Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast long range forecast

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Analysis

This year’s Aussie leg of the Qualifying Series had five contests, the last of which - the Sydney Pro - finished on the weekend. For five straight days the Sydney Pro was held in weak waist high waves, much like every other contest of the leg - save for two days of the Great Lakes Pro which found a back up venue during Cyclone Oma.

It’s not just a case of bad timing, the whole East Coast has endured a lean summer with only Cyclone Oma and the odd trade swell breaking the pattern. Now, of course, autumn has begun and the Quiksilver Pro is nigh. As I type, the marquee at Rainbow Bay is being set up and the surf is barely a foot high out the front.

Fortunately for everyone - competitors, fans, and even just Joe Average living on the East Coast -  a more typical autumn pattern is beginning to establish itself. And even though it’s one week till the Quiksilver Pro begins the longer term signs are promising.

Autumn on the East Coast is characterised by storm activity in the Coral Sea, Tasman Sea, and Southern Ocean, resulting in swells approaching from a range of directions. This will be the case in the coming week as a long period south swell will brush the Gold Coast tomorrow, followed by the first hint of an east swell, then a short range south swell is due next Sunday, and after that the east swell will slowly ramp up in size and period.

Each swell will fluctuate around three-to-four foot at Snapper - the Sunday south swell potentially a bit larger - with the quality also fluctuating due to swell direction and wind. Though they fall outside the waiting period, each swell will play its part. As Rabbit explained last week, south swells are required to fill the hole at Snapper, while the east swell will provide a showcase for the state of the bank and the form of the surfers.

In fact the aforementioned east swell is actually the early stage of a slowly evolving system that will provide swell through the opening days of the Quiksilver Pro.

A tropical depression is currently forming near Fiji and will evolve into a tropical low as it tracks slowly south-east - see MSLP chart below. As it pushes up against a large high east of New Zealand, we’ll see a long fetch of easterly winds aimed towards the Gold Coast. This is a bread and butter system for the Gold Coast, though we haven’t seen many of them this season.

Synoptic chart for Wednesday 3rd April showing the low south-east of Fiji squeezing the high pressure system

At this stage it appears the swell will hit begin hitting its stride on Tuesday - the day before the contest begins - and by sundown be around 3-4 feet from the E/SE. For the following five days - Wednesday to Sunday - the swell will shift around the 3-to-4 foot mark with occasional larger spikes. However, unlike the swells due this week, the period will be up around the 10 second mark making for defined lines of swell. It’s a great period and direction for Snapper - if the sand is in order.

The wind may be slightly problematic with a persistent south to E/SE flow. It’ll be light southerly in the mornings, but the organisers can expect some bump, especially behind the rock, by midday as the winds swing towards the E/SE. As is always the case with winds from this direction, surface conditions will improve down the bank. The swell will not get big enough for Kirra.

The organisers will almost certainly run from Wednesday, the first day of the waiting period, and they’ll be looking to capitalise on the east swell as the Gold Coast’s swell windows close towards the second half of the period. The high pressure system creating the east swell blocks south swells from moving north through the Tasman and slack isobars fill the Coral Sea.

We'll keep an eye on developments in the comments below.

Click for Gold Coast Surf Forecast

Comments

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 2:50pm

Is it spelt wozzle or wozzel? Ive gotta get the important stuff straightened out before the season begins.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 2:52pm

ha ha - can you explain the origins of the term wozzle or wozzel please ?

knB

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 2:59pm

Say WSL quickly. Or phonetically. You know what I mean.

And just as my name is spelt Nettle so then is the wozzle.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 3:39pm

Maybe Worzel ?

After the ISP / ASP / WSL changes its like the reanimated scarecrow who retains the same body but with interchangeable heads.

Roker's picture
Roker's picture
Roker commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 4:25pm

The WorSeL? The WorSteL? Worzel Gummidge was a great show. "I'll be bum-SWizzLed!"

Roker's picture
Roker's picture
Roker commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 4:28pm

My favourite is the TURniPEL head.

Roker's picture
Roker's picture
Roker commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 4:40pm

The WeaSeL? "In Greek culture, a weasel near one's house is a sign of bad luck, even evil..."

helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose commented Tuesday, 26 Mar 2019 at 4:08pm

That bank has a way to go before it gets anywhere near good. Saw it this morning and it's just a hole.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 8:40am

Don't worry!
Swell or no swell, bank or no bank, they are pros on thrusters and they will go off.
Can't wait.

another tourist

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 9:44am

hi stu

>>The high pressure system creating the east swell blocks south swells from moving north through the Tasman

is that the high east of nz? is it forecast to move west? if not, it looks too far east to block southern entry into the tasman. that’s a question btw - can you give me the dummies version on how that one blocks the tasman? or do you mean the high that’s in the tasman? thanks

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 10:43am

I should've been more thorough: the reason the east swell endures is because another high succeeds the original, parking itself in the Tasman Sea and directing the (already established) wind field towards the mainland.

In fact, the latest model run has another tropical depression, this time south of New Caledonia, impressing itself on the high, which, if it happens, could increase wave height by a foot or two at either end.

Not overly confident on that last scenario just yet. 

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 11:41am

thanks stu

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 11:04am

Would you agree that latest model run looks like a finish at Kirra?
fingers crossed!
In saying that I've been on the long range forecast disappointment train with many of you, so the grain of salt is firmly in place. But it would be awesome to see it happen again.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 11:12am

There's been a disturbance playing out towards the end of the model runs for a while - a grain of sand around which the pearl will grow. It's begun moving forward which increases confidence.

Kirra? Can't call that just yet.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 11:32am

it's looking better with each model run but still a fair amount of discrepancy between models.
you'd have to think purely by the weight of averages that sooner or later we'd get an upgrade instead of a downgrade.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 12:03pm

"For the following five days - Wednesday to Sunday - the swell will shift around the 3-to-4 foot mark with occasional larger spikes."

Don't hold your breath for those "larger spikes". I'll go 3 foot sets with the odd 4 footer.

Sheepdog

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 12:09pm

Is there any way we can just not give a fuck? The whole pro circus influx in the area is a PITA.

And, to top it off, this new swell is already moving sand around here. Looks to be set on fucking up all the great banks we've had since Oma.

I know it's coincidental, but, it feels like Huey is helping the pro circus at the detriment of us 'recreational' surfers.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 12:17pm

Is there is a way to not give a fuck you know....
By not giving a fuck..... Simple.... lol

Sheepdog

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 2:00pm

Stu this period and size seems small and slow. 10 second is weak I would have thought, 3-4 foot is not really stretching anyone, and don't we always want defined swells? Is it just that it has been a poor summer that this is looked upon as good surf or is there more it in than pure numbers? With this outlook it will be all above the lip and compared to what happens down south and west seems a bit limp.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 2:04pm

If the bank is in order then 3-4 foot waves on a 10 second period are primo numbers for Snapper.

It's QLD, not Vic or WA, so 10 seconds is good.

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 10:29am

moving from tassie to GC, that was a MAJOR mindset readjustment. So rare to get any period up here at all, even Oma was short period. Cf tas, where you don't even go for a look with a period less than 14s

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 10:37am

Yeah they were my thoughts as 10 seconds is like Port Phillip Bay and 16 is starting to get serious. That said we had a really clean perfect 12 second swell over summer with great banks and surf all day however you could feel it lacked a bit of push.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 10:44am

bathymetry number one consideration, swell direction number 2.

period hardly ever significant.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:11am

Amplification = bathymetry? Why is period not significant when the Hawaiians froth at higher period and it is obvious when you are surfing if it is a gruntier swell or a weak short period? I always thought longer period more oomph and cleaner (coming from a greater distance gets time to sort it self out and has real push).

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:22am

Shallow sandbanks often get overwhelmed by the greater energy of long period swells.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:28am

Thanks Blowin, makes sense however if it is a long period and say a 3-4 foot swell best of both worlds or still overwhelming? Had a 20 second 2 foot swell in Bali and it was awesome for its size.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:37am

east coast Australia is a lee shore.

inshore bathymetry creates the wave amenity, for good or ill.

Long period swells in this part of the world are often highly refracted S swells that can barely break. Wrong direction, not aimed up squarely at the coastline like WA, Indo, Pacific west coasts etc etc
Remember the Fiji swell from last year? The one Ramon Navarro got the bomb on>?
18-20 second period swell.

I rockfished exposed ledges that entire swell and the surf never got over 3ft here.
Swell periods were massive, energy practically non-existent.

Other famous Cloudbreak swells the surf has been 8ft here, with slightly more favourable swell direction. Take home: long period swells do weird things when refracting into lee shores.

On rare occasions when we do get straight on swells with medium/long period few spots will handle. Ones that do will be memorable though.

All in all though, a 9-11 second souped up Tradewind swell with good banks will provide better surf than just about anything, pound for pound.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:40am

Thanks FR so wrong angle of the dangle. Has to bend around too much or gets bent all over the place prior to it landing and thus losing is mojo. Yes we get lots of angles down here and they are all minor variations of west - south west.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:44am

Frictional drag of long period swells on the continental slope/shelf can really suck the life out of some of these swells, while others show up with significant energy intact.

Its a real mind fuck.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:52am

OK makes sense, comes from a long way losing power dragging its tail all the way as well as bending versus the southern ocean 2.5k deep and no loss until it hits Bass Strait. Yes very complicated compared to the southern latitudes where wind (1) and size (2) are the keys. Thanks for the information appreciate it as I could never work out what was going on along the east coast. I have been at spots and seen great south swells march past certain areas scratching my head and other times chasing the swell up or down the coast daily.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:19pm

@ freeride ,
Nailed it , don't forget shorter period swells create double ups and hollower waves also.

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 9:18am

Thanks fr76! Great explanation. Half the fun in southern tas is knowing how the long period swell will wrap around underwater obstacles into bays to make novelty waves work. It’s all period - how deep the wave extends will impact on how it bends around or goes straight over an underwater obstacle/island/how far up a bay it will go. Whereas up here, there isn’t much under water, and yes longer period swell crushes the sand. The waves are more hollow, so are heavy and powerful but have less oomph coming off the bottom and don’t get that same freight train locomotion feeling you get off an 18s swell wrapped into a little bay... even at shoulder high and almondy. It’s not better or worse, just different!

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 11:06am

Thanks Seen, interesting take on the Hobart points which look a stack of fun. The oomph and the speed at which the swell approaches you is the thing I notice in Victoria. Those long period swells if you have a reef or a super bank that will hold them are upon you really fast and you have to paddle harder for the take off to get into them (which is heaps faster) and they have a lot of thickness to the wave itself. The shorter ones are more user friendly and still a good shape and don't have the same wall of whitewater once they have broken - much easier to duck dive. I love those long period ones for the power and as you say, push down the line.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 2:33pm

Wonder if heat review is in the forecast....or if I have to pay for that...wasn't up for the pipe pro....

Looks like a nice consistent forecast. Haven't really watched a surf comp in a while so should be interesting.

Anyone suggest a favorite ?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 3:14pm

depends on the bank.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 5:03pm

2007 conditions behind the rock ?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 5:09pm

Jack Freestone.
Soli Bailey
JW

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 11:10am

2 ft onshore crap bank?

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 3:25pm

Medina will eat them alive.

Toledo has the skills and the energy. Italo has the skills and the confidence.

Medina won’t even notice them going under his wheels as he steams towards another world title.

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 3:43pm

yeah - it's hard to see anyone stopping him. jjf has the talent but probably not the game or the mongrel

NickT's picture
NickT's picture
NickT commented Wednesday, 27 Mar 2019 at 4:53pm

You forgot to mention Julian, he won snapper last year and had a good back half of the year.

gingeryeti's picture
gingeryeti's picture
gingeryeti commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 2:49pm

It will make me happy if it is flat.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:19pm

Why?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 2:54pm

Models are all over the shop.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:40pm

Michael Rodrigues is 70-1, you can thank me later

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 4:44pm

Quarters.

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 3:13pm

Replace M-Rod with Italo based on venue shift. Pair him with Lakey for 45-1

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 6:38pm

Who do you bet with Shoredump ?

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 7:24pm

Bet365. I’ll sometimes do a crazy multi on the 3 surfer rounds. $1 bet on all 12 rounds returns 20-60,000 and being a surfer who understands the nuances of different breaks, I’ve come painfully close a few times. Makes it interesting. Even a 6 leg bet gives a solid pay out, but it ramps up quickly from there with every leg added.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 12:20am

How's the bank looking four days out?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 7:52pm

Roxy switch: Mystery WSL Pro @ Burleigh this arvo both rad & fast.
Vert snaps off paddlerz heads with pinpoint precision as if almost a game.
Speeding thru red/yellow pit lane crew even faster out rear chequered flag all smiles.

Gentlebasherz don't tell but only other boardrider to enter flags was an 8 y/old girl.
Selfish act blew tbb support for Roxy. Bit of a shame as surfer is a red hot shoe-in.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 8:26pm

Light winds Friday and raging northerly today wouldn’t have helped the bank at all.
They will be sweating that the next few days of southerlies does the trick. (PS no idea what it’s like currently)

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 7:30am

Saw it yesterday.

The reason it is named Snapper Rocks is that after storms it is a deep hole that rock fisherman caught snapper in.

You could have fished for snapper there yesterday.

There is wide sand at Rainbow........bit and pieces down the rainbow/greeny end.

They will be sweating this upcoming SE surge has enough energy to get some sand moving.

the next 2 high pressure systems do look a bit more seasonally robust than what has come before.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 12:14pm

The next predicted dip/ low north of NZ (around the 5th onwards) seems to have better potential than this current one Stu has highlighted.
When both gfs and AccG are showing signs albeit with subtle differences, you'd have to say something "above average" is on the brew.

Sheepdog

Lanky Dean's picture
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Lanky Dean commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 12:00am

how do the winds look?

tiger's picture
tiger's picture
tiger commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 8:15am

Can't see any chance of the bank coming good now. They would've been able to make something out of the forecast with anything resembling normal snapper banks. You would think dbah would be pretty fun for the week ahead. Given the windows of good conditions are likely only going to be a.m. and big high tides first thing in the morning, it seems their only option.

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 11:10am

I have always thought Burleigh and Currumbin should be in the mix. The Stubbies was soooooo fun to watch from the Burleigh Ampitheatre

Sheepdog

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 11:15am

Burleigh in the 70 and 80 vs now are two different waves.
never used to be as straight as it is now.
ah the sand ........it's a fickle moving thing . the should have never spat the tal creek out on the main beach..............

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 1:13pm

Heard they are thinking of running it at Dbar...anyone confirm this?

simba

markxxx's picture
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markxxx commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 7:58pm

I thought that was no go because Dbah is considered to be in NSW and Qld government wouldn’t allow it?