Swell directions?

JohnA's picture
JohnA started the topic in Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 at 6:16am

I have just joined - great looking web site
Can I ask - I am from Christchurch New Zealand and looking at the forecast for local beaches shows predictions for swells arriving from SSW directions.
Now our beaches are on the east coast and they face east or NE or SE.
surely a swell arriving from the opposite direction is of no use or has NO affect on us?
just wondering?
thanks for any comments

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 at 11:10am

Welcome John,

Very good points, and that south facing forecast is giving an indication on what would be happening around the southern side and just west of the Banks Peninsula.

It looks a little silly showing for the Christchurch region, but is more relevant for our Hickory Bay forecast to give an idea on what's happening around the corner.

Will change that one for Christchurch, and any other feedback is much appreciated.

JohnA's picture
JohnA's picture
JohnA Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 at 7:17pm

Hi Craig,

thanks for the quick reply.
Please can you tell me if there is any info explaining the forecasts / colors used / etc?
I am looking forward to watching the forecasts and getting in some good surfing?
By the way do the different swell forecasters use the same models to base forecasts on?
I see many apps out to do this and for a beginner its quite confusing!

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 at 8:15pm

With a name like that, you would've bowled over a few blokes out on the wing, in them old days.

IMO Ben and Craig are pretty spot on with their forecasting, can't give too many secrets away tho.
Just keep on watching the forecasts and WAMs and make your own conclusion of their special model.
Compare other surf forecasting sites and see how ya go.

JohnA's picture
JohnA's picture
JohnA Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 at 11:52am

Hi Wellymon,
thanks for the comments.
I will watch the site and compare actual surf swell - be interesting to see..
see you,

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 at 12:08pm

Hi John, here are a couple of articles explaining how to use the new forecasting tools:

Understanding our new forecasting system

South facing vs north facing: what is your beach?

Making the most of our WAMs

Fire away if you have any further questions.


JohnA's picture
JohnA's picture
JohnA Friday, 24 Jan 2014 at 12:56pm

thanks Craig!

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 4:02pm

Seems like a lot more surfers are using swell direction tools these days . The young generation learnt this quick and find it easy to utilize.
What sites are good or bad with directions ?
Why do some vary between different forecast sites ?