Tahiti Pro Forecast

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)
Swellnet Analysis

Waiting period begins Thursday 11th August (Early Friday AEST)

We're now three days out from the start of the Tahiti Pro waiting period and things are firming up for the forecast. The main difference from then to now is a slight accleration in the systems influencing Tahiti's swell. This doesn't necessarily alter the fortunes with a whiffy first half of the waiting period giving way to greater odds in the back half.

You may recall last week's Long Range Forecast noted an against-the-grain southeast swell for the opening stanza of the contest. That swell is still is still forecast - in fact the forerunners made landfall yesterday - however it's poised to be less enduring than first impressions.

Rather than eat into the first half of the contest, it's now set to influence just the opening day two days - August 11th and 12th - and by then it'll be much smaller than at its peak. There is a very low prospect of the contest running on those days.

However, questions about what Teahupoo will look like in an 8 foot southeast swell may be answered if you keep track of social media. The swell will peak on Tuesday 9th - keep in mind that's Wednesday Oz time - at 8-10 feet from the south-southeast, so from today onwards the warm up sessions will be held in this off-kilter direction.

It's also worth noting the same swell will travel 6,500 kms and strike Australia's East Coast next Monday at a vastly reduced size - just shy of half a metre - but with a period near 15 seconds. 

The aforementioned southeast swell is the product of a wind field atop a vast high pressure system stretching from New Zealand to Easter Island. The same system will suppress any storms from travelling up Tahiti's southwest swell corridor, resulting in very small conditions - too small for competition - at least up till Tuesday 16th - Day 6 of competition.

The smothering high will also interupt the flow of tradewind, turning them more east and northeast, even north - keep in mind Teahupoo likes east to southeast winds. So for four days there'll be small swell with odd winds.

By mid-next week the high will have cleared with the next low pressure system in the hatch. In fact there's more than one with the swell cycle again favouring low pressure systems travelling up New Zealand's east coast towards Tahiti.

Wednesday 17th is Day 7 of the 11 day waiting period and the first ideal day of swell. It'll result from a fetch of severe-gale winds south of New Zealand this weekend. The swell will strike Teahupoo as a large, long-period south-southwest groundswell which will build through Wednesday, reaching 8 foot on the sets into the afternoon or mid-late afternoon, before easing back from 6-8 foot on Thursday.

There's also expected to be some mid-period south-southwest swell energy in the mix from the remnants of a polar low projecting northeast towards Tahiti. This secondary swell will be under the stronger groundswell and it's worth noting the global wave models are incorrectly combining these two swells on Wednesday/Thursday, over-representing the size.

With the swell coming to the party - albeit late - what about the local winds?

Right now, they're tricky owing to a deepening tropical depression to the south-southeast of the islands mid-next week. This may bring funky onshore breezes, though in all likelihood more variable winds will develop. We'll have a clearer idea regarding the local winds over the coming days.

Following the south-southwest groundswell we're likely to see plenty of reinforcing mid-period southerly energy in the 6-8 foot range into the end of the waiting period, though this will become clearer as we head into the weekend.

Teahupoo 16-day Surf Forecast
Teahupoo WAMs

Comments

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 11:19am

Wonder if there will be any footage of a sleepy looking pro surfer drinking a coffee on the dock whilst they issue a guess as to what the surf will be like instead of just posting film starting from when they get out there?

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 11:50am

Sounds like all with have to huck it over the ledge in double OH chopes. Should be great.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 12:22pm

Wonder how many will suddenly develop "niggling injuries".....

conrico's picture
conrico's picture
conrico Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 1:56pm

if only the WSL finals were held in this...

Oink's picture
Oink's picture
Oink Tuesday, 9 Aug 2022 at 3:15pm

chicks early, blokes later

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 10 Aug 2022 at 11:52am

Still a long way out, but the wind next Thursday and Friday could be a party crasher.

For a few days now the models have held something weird diverting away from the SE tradeflow. Here's hoping it straightens out.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 11 Aug 2022 at 12:54pm

The polar front in the image above looks to be a touch weaker now so we're looking at a peak in the 6-8ft range. Winds aren't too bad which is a plus. So we'll see plenty of surf around 6ft with workable conditions but nothing too epic.

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Thursday, 11 Aug 2022 at 1:58pm

Looking forward to seeing how the girls go...will be interesting

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo Thursday, 11 Aug 2022 at 10:07pm

Bugger... 4hrs 48mins until next call..

Bustard's picture
Bustard's picture
Bustard Friday, 12 Aug 2022 at 7:19am

There has to be some sorta Marketing Strategy behind the change in WOZ no longer advising if the "event is on hold on next call is XXX ..." on their website....is it to drive up clicks as I keep going back in to see if there has been any change

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Friday, 12 Aug 2022 at 6:45pm

An interesting prequel before the main event
"Calm in the chaos"; a waterman's perspective of Te- hu- poh

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Saturday, 13 Aug 2022 at 9:31am

BB thanks for sharing....great vid! Well done Dom

geoffrobertford's picture
geoffrobertford's picture
geoffrobertford Saturday, 13 Aug 2022 at 1:35pm

Is there a bit of a bump in swell for the weekend?

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Saturday, 13 Aug 2022 at 7:49pm

Barton Lynch on the WSL business model, spilling the beans on what he thinks they are thinking about and trying to achieve..Excellent watch.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 10:00am

Where's the WSL discussion? I couldn't get past the first thirty seconds.. skipped a few times through the vid and it seemed to be more like a Joe Rogan podcast.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 6:24pm

Barton is delusional, someone must have told him he was a good talker so he ran with it as another way to make money from surfing

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 7:07pm

Oops sorry about that i think i posted the wrong clip..Sorry for wasting peoples time.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 9:22pm

You are... a harsh lot.

But then again... first 30 secs.. look at notes.. look at notes.. ain't saying sweet fa may I say... any ways.. carry on.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 9:55pm

Heres a shorter version, the only one i could find.
https://www.instagram.com/reel/ChHTDd3AN_l/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 10:11pm

This is the one you are after I think. He’s an interesting guy but can go a little hard in Pete Evans territory

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 9:17pm

Thanks although i think i posted the wrong vid again, im pretty certain he was on one vid giving a long speech about WSL's agenda ,spilling the beans. He must have deleted it.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 8:46am

I thought you were dishing out the hyperbole Ben, I thought surely I could go better than 30 seconds, but no such luck.
He lost me at manifesting gratitude.
Too many wellness buzzwords too soon.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 9:26am

When I first saw this posted by Thermalben I tried to watch but it didn’t gain any traction. Wrong headspace at the time I guess. I agreed that it was too flowery. Went out, did sone stuff then came back and read the comments above which wrote Barton off with because of his “manifesting gratitude” and then the Pete Evans bit.

Now when I hear someone slagging Pete Evans I fall into two seperate frames of mind. The Pete Evans who pushed some hoax device to scam punters or the Pete Evans who espouses practical ways to improve your own existence through diet and healthy living. The second version of Pete Evans is something I believe worthy of much respect.

It seems it’s the second Pete Evans being used as a derogatory slur against Barton.

In this era of catastrophic mental health, and the associated virtue signalling about its importance , I’d have thought that anyone espousing positive thought and determined steps towards reinforcement of healthy mental state would be lauded. Particularly when it’s the absolutely non-controversial and quite conventional practice of strengthening the mind through discipline of thought. It’s proven time and ti e again to be a safe and effective way to prevent and cure emotional issues, yet here we have a bunch of surfers dismissing it as hippy-dippy bullshit.

Again it strikes me as bizarre that surfers now tend towards the shuttered and blinkered mentality of a 1960’s front bar at a suburban pub.

Barton relating how he’s journeyed from a 10 year old rendered suddenly fatherless and going on to the highest possible levels of his personal endeavour and the pragmatic techniques he’s used to accomplish such success is dismissed as fantasy wellness rubbish?

Very strange.

I think you’ll find that almost everyone who’s experienced any level of success has employed visualisation and gratitude to get where they are, whether consciously or not. If you think that’s hippy dippy bullshit then it’s only your own potential and happiness which is being curtailed.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 9:38am

I've been subjected to a fair bit of new-age wellness talk in my time and it's pretty much always been either a sales pitch for a commercial venture or someone putting on a performance to increase their social cred.
Either way, count me out.
Doesn't mean I've regressed to a 1950s front bar mentality though, you just gotta not bullshit me.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 9:58am

It’s pretty sad that you believe positive thinking, conscientious gratitude and the power of visualisation constitute some kind of scam sales pitch.

Sounds like the trite Byron fuckstiks have worn you down to the point that you’re bristling at any idea which might be co-opted by their mindlessness. That’s the throwing out of the baby with the bath water you were referring to.

Best be careful you don’t let your combative opposition to the Byron pseudo hippy flogs force you into adopting a position which is a bad fit for such an otherwise open minded and smart fella.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 10:03am

"It’s pretty sad that you believe positive thinking, conscientious gratitude and the power of visualisation constitute some kind of scam sales pitch"

It's the way it's delivered and the language used.
And the intent.

Your second and third paragraphs have got me thinking.
Some points to consider there.

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 8:51pm

No I like Barton’s positive wellness side dude. I’m referring to the freedom fighting, antivaxxer side of Evans which Barton heavily subscribes to, it can be a strange juxtaposition with the positivity (just like with evans)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 9:57am

Jeez local winds looking complex for this first swell. However, WSL are already calling 'epic' in today's presser.. that's ambitious given the current model guidance and synoptic setup.

"The good news is there is plenty of surf on the way and we should be seeing epic conditions begin on August 15th and run through until the end of the window. Our competitors will get their opportunity at proper Teahupo’o, which is what we all come here for."

Statements like that don't leave much wiggle room.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 6:24am

Whoa, even more model divergence in the last 24 hours (as usually happens with complex troughs). GFS has no wind on Wed as the swell builds, EC has moderate to fresh northerlies.

And GFS-derived wave forecasts have gone back to combining swell sources again: estimated surf size y'day was 8ft, now it's back to 12-15ft (which ain't gonna happen).

Stu2d2's picture
Stu2d2's picture
Stu2d2 Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 7:58am

So they run the ladies on the 16th, then the men on the 17th and 18th in 6-8ft with potential wobbles/ribs on the face and finals on the 19th or the 21st?

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 11:27am

https://lobosporsiempre.com/en/

Big wave comp at Punta Lobos either tomorrow or tues , 12 hr time diff with WA , big swell forecast , could be exciting

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 7:14pm

for those patiently waiting for the swell & surfers in Tahiti...
Chilian big wave riders,
June 2020


August 2021

& Tea hu po'o May 2022

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Sunday, 14 Aug 2022 at 6:16pm

So what day are we waking up at sparrows?

Cold froth's picture
Cold froth's picture
Cold froth Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 7:03am

Looking forward to seeing how much swell arrives in Tahiti......the same swell seems to be over performing yesterday and today down my ways....

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 8:47am

Swell looks to peak in the 8ft range Wednesday PM/Thursday but have some longevity with a couple of embedded pulses..

Winds as Ben said earlier this morning are still tricky with the trough moving through the region Wednesday.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 8:56am

So how is Felipe feeling?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Monday, 15 Aug 2022 at 9:04am

Some of the models are going for 200-300mm accum precip this week, though mainly across Tahiti's northern and eastern shores. Not sure how much this will translate to at Teahupopo (under a rain shadow effect) however it's going to present yet another interesting curveball for the competition.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 6:20am

Latest ECMWF guidance maintains a moderate N'ly thru' N/NW flow across Tahiti on Wednesday (this chart from about lunchtime local).

Quite a range of alternative outcomes across the other models too (ACCESS has stronger northerlies, GFS & UKMO have light/variable); overall, this points towards low confidence in local winds for the upcoming groundswell event. And most models have a lot of rain too.

spinafex's picture
spinafex's picture
spinafex Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 11:14am

Hey Ben, totally OT - but what is the outlook for Sumba in October?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 11:36am

Erm, there'll be some waves, winds will blow a bit, the food should be tasty, good times all round.

spinafex's picture
spinafex's picture
spinafex Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 12:40pm

That's the sort of insight I come to Swellnet for! Especially the food bit.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 12:43pm

Look out for our upcoming guest post from Nigella Lawson.

"Comfort food: how to survive a surfless Victorian winter"

spinafex's picture
spinafex's picture
spinafex Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 1:19pm

First he tells us there'll be no waves, then he mocks our suffering

Standingleft's picture
Standingleft's picture
Standingleft Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 1:14pm

Haha very faarken funny lol
Maybe get her to include a chapter on household cleaning ie how to keep the mold down for you triple dippers on the EC

Bustard's picture
Bustard's picture
Bustard Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 1:44pm

NigellaCam ???...you may just tip me over to pay for a subscription

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 8:08pm

Survival of the sexiest, fittest or smartest?
" Captain James Cook had spent a lot of time in the South Pacific before he crossed the equator and came across the hitherto unknown Hawaiian Islands in 1778. Cook had brought with him Tupaia, a high priest from Tahiti and Ra‘iatea 2,500 miles to the South. Surprisingly, Tupaia was able to converse with these new islanders in their mutually intelligible languages. Amazed, Cook posed the now-famous question,

“How shall we account for this Nation spreading it self so far over this Vast ocean?”
With that, Cook created “The Polynesian”: the people of “many islands” who inhabit the Pacific from Easter Island in the East to New Zealand (Aotearoa) in the Southwest, to Hawaii in the North. These three points define what is called the “Polynesian Triangle.” Geographically, it is the largest nation on Earth, more than 1,000 islands spread over some 16 million square miles of ocean— larger than Russia, Canada and the United States combined. The linguistic connection proved beyond a doubt that the peoples of this region were all connected.
Cook’s question, however, haunted scholars for the next 200 years.....
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-voyage-kon-ti...

Hands on English documented research into Polynesian Ocean navigation published in 1972
"WE, THE NAVIGATORS" ANU Press 360 pages
https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/114975/2/b1354...

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 8:39pm

This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism, or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Inquiries should be made to the publisher.

bbbird's picture
bbbird's picture
bbbird Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022 at 9:13pm

"The seas are the men's domain, the land belongs to the women"


"once every Island had navigators.... now only a few"

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 17 Aug 2022 at 6:36am

So here's the forecast for 11am tomorrow, from three different models: EC, GFS and ACCESS.

At just 30 hours ahead, there'd normally be more consensus across the models - except this is a complex surface trough, so local winds are much harder to resolve.

Of course, GFS is offering the best outlook for surf conditions (light variable winds, though in the wake of a light/mod S/SW tending W'ly flow through the early morning).

And whilst 'local' winds on EC look OK - i.e. light inshore (though, I'm uncertain as to the mountain effects) - if the regional synoptics played out, I wonder how much the N/NW flow would affect the quality of the groundswell lines? A slight ribbing up the face, or a slightly more pronounced short period cross swell from the north? I mean, under EC's outlook you'd probably delay launching a boat trip to the Tuamotus tomorrow.

It'll be interesting to see.



Stu2d2's picture
Stu2d2's picture
Stu2d2 Wednesday, 17 Aug 2022 at 6:18pm

Hey Ben, have you ever thought about adding a few different wind forecasts kinda like what Windy does? They have GFS and the Euro one for free but had about 5 different models for a few weeks a month or two ago.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 17 Aug 2022 at 6:25pm

I've thought of a lot of things over the last 20 years. Finding the development budget to build them is another thing.

Windy is a great site, but once you understand where they have come from (and then take a look at what's happened with surf websites over the years), it all makes sense why there are so few players in this space.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 17 Aug 2022 at 7:32am

Current obs from from Tahiti-Faa airport show light/var winds.

https://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/weather/current/NTAA.html

Normally this is a poor proxy for Teahupoo, however it should be a useful indicator if the regional northerly flow crops up tomorrow.

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder Wednesday, 17 Aug 2022 at 8:05am

Surely they aren't going to send the women into 8ft Chopes? But hey, equal play for equal pay!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 18 Aug 2022 at 6:02am

Conditions looked clean for the first few heats of the day, with very little wind. Airport obs aren't showing much wind, however it looks like the northerly has cropped up locally (according to WSL's Will Hayden Smith, who said as much during the webcast), so the event is on hold for an hour.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 18 Aug 2022 at 1:54pm

Zero wiggle room.

For mine, there's still a smidge too much north in the modelled wind direction to be totally confident on local conditions. Sets will also remain very inconsistent, and the overlapping swell trains will (like today) maintain some variability in wave quality.

But overall, it should be a solid improvement from today.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams Thursday, 18 Aug 2022 at 5:06pm

Maybe matahi for the early ;) and go Jack

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Thursday, 18 Aug 2022 at 7:11pm

Latest model runs are in and they've tweaked the wind outlook a little more broadly to the NE quadrant, still a touch N/NE but definitely a further improvement. Looking pretty good for tomorrow, though the overlapping swell trains (and inconsistent sets) are still top of mind.