Stacks of swell, pockets of good winds

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 7th May)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Easing surf Saturday, average winds early at Victor
  • Strong new swell for Sunday, good AM winds at both coasts (Mid may become bumpy into the afternoon)
  • Onshores developing Monday
  • Mix of swells with lighter winds from Tues onwards, favouring the Victor stretch, tiny on the Mid
  • Another spell of strong, windy surf due next Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon


Been a while since I’ve been properly skunked by the Mid! Despite the new groundswell showing at the CdC buoy as expected, the resulting swell was S/SE and this was simply blocked from entering the gulf by Kangaroo Island. The South Coast delivered very good surf though, with inconsistent 3-4ft sets from Middleton thru’ Say Street, and clean conditions with offshore winds. Thursday was a similar size at Victor with offshore winds, whilst the Mid Coast was very small. 

Nice options at Middleton this AM

This weekend (May 8 - 9)

*Today’s Forecaster Notes will be brief as Craig is away*

With today’s surf size coming in a little smaller and less consistent than expected, and seeing we're looking at a slow decrease into the weekend, I’m revising Saturday’s size to a slow 2ft at Middleton, bigger at the usual spots but very slow going. A weak front will clip the region during the early morning, but there shouldn’t be too much strength on offer and the breeze will ease into the afternoon to become light and variable. 

With no new swell on offer, the Mid Coast will remain tiny.

Sunday is still looking very good across the region, as winds become swing NW in the morning, freshening through the day. However, I’m going to pull back my size expectations a little, and aim for clean 3-5ft sets across the Middleton to Day Street stretch. Rather than originating from a single swell source, there’ll be a mix of overlapping swell trains in the water so this should hopefully up the consistency a little. Overall, it’s well worth a surf.

On the Mid Coast, this new swell looks like it’s reasonably well lined up - a little further north in the storm track would be ideal (to allow for a little more west in the direction) but overall we should see some fun waves pushing up to 2ft on the more favourable parts of the tide.

The concern for the Mid is that the afternoon may see a little more strength in the NW breeze than is desirable. However, the morning should be nice and clean, and the arvo certainly has a chance of remaining workable.

Next week (May 10 onwards)

The models have wiped the cut-off low in the Bight for early next week.

Instead, we’re looking at a series of fronts at about 40-45S (Tasmanian latitudes) over the weekend, travelling rapidly east, supplying SA with an unusual spread of SW swell for a couple of days (unusual, as it's souced from a relatively close proximity W/NW fetch). This should maintain 1-2ft waves across the Mid for a few days, with bigger surf at Victor - easing from Sunday but holding 3ft at Middleton.

Conditions look poor for Victor to start the working week, with Sunday night’s front swinging the breeze to a gusty S/SW. This will produce choppy side-shore conditions on the Mid Coast though there’s a chance for windows of lighter winds early morning. The breeze should ease into the afternoon across all coasts.

The rest of the week looks good for the South Coast with light winds Tuesday becoming N’ly through Wednesday and Thursday.

Tuesday actually has a fresh secondary S’ly swell on the way, originating from a polar low developing well below SA (off the ice shelf) on Sunday. This should boost surf size to 3ft+ at Middleton before we see easing surf from 2-3ft on Wednesday, and a further drop into Thursday favouring the swell magnets. 

A building trend is then expected from Friday into the weekend from an amplifying node of the Long Wave Trough SW of West Oz early in the week, which will move under the continent by mid week (see below). This is pointing to another round of strong, winds surf for a few days, with a chance for a Mid Coast stormy too.

Have a great weekend, see you Monday!