Weekend Surf Forecast 8 - 10 April, 2016
Forecast issued Thursday, 17 March, 2016
When I think you, the audience, I imagine a fair percentage read this with a view to plan ahead – that is, to slot in the best window for surfing into whatever else it is you have on your plate this weekend. However, if you are among those who are a little more footloose and fancy-free (i.e. have the option to spend every day of the weekend just surfing), then I’d say this to you: Go straight to Victoria’s Surf Coast. Don’t um and ah – just pack a full wetsuit and as many boards as you can manage and get down there – whether it’s in your car, on a plane or a train – even if you have to hitch hike. Just do it.
The region is set to pump under consecutive days of offshore winds and a steady building trend in SW groundswell. Friday starts out as a relatively user-friendly day, but from Saturday onwards its game on and it’s set to culminate in an epic day of clean, double-overhead surf across the Torquay reefs throughout Sunday. Of course, if dropping everything to go and surf epic Bells Beach just isn’t an option, you might want to tune into the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro that is odds-on to run all weekend. You can view the new Surfers Point, Margaret River live surf cam here.
Sydney, Newcastle and the South Coast
In comparison to recent times there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about this weekend. In the short term Friday morning holds your best chances for some reasonable sets in the 2 to 3ft range before the tail end of the current S swell fades during the day. This leaves very little leftover for Saturday as a mix of residual S and E swells dwindle to 1 to 2ft max – probably making for a good day to get other stuff done in anticipation of a new, small to mid-sized S groundswell filling in on Sunday.
The groundswell has remote origins; travelling along a Great Circle Path from deep below the Australian mainland to arrive at long peak-periods of 15 to 16 seconds – and such long-range episode tend to produce wide variances in surf-heights depending on exposure – so seek out a reliable southern exposure to make the most of it.
Get in early before it fades. Fading S swell mixing with underlying ENE swell. Sets to 2 – 3ft south facing beaches. Grading smaller 2ft or so across open breaks. WIND: Early ENE 5 to 10 knots tending light NNE during the day.
Small and weak. Mix of residual S swell and small ENE swell. 1 – 2ft exposed breaks, grading smaller elsewhere. WIND: Early WSW tending light and variable, then E to NE 5 to 10 knots during the afternoon.
Pretty good across south facing breaks all day. New long-period S groundswell. Speculatively 2 – 4ft south facing breaks, grading to 1 – 3ft elsewhere. WIND: WSW 5 - 15 knots tending ESE during the afternoon.
Queensland and Far Northern NSW
It’s looking a bit ho-hum across southern Queensland. This week’s fun-sized pulse of ESE tradewind swell is set to dwindle just in time for the weekend; fading into the 2ft range by Saturday and probably dropping to even lower levels by Sunday. Still, on the upside it won’t be completely flat – and northern NSW coasts will fare a little better. The addition of some small-scale S swell should see slightly better options across southern exposures on Friday and Saturday – so if you’re desperate a drive south of the border might be in order – unless, of course, you already live there.
Bust out the fish/ mal. Mid period E tradewind swell. Inconsistent sets up to 2ft+ exposed QLD breaks, grading to 2ft elsewhere. Mixing with S groundswell at 1 – 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks. WIND: Early light WSW to WNW tending SE to NE 5 to 15 knots.
Fly to Victoria. Faded E and S swell. Sets to 2ft exposed breaks, grading smaller inside the points and bays. WIND: Early light WNW tending NNE 5 to 15 knots later.
If you’re not in Victoria, have a cup of tea and a lie down. Background ESE tradewind swell. Around 1 - 2ft exposed QLD breaks, mixing with S groundswell at 1 – 3ft northern NSW south facing breaks. WIND: Early light WNW tending N and freshening to 10 to 15 knots during the afternoon.
I’m always reluctant to stick my neck out and say that it’s going to be epic somewhere. Even when all the forecast stars look like aligning, there’s often some unforseen element detracting from conditions – whether it be extreme tides a secondary swell adding some weird lump into the waves. However, in this case, making such a call is really a no-brainer.
The Surf Coast is going to pump for days under the combination of light WNW winds and back-to-back SW groundswells; maintaining mostly clean surf in the 3 to 8ft range across the region all weekend. Friday is shaping up as the one day of relatively user-friendly conditions preceding a strong building trend in energy throughout the weekend. This is set to culminate in a full day of big, clean conditions on Sunday – so if you’re only planning to surf one day – Sunday is it.
Surf Coast or bust. Smaller scale SW swell. Ranging from 3 – 5ft exposed beaches. Grading to 2 - 3ft cross the Surf Coast. Bumping up during the afternoon. WIND: Early WNW light and variable during the afternoon.
Lumpy fun across the Surf Coast. New SW groundswell builds in. Undersized at 5 – 6ft+ exposed beaches early, picking up to 6 – 8ft. Around 3 – 4ft+ across the Surf Coast, rising to 4 – 6ft. WIND: Early NW 5 to 10 knots, tending light and variable, then W and freshening later.
Pumping across the Surf Coast. Large SW groundswell. Around 8ft exposed beaches. Wrapping into Surf Coast breaks at 5 – 6ft all day. WIND: Early WNW 15 to 20 knots tending WSW and freshening during the afternoon.
SEE ALSO: Jock Serong's Short History Of Thongs
Like Victoria, South Australia also benefits from a sustained run of SW groundswell this weekend; making for consecutive days of solid, mid-range surf fluctuating between 3 and 5ft across the South Coast. The swell coincides with mostly light to moderate, westerly quarter wind-regime that’ set to remain intact for days to come. This is characterised by lighter WNW winds inshore on Friday and Saturday, ahead of a stronger WSW flow developing on Sunday – so if you want to optimise your surfing time plan to get in on Saturday rather than Sunday.
SSW swell 2 - 3ft+ across the exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5-1ft across the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light NW tending W to SW 5 to 15 knots.
Solid SSW groundswell 3 - 4ft+ along exposed South Coast beaches early, building during the day. Grading to 1ft across the Mid Coast WIND: Early WNW tending WSW 10-15 knots later.
SSW groundswell around 3 - 5ft exposed South Coast beaches. Grading to 0.5ft along the Mid Coast. WIND: Early light W tending WSW 5-15 knots during the morning.
SEE ALSO: Koa Smith's Mental Mentawai Bomb
The Swell Of The Summer So Far, In Pictures
A power shift between surfing's two peak bodies has occurred. A big one.
“Alexa, ask Coastalwatch for the surf report for Byron bay."
“Alexa, ask Coastalwatch for the surf report for Byron bay."
Would you know what to do if an emergency hit the line-up?
Australia Day Long Weekend Sorted!
Vahine Fierro and Finn McGill show the world what's up.
Mick Campbell's other half on the Indo express!
There's a big SSE swell inbound, but where and when will conditions turn on?
There's a whole lotta surf on tap this weekend; depending on where and when you go.
Otherwise known as Duranbah
Definitely a travel spot off the beaten track