UNDERSTAND THE SEA FORECASTS
Do you want to improve your level of surfing to new heights? One of the most important things is to know when is the right time to jump into the water. And for this, mastering the interpretation of weather forecasts, such as those offered by tools such as Windguru or Surfline, is essential.
The most used web applications allow you to interpret the forecasts. These platforms offer detailed wind and wave forecasts for a wide range of beaches. All you need to do is select the beach where you plan to surf. Remember that accuracy varies depending on the time frame. Check the forecasts with little margin to plan your session more accurately.
- Tides and wind are critical factors that shape wave behaviour:
The optimum tide depends on the spot. Some spots work better at low tide, others at high tide, and others at high tide. Seek advice from locals if possible. The waves tend to be more powerful during the rising tide, so if you have to choose, prefer surfing with the rising tide.
The wind is a crucial indicator to determine if the surf session will be successful. The direction and speed of the wind play a vital role:
- Onshore Wind: Blows from the sea towards the shore, causing the waves to break prematurely. Surfing with onshore wind can be tricky and translates into choppy seas.
- Offshore Wind: Blows from the land towards the sea. This wind hollows out the waves and creates ideal conditions for surfing. It is the wind you want to see in the forecast.
- Lateral Wind: If the wind is lateral, evaluate the set of variables to decide if it is advisable to enter the water. This will depend on the strength and duration of the wind, but can result in messy waves.
The direction of the wind is represented by arrows, indicating the direction in which it is blowing. You must consider the orientation of the beach to correctly interpret these arrows.
The wind speed, expressed in knots, indicates its intensity. Intense colors represent stronger winds.
- Wave Size and Period:
These parameters define the quality of the waves:
- The size is measured in feet or meters, indicating the height of the waves from sea level..
The period measures the frequency between one wave and the next. A longer period suggests waves of better quality. An optimal period is at least 10 seconds.
3. Energy and Direction of the Sea:
The energy of the waves, measured in kilo Joules (kJ), is calculated from the size and period. Small waves with a long period can have the same energy as larger waves with a short period. The direction of the sea influences the type of waves that are formed.
As you become more familiar with the factors that influence waves, you will be able to make informed decisions about when and where to surf.
If you want to learn to surf safely, do not hesitate to join us in Huanchaco, Peru. The Urcia Surf School team awaits you to take you out to sea