Though some claim a lot of mushy waves around here, it's not always the case either, sure there are those days, but mostly I find on a decent day it's usually pretty walled up and punchy. Every dog has it's day though, so it really depends on weather systems, and that can change from year to year.