Improvement in the local wind forecast

Craig Brokensha picture
Craig Brokensha (Craig)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Craig Brokensha (issued Friday January 7th)

Best Days: Keen surfers Sunday morning South Coast (Mid Coast later for beginners), South Coast Monday morning (Mid Coast beginners), keen surfers South Coast Tuesday and Wednesday mornings

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Strong S/SE winds tomorrow with a low point in swell
  • New, mid-period SW swell and easing S/SE windswell Sun with E/NE-NE tending S/SE winds
  • Late pulse of better mid-period SW swell Sun, peaking Mon AM with light E/NE-NE tending S/SE winds
  • Easing mix of SW and S/SE swells Tue with light E/NE-NE tending S/SE winds
  • Easing S/SE windswell Wed with light E/NE-NE tending S/SE winds


Poor surf across all locations with a moderate sized S'ly windswell on the South Coast to 3-4ft both yesterday and today, tiny and windswelly on the Mid Coast.

This weekend and next week (Jan 8 - 14)

The start of the weekend will remain poor as winds shift to the S/SE but remain strong, keeping 3ft of windswell hitting the South Coast while the Mid will be cleaner but tiny.

Our window of cleaner conditions for Sunday morning is still on track with a light E/NE-NE breeze due along with a small mix of S/SE windswell and new, mid-period SW swell.

The windswell looks to be around 2ft+ while the SW energy only looks to be a similar 2ft and less consistent. It won't be clean and lined up but more so peaky and smooth on the face, best at spots that like those winds out of the north-eastern quadrant.

The source of the mid-period swell was a strong polar low that as a broad polar low forming south-west of Western Australia on Wednesday. An initial off-axis fetch of NW winds is the source of Sunday’s increase but a better, stronger fetch of strong to gale-force W/SW winds have produced a better swell for late Sunday/Monday.

The swell should arrive late Sunday and reach 1-1.5ft on the Mid Coast with 3ft sets across Middleton, peaking down South Monday to 3ft+ with the Mid holding 1-1.5ft.

Winds are looking more favourable for Monday morning now with a variable E/NE-NE breeze, swinging S/SE through the morning and then freshening later. This will be worth a surf while beginner should find fun ones on the Mid Coast.

For the rest of the week we're now looking at periods of lighter E/NE winds down South as a broad surface trough lingers just west and north of us, but swell wise, Monday's energy will fade while some new S/SE windswell develops through Tuesday, easing Wednesday.

Expect peaky 2-3ft sets through Tuesday, fading Wednesday from 2ft+ and best in spots that handle that morning north-east breeze. Unfortunately longer term there's still nothing major on the cards owing to continuous blocking pattern across the south of the country. More on this Monday, have a great weekend!


shetrickedme3's picture
shetrickedme3's picture
shetrickedme3 Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 8:08am

Hi Craig. Have just moved to South Oz. Could you explain where abouts you mean when talking about the Mid Coast n South Coast? Cheers

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 9:27am

In and around Adelaide there are two main surfing regions. As Adelaide is in a gulf (with Kangaroo Island blocking to the south-west) it's sheltered from most swells but there is a gap between Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island where westerly swells can squeeze through, hitting between about O'Sullivans Beach to the north and Port Willunga to the south. This is the Mid Coast with dozens of reef breaks and a few beachies scattered amongst the region.

It's highly tide dependent and also swell direction and period dependent. Due to it being in the gulf, a 3ft offshore day is nearly as good as it gets.

The South Coast is the region down around Victor Harbour. This gets a lot more Southern Ocean swell and is super consistent (sheltered a little from Kangaroo Island especially on west swells) but open to anything from the south. Middleton is a softer, fatter wave and good for mals/mid-lengths and/or fishy boards. The more exposed beaches out of town to the west offer a lot more power, energy and size but are also more exposed to the winds. And they don't really handle much over 4-5ft unless there's an epic bank.

There's lots to learn and explore with little coves and novelty spots to unlock as well. Enjoy.

shetrickedme3's picture
shetrickedme3's picture
shetrickedme3 Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 8:24am

Thanks heaps Craigos! Appreciate it