No shortage of swell; good conditions early next week

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 14th May)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Large windy surf at Victor on Sat, improving Sun
  • Bumpy but improving surf on the Mid on Sat, small and clean Sun
  • Another large swell Mon, easing Tues onwards, clean both days with light winds
  • Small and clean on the Mid Mon/Tues
  • Next round of swell due Fri onwards


Freshening onshore winds and building swells have maintained generally poor surfing options throughout the state. The Mid Coast reached a low quality 2ft+ on Thursday afternoon, and has slowly built today with new long period energy showing at the CdC buoy around lunchtime, lifting some of the reefs to a bumpy 3ft+ this afternoon, but quality isn’t high. Victor is also seeing increasing wave heights with similarly average conditions.

Wobbly Friday arvo lines on the Mid

This weekend (May 15 - 16)

Very little change to the weekend outlook. 

A vigorous front will pass south of the state overnight, renewing gusty SW winds across the region - though they’ll ease steadily into the afternoon. Surf size should increase to 5-6ft at Middleton but there won’t be many options on hand. 

The front now looks like it will in fact affect the Mid Coast on Saturday morning however winds should ease in strength by the afternoon to be under 10kts. With wave heights still around the 2-3ft mark there should be some reasonable lumpy afternoon options for keen surfers. 

Sunday morning will see very little wind across both coasts, ahead of a freshening W’ly breeze in the afternoon (mainly at Victor) as yet another front passes to the south of the state. Easing wave heights from 4-5ft to 3ft should offer plenty of decent options across the region, as there’ll be enough south in the swell direction to favour locations a little closer to Victor. 

Expect small residual surf on the Mid on Sunday around 1-2ft, clean with light winds. 

Next week (May 17 onwards)

I really like the look of the polar low generating Monday’s new groundswell (see below), though only with relation to the South Coast. 

It’s already generating new energy for the state, and will push through our swell window over the weekend, generating a couple of pulses of SW then S/SW swells for the start of next week.

The first swell will arrive overnight Sunday and build through Monday, reaching a solid 5-6ft+ by the afternoon. Winds are likely to be light SW in the wake of Sunday’s front but should go variable through the day, so I’m expecting some really good, sizeable waves on Monday. 

Surf size will then slowly ease from 4-6ft Tuesday morning (down to 3-4ft by the afternoon), with clean conditions under a light NW breeze. Smaller surf on Wednesday will be accompanied by equally clean nor’westers. 

Thursday will see the start of a new swell cycle from an improve though slightly distant polar low progression earlier in the week. This should rebuild the South Coast from 2-3ft Thursday back into the 3-4ft range from Friday through Sunday, and we’ll probably pick up small lines of teaser surf on the Mid Coast in the 1-2ft range too. 

Have a great weekend, see you Monday!


Aaaandy's picture
Aaaandy's picture
Aaaandy Friday, 14 May 2021 at 7:40pm

What's with the short (in depth)swell forecast. No dis

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 14 May 2021 at 8:01pm

Short? As in the length of the FC Notes?

It's 530 words... what kind of article length are you expecting? Will more words convey the outlook more clearly?

FWIW, I've always thought I have a tendency to write too much, rather than too little.

sandcrab's picture
sandcrab's picture
sandcrab Sunday, 16 May 2021 at 7:39pm

At least you get a forecast.

The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman. Saturday, 15 May 2021 at 5:31am

Fwiw you do a good job mate.
If it needs more you do more if it needs less you do less.

Just for a balance... I don't like your photo.
Looks like you wanna bum a ciggy.