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6 hours ago, krause said:

Swell period is another good thing to check

Yeah swell period very important... A 3ft 13 second period ground swell is a very different beast from 3ft 7 second period wind slop. Long period swells generally have longer breaks between sets, sometimes 10 mins plus, when the sets come it looks like the whole horizon is rising up in front of you!! This is the kind of swell that you could walk in to a rock ledge, rig up, few casts then the whole ledge will get swamped by a monster set. Same amplitude with the two swells but it is the frequency aka period that will catch you out.  

There is usually more than one swell in the water, BOM or other sources might give the predominant swell direction and height, but you can have a NE wind swell, a south ground swell and  a SE swell in the water all at the same time and affecting your safety. BOM and many other sites don't report these multiple sources of power. Windguru used to have 3 different swell sources day by day, 8 intervals per day , updated from GFS models every 3 hrs. Now they have restricted 3 x swells to membership only.....you get one for free. Other sites to try are magicseaweed and also swellnet and coastal watch. No one pays more attention to incoming swells than keen surfers!! I know because I am one. They put out out detailed written reports every few days, key words to look out for are groundswell, long period swells and new incoming swells that are forecast. Anything over 3-4 foot would generally be a cause for caution regardless of the swell period.


For general ocean wave and weather conditions, you won't find a better free source than passageweather. Gives you synoptic, wind maps, visibility, precipitation, wave height/direction etc. All straight off GFS and updated as soon as the models run which is every 3 hrs.

BOM updates their warnings, forecasts etc. Once every 24hrs, we all know the weather changes way faster than that, and the forecast models with it.




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