LOGIN | REGISTER

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Taller waves on low tide?

    Hi there everybody.

    I'm new to this forum and I've been searching for an answer to this question like mad, but nobody knows what to say about it. I analyse marine climate through numerical modelling, but I've found something that isn't very logical to me: I'm having taller waves on low tide than on high tide. I know you surfers understand the mechanics behind waves, so, what do you think? Is this possible to you?

    Thank you very much in advance!

  2. #2
    Click here... Doesn't help directly, but should send you in the right direction...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Turtle Island
    Posts
    4,665
    Images
    6
    My spot loves an outgoing. High tide can swamp it out if there's not enough swell.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Stayin' Classy in San Diego
    Posts
    1,995
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    It's dependent on a lot of different things, not just low tide or high tide and it varies from break to break. It could be a combination of sandbar or reef or incoming/outgoing. The conditions under the water change all the time too. One day a reef could be bare rock and the next it could be covered in sand which only gets stripped away again. Sandbars move too and are affected by dredging and beach re-nourishment. The tides change with the lunar cycles, so a low or high tide one day is nothing like low or high tide the next. Waves are complicated beasties, I don't claim to understand them, I just try to grab the right board.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    MB 07750
    Posts
    353
    the waves' energy pushes the water upwards, when its shallow at low tide, the wave has less space between its bottom and the ocean floor so the energy pushes the water higher or taller as you put it. When its deeper such as during high tide, the wave energy has more room to push down

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Turtle Island
    Posts
    4,665
    Images
    6

    Since we're talking tides....

    here's a couple observations I think I've noticed. Been meaning to start a thread on this but I'll post 'em here if that's ok with the OP. And I know waves, tides, and the ocean and everything involved are very dynamic and complex...these are just speculative things I've picked up on.

    1/Set interval- this really only applies to short period windswell, but I feel like the final hour before peak high tide is often when that 'never ending set' happens. You know, when you're waiting for a lull to paddle out and you think the last wave of the set is breaking than boom, here comes the next. I feel like the tidal surge can push sets a little closer together.

    2/Rips- this is like clockwork at my go to, but it's waaay rip-ier on the mid-incoming to high tide. More frequent ones and stronger. Like to the point that pre-set where you're sitting is good, then a big(relative terms) set pushes through the exact spot but now it's the middle of a rip. Not saying there won't be rips at lower tides, but I feel like when the full force of the ocean is pushing towards the shore, and all that water from the last set that broke has to get back out, this is what happens.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Singer Island
    Posts
    1,345
    Quote Originally Posted by seldom seen View Post
    here's a couple observations I think I've noticed. Been meaning to start a thread on this but I'll post 'em here if that's ok with the OP. And I know waves, tides, and the ocean and everything involved are very dynamic and complex...these are just speculative things I've picked up on.

    1/Set interval- this really only applies to short period windswell, but I feel like the final hour before peak high tide is often when that 'never ending set' happens. You know, when you're waiting for a lull to paddle out and you think the last wave of the set is breaking than boom, here comes the next. I feel like the tidal surge can push sets a little closer together.

    2/Rips- this is like clockwork at my go to, but it's waaay rip-ier on the mid-incoming to high tide. More frequent ones and stronger. Like to the point that pre-set where you're sitting is good, then a big(relative terms) set pushes through the exact spot but now it's the middle of a rip. Not saying there won't be rips at lower tides, but I feel like when the full force of the ocean is pushing towards the shore, and all that water from the last set that broke has to get back out, this is what happens.
    Your rip current observations are right on bro! The higher tide and the extra energy will punch a gap in the sandbar, creating a channel for the rip to form. All the extra water bearing in on shore has to go back out (unless the dune is breached in big time storms), so it goes out the gap in the sandbar. The volume of water out the gap far exceeds the amount going in the gap, since most incoming water is still going over the bar all along the beach. I always tell inexperienced swimmers to watch out on the incoming tide. It is counter intuitive to them - they think incoming tide will push them in, outgoing tide will suck them out, but it doesn't work that way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
    Posts
    4,291
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by seldom seen View Post
    here's a couple observations I think I've noticed. Been meaning to start a thread on this but I'll post 'em here if that's ok with the OP. And I know waves, tides, and the ocean and everything involved are very dynamic and complex...these are just speculative things I've picked up on.

    1/Set interval- this really only applies to short period windswell, but I feel like the final hour before peak high tide is often when that 'never ending set' happens. You know, when you're waiting for a lull to paddle out and you think the last wave of the set is breaking than boom, here comes the next. I feel like the tidal surge can push sets a little closer together.

    2/Rips- this is like clockwork at my go to, but it's waaay rip-ier on the mid-incoming to high tide. More frequent ones and stronger. Like to the point that pre-set where you're sitting is good, then a big(relative terms) set pushes through the exact spot but now it's the middle of a rip. Not saying there won't be rips at lower tides, but I feel like when the full force of the ocean is pushing towards the shore, and all that water from the last set that broke has to get back out, this is what happens.
    To your first point, The mid-atlantic states and the states to the North do not suffer from such enormous tide swings as we do down here, and the areas to our north are FAR less tide dependent. So what you witness is obviously true, but imagine what you notice, being magnified. Welcome to South Carolina. I was actually talking to a life guard the first week I moved here. He had his uniform on but had a surf board, so I asked him about a certain spot and it's restrictions, and he chatted with me for about 5 minutes. He gave me the most true statement that anyone has every given me down here: He said, EVERY TIME THERE IS SWELL, you MUST hit it 2.5-2 hours BEFORE high tide. The tidal push and surge is the ONLY time that you will get the maximum output of force and wave form. He said, about 30 minutes prio to a true high tide, the waters start moving around and you will experience an immediate lull and it will get worse and worse as the tide falls out. He said in order for anything to break here, anywhere near low tide, you need the monster of all swells...

    Long story short. You CANNOT surf in this state at low tide because of this, unless its a cat 4. And this has held true for 2 years now. about 2 hours before the high tide, the sets start getting big and clean, and then for about 45 minutes to an hour, the sets get more and more constant. What I take from this, is that especially for wind swell, which is mostly what we get, you will always see hundreds of waves go by that were "ALMOST" breaking. They want to. You see them coming, you get ready, but at the last minute, you see that they are just a little too close together and it just didn't happen. When the tide gets dialed in, and it is maximizing everything, I think most of those little ripples that would have almost broken, well they start to break. Its a short 1-1.5 hour window, where all the variables are in the positive and more waves start to break, then boom. its gone. So, its the same energy in the water, but for that tidal surge, right at the end, all of the waves that never would have broken a couple hours before heave everything they need to provide a good wave.

    Anyway, I notice that too for sure, and unfortunately, I have to schedule all of my sessions around this as a result. I miss the days of never even looking at what the tide was doing, and those days where it only goes 3-4 feet in either direction... I mean, we have the largest tide swings until you get up into NS I think. Its incredible, and it is the reason that we have the seafood we have, why the oysters are the best in the world and everything else, but it KILLS the surf. Its like a damn surf assassin. Mix that with the Gaskin Banks and damn b, you gotta be a wave hunter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    confederate states of america
    Posts
    1,413
    Images
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
    To your first point, The mid-atlantic states and the states to the North do not suffer from such enormous tide swings as we do down here, and the areas to our north are FAR less tide dependent. So what you witness is obviously true, but imagine what you notice, being magnified. Welcome to South Carolina. I was actually talking to a life guard the first week I moved here. He had his uniform on but had a surf board, so I asked him about a certain spot and it's restrictions, and he chatted with me for about 5 minutes. He gave me the most true statement that anyone has every given me down here: He said, EVERY TIME THERE IS SWELL, you MUST hit it 2.5-2 hours BEFORE high tide. The tidal push and surge is the ONLY time that you will get the maximum output of force and wave form. He said, about 30 minutes prio to a true high tide, the waters start moving around and you will experience an immediate lull and it will get worse and worse as the tide falls out. He said in order for anything to break here, anywhere near low tide, you need the monster of all swells...

    Long story short. You CANNOT surf in this state at low tide because of this, unless its a cat 4. And this has held true for 2 years now. about 2 hours before the high tide, the sets start getting big and clean, and then for about 45 minutes to an hour, the sets get more and more constant. What I take from this, is that especially for wind swell, which is mostly what we get, you will always see hundreds of waves go by that were "ALMOST" breaking. They want to. You see them coming, you get ready, but at the last minute, you see that they are just a little too close together and it just didn't happen. When the tide gets dialed in, and it is maximizing everything, I think most of those little ripples that would have almost broken, well they start to break. Its a short 1-1.5 hour window, where all the variables are in the positive and more waves start to break, then boom. its gone. So, its the same energy in the water, but for that tidal surge, right at the end, all of the waves that never would have broken a couple hours before heave everything they need to provide a good wave.

    Anyway, I notice that too for sure, and unfortunately, I have to schedule all of my sessions around this as a result. I miss the days of never even looking at what the tide was doing, and those days where it only goes 3-4 feet in either direction... I mean, we have the largest tide swings until you get up into NS I think. Its incredible, and it is the reason that we have the seafood we have, why the oysters are the best in the world and everything else, but it KILLS the surf. Its like a damn surf assassin. Mix that with the Gaskin Banks and damn b, you gotta be a wave hunter.
    thewave.jpg

    not always zach, this was like 2 or 3 years ago 1 hour after low on a 8 foot swell rolling in,which switched to 35mph offshores at mid tide which was night by then but was semi closed out and very shallow busted a fin box pulling into one, i wish i had pics of that day but the gorpo died and i had to take it off because it was to (heavy) but one day we will charge gaskin on the next hurricane swell, there are tiger sharks the size of cars out there but as i said before if your willing to paddle out im going with you just let me know, because alone that is just to damn risky. i love risk but you dont want to paddle out into a one of the biggest shark breading grounds on the coast alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
    Posts
    4,291
    Images
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by sandblasters View Post
    thewave.jpg

    not always zach, this was like 2 or 3 years ago 1 hour after low on a 8 foot swell rolling in,which switched to 35mph offshores at mid tide which was night by then but was semi closed out and very shallow busted a fin box pulling into one, i wish i had pics of that day but the gorpo died and i had to take it off because it was to (heavy) but one day we will charge gaskin on the next hurricane swell, there are tiger sharks the size of cars out there but as i said before if your willing to paddle out im going with you just let me know, because alone that is just to damn risky. i love risk but you dont want to paddle out into a one of the biggest shark breading grounds on the coast alone.
    Nice man. Thats what thew guy told me though, if its a macking swell, there will be barrels all over the place. But in my almost two years of living here, the MAX swell that has hit was Sandy. I am sure you surfed it. It was no where near 8 feet. It was fun as hell, 5-6 maybe, but just didnt have enough juice to hollow out at the low tide. It just died. Maybe as the swell built, before the sun came up, at its max, sandy was delivering, but high tide was mid morning that day. It was fun. But I am frothing for a swell like the one in that pic. As the new guy, you gotta hit a brother up when that happens and show me the ropes. ya heard?

Tags for this Thread