Surf Reporter overcaller @Margs

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 started the topic in Monday, 2 Feb 2015 at 9:21pm

Whats with the new Margaret River surf reporter? Move to town , become a surf reporter of somewhere you don,t even surf and then overcall surf by X2 size and at least that by quality. I foresee a lot of 20 ft 10 out of 10 days coming this autumn. Not to mention the sickening unbridled enthusiasm , is he getting paid by how many people he can get to surf the point on any given day? Can,t even have a uncrowded surf when its average because he thinks it,s pumping. Maybe he used to do reports in California somewhere. Get an act.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 6:46am

Huh? Monday's surf in Margs was reported as 2ft. What's the big deal?

mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 11:12am

Well flat is not 2ft Ben and there has been a pattern of this going on, today is also flat.Waiting around to photo the only wave to break in half and hr is a bit false. Perhaps you should have a look at report and then check your webcam for a bit quality control?We had a bit of a round table discussion at a bbq the other night and it came up,even guys who tend to overcall it themselves we in agreement. Generally 3ft is head height, otherwise how big does surf get? The biggest days at Margs (rideable anyhow) are 12-15ft, some bombies hold more size but i see some real Nazare size calls going to happen with said reporter when he actually sees real waves.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 11:18am

Ironic that you brought it up yesterday as Monday was the first day of our new Margs reporter (it's been someone different prior to then, who has moved on due to a new job consuming the morning run). I've been stoked with the photos and words of both reporters, so you'll just have to deal with it mate.

wally's picture
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wally commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 11:42am

Wave height.
While we use the 'Hawaiian' scale, or a more meteorological out to sea unbroken wave measurement, there will forever be disagreement amongst people on the beach about how big is that surfing wave.
And never a definitive test to decide who is right.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 2:43pm

Why not just call waves by face height? Or head high (6ft), head n half, double, triple etc. I've never really seen the accuracy in measuring waves from the back, all waves vary in that regard but wave face height can be clearly seen & called.

What actually is the "Hawiian scale"?? Is it the backs of the wave or what?

MikeHunt is calling the biggest rideable Margs 12-15ft. Well I've witnessed marg's at 5 x times overhead, not often but if that's 15ft then I'm confused. How big was it the year Barton Lynch won that comp & Tom Curren ride one all the way to the river mouth? Fucking huge!!!

Crystal Clear

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 2:56pm

Rabbits68 wrote: I've never really seen the accuracy in measuring waves from the back, all waves vary in that regard but wave face height can be clearly seen & called.

FWIW, measuring wave heights as head high = 3ft is NOT actually measuring the wave from the back. It's just a different scale measuring from the front (a scale that I grew up with, and one that seems to be used by 80% of the Australian surfing population). Don't ask me why (as we've been down that path many times before) - it's just the way it is.

We do have automated measurements on our forecast site that measure in verbose terms (ie shoulder high, head high, 2x overhead etc) and we'll push these over to the surf report page at some stage in the near future, as well as offering the option for 'face feet'.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 3:20pm

Cheers Ben. Just one of those great "around the bbq" convos to be had as MikeHunt alluded to....

Crystal Clear

mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 4:46pm

Wasn,t aware of change of reporter,apologies to new one, hoping he will be somewhat more accurate. I am lucky enough to see surf in morning but as you may be aware Margaret River town is quite some distance from the surf and the number of calls/texts asking for a confirmation of morning surf report was growing rapidly after a summer of 8 out 10 conditions when it was actually howling southerly and regularly over called sizewise. Always a bit of fluctuation in the back verses front call but head height or double head height, mast height etc all very easy to understand if someone has no idea. @ Rabbit, i have an old copy of surfer magazine in front of me ;april 1991 with "Bloody Big Saturday" article on big contest here, Tom Curren quote "I saw a couple that were easily 15ft and tossing like pipe" seems like a fair call. Will be watching new reports with interest and wish the old guy luck with new job advertising for harvey norman or wherever he has moved onto.

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mikehunt207 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 4:58pm

Article also said Curren rode a 7,9 and biggest board in contest was 8,6 ridden by vetea david, most everyone else borrowed Mike Parsons 7,4

wally's picture
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wally commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 5:05pm

I read an interview with big wave surf legend Peter Cole. He was asked about the Hawaiian scale.
He said he thought it all came from Bob Simmons.
Cole said, Simmons was like the guru to people like himself, Buzzy Trent etc. One of the things Bob Simmons did, probably because he was a perverse fellow who liked irritating people, was to underscale waves. Somebody would be really excited about a wave they got, but Simmons would always say, no, it was only five feet. Being young, Cole and the whole group thought that was cool so they copied him.
So, if that is true, that's possibly the reason for the modern wave scale, that Bob Simmons enjoyed belittling people.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 5:15pm

FWIW, from my experience I reckon SW WA crew slightly undercall wave heights compared to the rest of the country. Probably because it's pretty sizey much more regularly than anywhere else in the country - but days where the general call is 4-6ft, would be 6-8ft at a lot of other spots around the country.

southey's picture
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southey commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 5:48pm

If that is the case , and i presume you are providing a forecast for people in that area that can't or aren't in front of the ocean. Then let it be called as per their norm , if people from else where can't recognise that, then perhaps they aren't experienced enough to be tackling that said region . Why give someone false hope , understating is always the best policy . Because at the end of the day someone's extra effort to get there will be honoured , so when you tell a mate its 3 out of 10 and it turns out 4 then its all good .
Again Beauty and judgement is often in the eye of the beholder . lets not take away all the mystery .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

wally's picture
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wally commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 6:27pm

You hear it all the time, actually.

- Mate, how tall are you?
- 3 foot.
- Whaaat!?
- Yeah mate, I'm 3 foot tall.
- Whaaat? (looks around, confused)

Luckily, there is usually someone around who can explain.

- Don't worry about it. He's a surfer. They've got some alternate reality about how long's a foot. You just don't go there.
- Oh.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 6:44pm

mikehunt207 wrote: Wasn,t aware of change of reporter,apologies to new one, hoping he will be somewhat more accurate. I am lucky enough to see surf in morning but as you may be aware Margaret River town is quite some distance from the surf and the number of calls/texts asking for a confirmation of morning surf report was growing rapidly after a summer of 8 out 10 conditions when it was actually howling southerly and regularly over called sizewise. Always a bit of fluctuation in the back verses front call but head height or double head height, mast height etc all very easy to understand if someone has no idea. @ Rabbit, i have an old copy of surfer magazine in front of me ;april 1991 with "Bloody Big Saturday" article on big contest here, Tom Curren quote "I saw a couple that were easily 15ft and tossing like pipe" seems like a fair call. Will be watching new reports with interest and wish the old guy luck with new job advertising for harvey norman or wherever he has moved onto.

If a respected legend like Curren was calling a couple easily 15ft , I reckon it would be safe to say it was bigger. I loved his interview after that heat where he rode an absolute bomb all the way to the rivermouth, as he walked back up the road he was asked, "how was it out there"? A wide eyed, clearly exhausted Curren replied after about 10 seconds........"that's pretty intense out there"...........fucking classic!!

Crystal Clear

udo's picture
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udo commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 6:51pm

Horlo, your mate still own that 7'9" that Curren rode that day ?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 7:42pm

mikehunt207 wrote: Will be watching new reports with interest and wish the old guy luck with new job advertising for harvey norman or wherever he has moved onto.

Journalist for the ABC actually, but don't let that correction put an end to your insecurity. It's quite endearing from this side of the screen.

mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Tuesday, 3 Feb 2015 at 11:35pm

Thanks stu for noticing, poor surf reporting has always made me feel insecure, does it show?Can't believe someone would leave the halls of swellnet , working with journos of your calibre to go to the abc Go figure! Perhaps there is still hope for you yet.. Russel wolf will be shaking in his shoes.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 4 Feb 2015 at 6:29am

Nah, Russ is already doing our Perth reports.

prothero's picture
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prothero commented Wednesday, 4 Feb 2015 at 10:37am

Guys from SW WA underestimate the size size of the waves .....you got that right,,,,they always have done. The further the guy moves down south the more they take off the size of the wave.Went to the library about 30 years ago and read up on oceanography, in one book the author said that surfers are known for underestimating the size of a waves. The number given to the the wave is important to some but how can you not be subjective when you compare a 2 foot wave at Triggs, Mainbreak and then the Box. If I say a wave is head height and pumping as opposed to the wave is 3 foot , it not because ' i dont know whats going on'....its cos a long time ago I came to the conclusion numbers attached to waves just dont add up

Prothero

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Wednesday, 4 Feb 2015 at 10:44am

There's a pretty simple reason behind it (SW WA guys slightly undercalling the size) - they just don't care about small nuances in wave heights compared to other regions.

On the East Coast there's a big difference between 1-2ft, 2-3ft and 3-4ft, as well as swell directions, so these variations - and their effects on everyday surfers - need to be articulated very well.

But anything under 4ft in SW West Oz seems to attract a collective 'meh' from local surfers. It's either 'flat', 'about 4ft', 'about 6ft', 'about 8ft', or 'big'. And it all generally comes from the sou'west too.

And that's why we love 'em.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Wednesday, 4 Feb 2015 at 4:35pm

New fella reporting 3ft+ this morning. You OK with that Mike?

(I reckon it's a good call, perhaps looks a smidge bigger, but hey! No complaints, looks super fun)


mikehunt207's picture
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mikehunt207 commented Wednesday, 4 Feb 2015 at 11:54pm

Much better, even got a semi uncrowded 3ft surf mid arvo thanks to bit less froth on daily, odd direction and other than a few backpackers messing up the carpark no complaints.