Indonesia/Maldives forecast March 14

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Craig Brokensha (Craig)

Indian Ocean Basin analysis by Craig Brokensha (issued Thursday 14th March)

This week through next (Mar 15 - 22)

We’ve got a funky mix of localised W’ly swell and building S/SW groundswell across the region, with super protected spots fairing best to filter out the low quality westerly energy.

The embedded low linked to the W’ly swell will weaken and form a tropical cyclone off the Western Australian coast over the coming days. This will result in persistent, strong W/NW-NW winds through the weekend and early next week, tending more W-W/SW through Tuesday and Wednesday, easing later week.

As the monsoonal winds back off, so will the localised W’ly swell energy, but it won’t totally clear until later next week and into the following weekend.

Today’s building S/SW groundswell is due to peak later today/this evening and then ease through the weekend, only replaced by some inconsistent, mid-period SW swell later Monday but more so Tuesday. The source was discussed on Tuesday, that being a healthy fetch of slow moving W/SW winds from the south-east of South Africa, with it peaking Tuesday afternoon in the moderate size range.

Come Wednesday, mid-period SW swell energy from the cyclone is due, but to no major size and the models are combining swells.

The secondary, bigger S/SW groundswell for Thursday looks a little tricky. We’ve got a pre-frontal fetch of gale to severe-gale W/NW winds due to form ahead of a low and trailing fetch of strong to gale-force S/SW winds, late in our swell window.

This might limit the size to the moderate + range, with it due to fill in Thursday, then ease into Friday.

Following this, smaller, long-range S/SW groundswells are on the cards, but below the size seen next week. More on this Tuesday.

Looking at the Maldives, the SE trade-swell should be reaching maturity, with it due to ease into the weekend, further next week. It’s not likely to drop back below 2ft to occasionally 3ft until next weekend, with the SE trade-flow drying up later next week.

Our good pulse of S’ly swell from the storm that was to the south-east of South Africa is still due Sunday, peaking into the late afternoon/evening and then easing slowly Monday.

A secondary pulse due mid-week looks slightly smaller in size, generated by another healthy storm south-east of South Africa today, mixed with some weaker energy from an extra-tropical low spawning off South Africa.

Following this, a stalling polar low should generate a S’ly swell for next weekend but we’ll look at this closer Tuesday.

Eastern Indonesia:

Easing levels of weak, W/SW swell this week, further next week.

Easing moderate + sized S/SW groundswell tomorrow, further into the weekend.

Inconsistent, moderate sized mid-period SW swell building late Monday, peaking Tuesday afternoon to 4-5ft+. 

Moderate sized, mid-period SW swell Wednesday to 4-5ft, easing Thursday.

Inconsistent S/SW groundswell for Thursday to 5-6ft across exposed breaks, easing Friday.

Strong W/NW-W winds over the coming days, tending W/SW Tuesday/Wednesday next week, easing later week.

Uluwatu 16-day Forecast Graph/WAMs

Western Indonesia/Mentawais/South Sumatra:

Easing S’ly groundswell tomorrow morning from 4-5ft+, smaller into the weekend.

Inconsistent, moderate sized mid-period SW swell building Monday, holding Tuesday morning to 4-5ft+. 

Secondary, smaller S’ly groundswell Thursday to 4ft+.

Moderate to fresh W/NW-NW winds tomorrow, strengthening later, then easing Saturday and tending light NW Monday, variable Tuesday onwards.

Mentawai 16-day Forecast Graph/WAMs


SE trade-swell to 3-4ft, easing slowly through the weekend and next week though not below 2ft to occasionally 3ft.

Moderate sized S’ly swell building slowly Saturday but strongest Sunday, reaching 4-5ft across the southern atolls into the afternoon, easing slowly Monday.

Reinforcing S’ly swell for Wednesday to 3-4ft across the southern atolls.

Mix of S’ly swells next weekend to 3-4ft+ across the southern atolls.

Light to moderate NW winds tomorrow, N’ly Saturday, shifting light E/NE-N/NE Sunday and remaining light to moderate from the N/NE-NE next week.


Craig's picture
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Craig Thursday, 14 Mar 2024 at 5:23pm

Latest notes are live.

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Supafreak Thursday, 14 Mar 2024 at 5:50pm

Cheers Craig, love ya work . Today the waves were pretty dam good in the 4ft range some bigger, beautiful glassy conditions but there was a problem. The current today approaching the high tide was horrendous and pulling in and towards the crane . Paddling back out after a wave was really hard work and after 3 waves I called it a day which was disappointing as it looked so perfect. This old bod just wasn’t up to it and the two other surfers ( young couple early 20s ) were also struggling but lasted longer than me . Don’t always get these currents but when we do it’s a pain in the butt .

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vicbloke Friday, 15 Mar 2024 at 9:45am

what are the crowds like?

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Supafreak Friday, 15 Mar 2024 at 10:52am

I’ve been here since early December and the biggest crowd Ive surfed in is 12 people. Out of that 12 only 4 were interested in the sets as the others are euro beginners that do get in the way at times and come June July August their numbers explode along with Australian families on school holidays . You can see 40-50+ surfers out at shippies but as soon as it gets over 4ft they drop off . Most surfers that come to indo chase A grade waves and shippies is only B grade at best and dictated too by tides and direction . As we speak there is 1 guy out and it’s headhigh and will get bigger with tide . Lately Ive been surfing with up to 5 people sometimes solo for an hour . If people think I’m blowing the place up , well that’s a joke because surfline has a camera on it ( when working ) . Surfline surf reports are a bit of a joke and their wave height prediction is rarely correct and their tides are very different in depth . Not blowing smoke up Craig’s arse but his forecast notes are the best and most accurate Ive found . Extremely hard to predict wind direction accurately for lembongan as it does all kinds of weird things during the day compared to ulu’s and keramas .

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vicbloke Friday, 15 Mar 2024 at 11:25am

sounds like you have done well. in Bali and NL in May. cant se the crowds being that small unfortunately.

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Craig Friday, 15 Mar 2024 at 12:38pm

Really appreciate the honest feedback Supa!

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Craig Thursday, 14 Mar 2024 at 9:06pm

Thanks Supa, agh bummer, from the west winds and swell?

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Supafreak Thursday, 14 Mar 2024 at 9:31pm

Wind was zero , occasionally on larger swells and big tides a current runs towards the wreck on incoming , then opposite direction on outgoing , sometimes its not there at all but today was extra strong . This evening now on the low tide some solid 6+ bombs hitting the wreck and razors . Zero wind again .

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Craig Friday, 15 Mar 2024 at 6:04am

Agh that's right, yeah winds not coming until today, forget it was light and variable.