Check the weather before you go surfing

There are generally two ingredients for enjoying a good surf at your favourite surf spot.

  1. Are there any waves?
  2. Is the wind offshore?

Before you go

Step 1. Check out the Bureau's wave forecasts – You should determine if a good swell is running along the coast or if there are small wind waves. Swell waves are a lot more powerful than wind waves. The wave direction is also important because some beaches are more exposed to certain wave directions and will receive larger waves than protected beaches.

Interactive Wave Forecast Maps

Step 2. Check the wind direction – A wind direction that blows from the land towards the ocean is called an “offshore” wind. Under these wind conditions, the ocean surface is smooth and the waves break cleanly. If the wind is blowing from the ocean towards the land, the ocean surface will become bumpy and affect the quality of the breaking waves. For beaches on the East Coast, a Northeast seabreeze may blow the dreaded bluebottle stinger into the beach.

Interactive Wind Forecast Maps

Another factor that may affect the wave quality at your favourite surf spot is the tide level. If the tide is too low, the wave height usually becomes smaller and the waves break in a dumping manner. If the tide height is too high, the waves may not break on the normal sandbanks or the waves may break in a softer crumbling manner.

Tide Predictions