I am hoping some here can share some of the knowledge they have learned. I have been surfing for quite some time but never really had anyone teach me about swell and the best situations for our local beaches. I was hoping someone here could let me know what the best swell direction, wind direction and bouy intervals for our local beaches is (WB, Mase, CB, Topsail, Holden, Atlantic, Emarld etc) and why. I am not looking to learn of any spots or anything but I would just like to better educate myself.
Thanks and I appreciate any info shared
Look around for older post with the same question(s) you have. There are a ton of good threads up here.
Second, get a map and look at the direction the beach in question faces. As long as you know offshore winds are good it's not that hard to figure out what wind is good for what beach. Same thing applies with swell.
It's not that hard to figure out. Also, when you keep your eye on a swell for a week and then you catch one of the best sessions of your life there's no feeling like it. On the other side, if you drive for hours to catch that swell and you get skunked you won't make that call again. You live and you learn
generally kure north to figure eight likes any swell from the ene through south swells... depending on the spot it'll be bigger depending on which way the beach faces (all are a little different)...4-8 ft out of the se @9-12 seconds with light wnw winds would be ideal almost anywhere around here. I really can't divulge anymore without pissing some people off... good luck
swell direction probably does not matter as much as you think, at least for the common spots that i know of here in nc. what makes a difference is wind strength, duration, and direction. also the wave period and bottom topography, including tide, all play a role in the way a wave will break. what makes those epic swells? i dont know either.
Well, I know I am chiming in a bit late and have enjoyed reading these posts. Things like this are always good discussion....But when it comes down to it......we surf when we get it....enjoy what we have when we have it.
As far as EI/AB.....Don't they also face almost directly south as well....which I would imagine helps them pick up swell...combined with what someone else said about them sticking further out. The bottom countours of the ocean also have alot to do with ridable surf as well...at least power and shape. Ever notice how we will get some fun surf in WB that isn' what we exactly hoped for(especially during long period hurricane surf) , yet if you were in a certain area pretty close by on some of the same swells, or see the photos on surfcarolina's web page that were barreling left and right? The ocean gets deeper quicker after the sandbars in these areas...thus pushing harder and making it stand up better...Which I think is why a certain area (stretch of beaches) holds long period bigger swell alot better than WB....Nothing is secret around here, but if you know your area you can find super fun waves if you know where to look based on data...
So, for those of us who learn by doing, let's check out Tuesday's surf forecast for WB. I personally won't be surfing because, damn, that's cold, but it looks like it could be fun based on what swellinfo says:
Tuesday AM the prevalent swell is 3ft @ 7 seconds, dropping off after noontime. Not great, but the swell direction being 159 degrees is favorable (SSE). Looking at the tide, it will be low at 8:41AM, so a low-incoming tide works in our favor. Finally, the wind should be blowing moderately (10kts) from the NW so offshore.
Are the conditions likely to be flat? whitewash? small and clean? optimal for a small swell? What would be the best time to go out?
I'd like to guess that the wind will be pushing it down, so if you were to go out on Tuesday morning, the closest to low tide you can get out to the beach the better, since the swell will fall off in the afternoon plus the wind factor.
What do you guys think of my analysis? Are there any major factors that I missed?
Of course, I'm not going to rely on what you say, I'll have to go check the swell on Tuesday morning to see what it's doing, but I think I'm on the right track.
if you are gonna try to forecast, make your prediction and check it with the reports put up. You'll know if you're right or wrong. I can promise you one thing, the wind speed weather.com, wunderground.com, or any other weather site (including this one) will 90 percent of the time be off. Coastal winds are weird like that. The forecast could call for a west wind at 15kts but in all reality it's not even blowing on the beach. If you wanna know you gotta go.
The only time you really need to "forecast" is if you are heading out of town to surf. Otherwise it's pointless, just check it yourself