Lumpy vs. Bumpy

dlewis's picture
dlewis started the topic in Thursday, 24 Oct 2019 at 7:49pm

Thanks for offering such a great and valuable service. I live about an hour's drive from my local surf break, so I rely heavily on the surf reports to decide whether to make the drive. Lately, there have been many reports of "lumpy" or "bumpy" surf. Which one of these is worse? Should I give the surf a miss when it's lumpy (because the peak is all over the place), but come when it's bumpy (cuz the face of the wave is just a little less glassy than usual) -- or do the two terms mean the same thing? Cheers! 

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 25 Oct 2019 at 7:06am

Great question.

Our existing surf report system - which is undergoing a revamp/upgrade - currently has the ability for surf reports to select one of the following options under "Surf quality":

As for the difference between "lumpy" and "bumpy", it's also worth listing them in a scale of (deteriorating) conditions.

Glassy - no wind, smooth, mirror-like conditions.
Clean - smooth conditions, unaffected by current and/or recent local wind.
Choppy - surface chop on wave face due to the recent development of onshore/sideshore wind, enough to affect wave quality, though may not affect lineup conditions.
Lumpy - wobbly conditions due to recent, sustained onshore/sideshore winds that have since abated, mainly affecting lineup conditions as wave faces can still be clean as conditions improve.
Bumpy - significant influence from short period wind waves from existing or very recent onshore/sideshore winds, affecting wave quality
Sloppy - poorly organised, wind affected, generally low period surf
Stormy - victory-at-sea conditions, gale force onshore winds (or stronger)

So based on this, 'lumpy' is better than 'bumpy' because whilst they both have similar lineup conditions, 'lumpy' conditions are associated with less local wind, and therefore the wave faces are cleaner. Let the first wave of the set go through, and the rest are usually pretty good.

Certainly quite happy to take any feedback on this list, and include any other suggestions. Though, I do want to keep the list as short as possible - too many options gets confusing. As it is, most surf reporters only use a couple of the options above anyway.

linez's picture
linez's picture
linez commented Friday, 25 Oct 2019 at 8:32am

What about "coral sea" for sprout ;)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 25 Oct 2019 at 9:20am

Well played, good sir.

I'll submit it to the World Meteorological Organisation this week, for inclusion in the next update of their glossary.

The Fire's picture
The Fire's picture
The Fire commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 10:01pm

.

maaaan

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Friday, 25 Oct 2019 at 8:39pm

Can you add soft as one of the options for Dribs. It nearly always is.

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 10:20am

Replace "Average" with "Just total shit"

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 10:28am

Can you also add messy but clean. Would be perfect for Victor Harbor

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 11:39am

Craptacular has been my go-to word for Victor for many years.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 11:52am

From what I’ve seen “ Coastalwatch lineup of the day “ seems to be a term employed to describe an obvious close out which is fanned by an offshore wind .

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 4:26pm

Heard "The surf is falling out of the sky," once on the Lancelin report. Always brings a chuckle, can you add that one in above 'Stormy' Ben?

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 26 Oct 2019 at 5:31pm

Slightly wobbly.