Forecast: Keramas, oh yes!

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Timing, as they say in the classics, is everything. For the first time in five years Keramas is back on the CT calendar and after a week of downtime the Corona Bali Pro will be the beneficiary of a renewal in Indian Ocean swell activity.

For the last week the Indian Ocean has been largely devoid of major storms owing to a large blocking high extending east from South Africa/Madagascar. That high is currently shifting with the first swell-producing storm moving in and deepening today. It’s located near the Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Ocean and is only a compact system, however it’s well-directed and over the coming 24 hours it’ll aim a mid-range southwest swell toward Keramas.

That swell will hit on the opening day of the competition - Sunday the 27th - at an expected 4-5 feet,  although the day might start a little undersized. The only unknown quality at this point is that there’ll also be the remnants of a jumped up SE trade swell still in the water. Keramas requires a long, clean line to taper across the reef and how this opposing windswell effects the wave will only be apparent on the day.

Whatever the case, by the next day - Monday the 28th - the windswell will have gone with the southwest groundswell the only energy in the water. Again, size will be 4-5 feet.

Keramas, slack winds, morning high tide, head-high swell - the ultimate canvas for high performance surfing

Tuesday will start with the same swell tapering down to 3 feet, however late in the day the first of two back-to-back swells will hit Bali. At present, the timing appears such that the first swell will hit after the SE onshore has come up on Tuesday rendering it unrideable.

By Wednesday morning, however, the offshore will again be blowing and the swell will have built to 4-6 feet. By the middle of the day the second swell will hit Bali, and if the early rounds are started at the beginning of the waiting period then this swell should see out the contest.

The swell is the product of a deep low embedded in an elongated wind field, all moving into the Indian Ocean this Wednesday. The breadth of the system will ensure at least two days, maybe more, of sizey surf at Keramas.

Wednesday should peak around 8 feet, however the afternoon onshore may spoil the apex of the swell.

Thursday morning will be around 6-8 feet at Keramas - about the upper-most limit of the wave - then Friday morning around 5-6 feet, and Saturday back to around 4 feet.

The next swell is due on Sunday, however we expect the WSL should have finished up the contest by this point. This largely depends on how many hours the contest runs each day before the afternoon onshore comes up.

The morning offshore at Keramas is caused by downslope winds blowing NW from Mount Agung, the strength of which can hold the SE trades at bay even when the SE winds are blowing across the rest of the island. How long the SE onshore is held off is due to microclimate factors that are extremely difficult to forecast. We just have to wait and see on the day.

Parko won the last Keramas comp, scored a perfect 20-point heat along the way, but how's about a little sympathy for the vanquished? JJF on his way to a paltry 19.20 total.

While we’re talking uncertainties, it’s also worth flagging the tidal effect at Keramas. When the tide is rising towards high there’ll be a pronounced push in swell, with the converse also being true - swell size will drop with the tide. The first few days of the waiting period have an early to mid-morning high tide with a low tide six hours later. The full moon is on Tuesday the 29th so there’ll be a lot of water movement (high highs and low lows).

Another point to consider: immediately after Keramas the WSL will shift to Uluwatu to complete the interrupted Margaret River Pro, and this will almost certainly be factored into the decision-making process at Keramas. The WSL will do well to complete Keramas quickly and move to Uluwatu while Bali is in the middle of a swell bounty.

Stay tuned to updates in the comments section below and visit Swellnet's Keramas and Ulus pages:

Keramas surf report and 16 day forecast
Uluwatu surf report and 16 day forecast

Comments

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 1:04pm

Swell incoming!
Craig I know it’s a long way out but on the wams for June 5th there is a mass of purple stretching from Africa half way to Oz. I’m flying in on the 7th, am I in for a pounding or what!?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 1:04pm

Or too far away to be reliable ?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 1:40pm

How's keramas looking? Isn't there some problems with the break / set up?
Anyone have any info ?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 1:54pm

Here's the story:

https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/is-keramas-on-the-rocks/21448

When I first read it I was curious about the blame being attributed to the river which lies to the immediate north of the break, while the longshore drift is south/north. This puts the river 'downstream' of the break.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 4:31pm

gotta say im more excited about the other contest at ulus....hope its pumping.....

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 4:43pm

My thoughts exactly simba.......low tide Ulu...oh yeah.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 4:49pm

You blokes are off your heads. Keramas vs Ulus?!

If the best surfing of the two comps isn't done at Keramas, and by a decent margin I might add, then I'm not coming first in the Fantasy Surfing comp.

mr mick's picture
mr mick's picture
mr mick commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 6:23pm

Yep...for sure!

Mr mick

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 10:58am

Agree totally. If there was a wave I wish I had, it would be Keramas every time over Ulus. Short paddle, barrel section, wall section, ramps (not that I need them) and then back out again - and no cheese grater reef, and it is a right...do I need to go on. This is me in Bali where it is flat as a tack (went past it yesterday) and going home on Friday. Timed it beautifully.

damota's picture
damota's picture
damota commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 11:19am

No cheese grater reef at Keramas, ya surfed it at mid going low mate?

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 11:34am

I have and it didn't seem as bad as low tide Ulu's (which I have been grated on), but I have no issue being corrected if you have bigger scars than mine to prove it!

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 11:53am

Sections of Keramas reef are razor sharp, still have scars from just brushing it.

Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfcockneyfullaussie's picture
Halfscousehalfc... commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 3:54pm

In a perfect world, no one out.....Geez tough pick, 3-5 ft low tide racetrack or 3-5 ft high tide keramas? Keramas just...more variety I guess

syril500's picture
syril500's picture
syril500 commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 8:39pm

"No cheese grater reef". Obviously never surfed it when the double ups are happening and high tides don't even save you.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 5:41pm

oh well...haha

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 6:23pm

Its the old fossil in me reminising - watching a young Larry Blair ripping low tide Ulu on a Mcoy single fin.
Or was it a Lopez shaped Board ?

Duesouth's picture
Duesouth's picture
Duesouth commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 6:45pm

This would be about the same time as the comp at cloudbreak would have been I guess if it were on the schedule. With the southern ocean/ south tasman SW freight train in full steam at the moment, culminating in what looks to me like, if not an XL, then at least a very solid swell early next week hitting CB. Keremas all well and good, but nothing on 8-12ft cloudbreak!

AzzaB's picture
AzzaB's picture
AzzaB commented Monday, 21 May 2018 at 9:27pm

True that! I'd also be happy to watch em have a crack at 12ft Ulus! Could be the only weakness in Toledo's arsenal?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 1:45pm

There is no weakness is his arsenal.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say Toledo will be world champ this year.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 1:53pm

If not this year then soon.

Toledo is a very willing student. Anyone who thinks he has a deficiency in big waves hasn't noticed how he's applied himself to his tuberiding and rail work, and made a success of both. His big wave chops will come, and anyway, it's not like there's that many situations on the CT it's required.

syril500's picture
syril500's picture
syril500 commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 8:46pm

Bommie or Outside Corner at 12ft is a sight to be seen. Do not underestimate.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 9:51pm

Anyone know if Old Baldy is competing at Keramas?

nick_french's picture
nick_french's picture
nick_french commented Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at 10:12pm

He’s in the heat draw, the forecast looks good, mostly a barreling wave surly he will be there but then again he could be off to cloudbreak

Reefeater's picture
Reefeater's picture
Reefeater commented Thursday, 24 May 2018 at 9:47am

Care to share any updates on Keramas gents ? To my not as well trained eye it's not looking that special .......hope I'm wrong.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 24 May 2018 at 10:10am

No real change to the first two days of competition, should be 4-6 feet which is a great size for Keramas.

Since the early forecast a large high pressure system parked itself mid-Indian Ocean and the swell due late Tuesday isn't as well-aimed (oriented more zonal - west/east - then to the NE), while the swell due Wednesday won't penetrate as far up the Indian Ocean shaving a few feet off the size.

Still looking at 6 foot late Wednesday - though it'll be onshore by then - and 5-6 on Thursday, 4-5 on Friday.

All a good size for Keramas though not the exciting DOH stuff predicted earlier.

 

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 24 May 2018 at 4:22pm

Well lets hope Ulus is big then eh.......

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 12:49pm

Slater has excused himself from Keramas comp.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 1:22pm

Going to Fiji instead ya reckon?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 1:22pm

Actually it could be too nuts for the GOAT

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 1:25pm

Thought as much so really he should retire now instead of fucking around .

simba

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 2:45pm

where did you hear this udo cause i cant find anything on him?

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 2:47pm

Beachgrit

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 25 May 2018 at 3:35pm

well hes still on fantasy surfer......

simba

Latest News

Watch: Sheldon Simkus // Twenty

Stu Nettle

Keeping score with Mr Simkus.

Macaronis Surf Coaching Clinics 2019

Coaching and photo clinics from the funnest wave on Earth.

Wilson survives, Medina thrives, and Toledo scuttled at the Portugal Pro

Recap and results from a big day at Peniche.

Facebook faces lawsuit over juicing viewer numbers

Stu Nettle

Last night 570,000 people viewed four foot Portugal, this morning Facebook faces a lawsuit over dodgy numbers.

Watch: Filipe goes gardening

Stu Nettle

The title contender makes use of downtime with a trip to Wavegarden.

Round 2 complete at Rip Curl Pro Portugal

The requalification battle continues.

Watch: Chemtrails in France

Stu Nettle

Mysterious marks from the French leg.

Day one at Portugal and the title contenders survive

Wilson and Medina coast, while Toledo scraps.