Here's Why This East Coast Swell Is Being Talked Up
THE BREAKING OF THE DROUGHT: SAND WILL SHIFT, BREAKS WILL BE RE-VITALISED & THE WORLD’S BEST ARE HERE TO SURF!
The East Coast has spent the summer with barely any waves. Christmas presents have gone unused, holiday time was wasted and East Coast surfers have been clutching at straws for anything bigger than 2-3 foot wind swells.
It’s also conveniently arrived while the very best male and female surfers in the world arrive and prepare for the first event of the 2017 World Championship Tour, due to kick off next Tuesday 14th March on the Gold Coast. It’s a great prelude to what is sure to be a highly competitive and emotional year.
This swell will provide solid, clean surf between the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, right down to the New South Wales South Coast. The great news is that it’s one of those swells where more than just a handful of places will be good. Coastalwatch Chief Surf Forecaster Ben Macartney says: “The southwest wind bias means the benefits of the swell will lend focus to the points but there will be many places firing.” SEE THE FULL SWELL ALERT & BREAKDOWN
The major impact of this swell will hit on Friday because the low is moving slightly away from us right now. After his morning surf, Coastalwatch’s Nick Carroll said: “The swell is paper-thin and there is a lot of wind swell junk, causing it to look stormy and messy. The forecast is for the low to move out then stop then move back in towards the coast, Thursday night for Friday. Friday will see east facing beaches and point breaks with southern protection looking great.”
Carroll emphasizes that this really is the breaking of the great summer drought, and a significant turning point of this weather system we’ve endured for the last couple of months. “The season is definitively moving into Autumn. We need to use this swell as the wake up from our summer slumber. The change of seasons means working out what boards we want to ride going into a couple of months of what could be good waves and swell activity.”
Coastalwatch board and gear reviewer, Tim Hanrahan from Aloha Manly Style has suggested you’ll need a good short board or a couple of inches bigger in a step up board to handle the swell. (See Step Up Board Guide Video Below) “If it’s 4-6 foot a regular board will be good to go but at 6-8 feet a step up is the best board to take out. You’ll need something that’s not too light with a couple of extra litres on your regular board, few extra inches and maybe a rounded or narrow pintail will help you out. You’ll want a nice strong board, not really an Epoxy, because the waves will have too much power and the water moving around will push you around.”
One of the benefits of this swell is the warm water. Nick Carroll says “It’s super warm in the water right now, so you can surf this swell without wetsuits. We don’t often get swells of this nature in warm water.”
Finally, if you’ve been dealing with really boring, straight sandbanks over the summer, this swell will sort you out with a lot of the sand bars being reset right along the coastline. Nick Carroll says, “It’s all changing right now! There’s been a lot of sand disruption even in these early stages. Swell is hitting from diverse angles breaking up the sand. The redistribution could potentially open up for some really solid swell into late March and April.”
Keep checking your local breaks on the cameras and watch carefully as to how this swell event re-energises the Coast in weeks to come. If you want to be sure you’re scoring the best waves, then book a spot in our Surf Forecasting workshop , Wednesday March 15.
Nick Carroll’s final tip: “Good waves mean you can make use of all your boards. Don’t just go surf one boring board, get out there and feel the dynamics of all your favourites.”
To check out more from Nick’s exclusive surf coaching series, sign up to Coastalwatch Plus.
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