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  1. #1
    ExtremeSpongerChicks Guest

    Question Wave forcasts & wave set question

    Hi everyone,
    Is there any way of being able to tell through a daily surf forecast what the average timing is between sets on that day?

    Any tips would be great- happy surfing :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Ocean City

    Cool set timing

    Timing between waves, yes (period), timing between sets I don't think so. From my experience, sets seem to be more often on a building swell and less frequent on a decreasing swell, same with the number of set waves, although around here it seems as though we never get more than two of three waves per set.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Lewes, DE
    As Charlie said, to get the average amount of time between each wave you can get an estimate by checking the wave period on the swellinfo forecasts or from the nearest buoy.

    This time period of course is not going to to be static... where all waves in a given swell are not going to be uniform. The waves are generated from a wind field, and of course the wind can have gusts, slow down and speed up, and change very quickly. This can give the large amount of variability between individual waves in a given swell, and thus "sets". Also, the ocean bottom can cause refraction and allow for a wave to slow down and speed up. But, simply speaking, the wave period, say 10seconds, will be the time between individual waves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Virginia Beach
    charlie is right. when the swell is building the sets are usually pretty close together and as the swell decays the sets are more spread out. i think it also has something to do with how close the swell generator is to you, cause sets spread out more the farther they travel over water. Its like throwing rocks in a pond, the closer to the impact are of the rocks you are the closer together the waves that went by would be, and as they travel they somewhat spread out. Angle of the coast too has a lot to so with it. So ya a ton a variables and all that really matters is if there is surf or not. Lulls can be a godsend sometimes. And i have also come to learn that the second wave in a set is usually the best, dont get skunked waiting to the last wave cause it looks the biggest. big is not always the best
    Last edited by BonerSurfs; Dec 29, 2007 at 05:57 AM.

  5. #5
    ExtremeSpongerChicks Guest

    Talking Wave sets

    Thanks for the info, I agree that a longer period of time before sets seem to be better riding days for me.
    On Xmas eve between tides, the sets were coming in so fast, with such a short lull period between them that by the time you got past the break you were exausted! However X-mas day was fine, nice time to ride n paddle out without getting beat up
    It would be nice to know what to expect on a given day...but I realize there are many variables that go to into it!
    When I see all the surfers paddling out next to the Jetty I know its going to be a tougher paddle day