Another active period of quality surf ahead

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday 13th September)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Small residual surf Thurs with good winds for Victor
  • Bumpy conditions on the Mid Friday with building swells, small and clean down south
  • Great weekend of waves for both coasts
  • Plenty of surf for both coasts next week too


Pristine conditions at Victor for the last few days with easing swells from Monday afternoon’s impressive peak. Size eased from 3-4ft early Tuesday down to 2ft today, and winds have been light offshore. 

Looking alright at Cliffs again this afternoon, eh? Just a fair whack smaller than Monday (compare pics from the previous FC Notes)

This week (Sep 14 - 15)

No change to the outlook for the rest of the week.

Surf size will bottom out into Thursday morning, and freshening northerly winds will favour exposed beaches at Victor.

Small long period energy is expected to show at the CdC buoy early on, but it’ll be very west in direction, which won’t favour the South Coast for much size, and the Mid Coast will be wind affected under the northerly breeze. Sets are only likely to reach an inconsistent 1-2ft, having been generated in our distant swell window, so I’m not expecting anything worthwhile.

In fact, we may see a small northerly windswept running down the gulf into the afternoon, if the breeze gets strong enough (and has some west in it).

Friday will see a little more size from the underlying westerly groundswell, building from 1-2ft to 2-3ft throughout the afternoon, and there’s still an expectation that we’ll see Thursday's overnight W’ly change (thanks to a front clipping the coast) throttle back during the morning, offering lumpy but workable waves after lunch. It won’t be great but there should be some lumpy, peaky options across the Mid on Friday.

Victor won’t see much of a size increase in Friday (thanks to the westerly swell direction) but the overnight W’ly change should straighten up a little more W/NW during the morning and allow for another day of fun small-ish waves, bigger than Thurs but still favouring the swell magnets. 

This weekend (Sep 16 - 17)

There’s been a slight improvement in the weekend outlook - for Victor, anyway - with the models strengthening a series of fronts through the Bight, and also pulling the storm track a little more towards the South Pole, which means it’ll have a little less west in the resulting swell direction than Monday’s notes were expecting. But, not enough so as to downgrade the Mid’s surf potential. 

Winds are looking to be relatively good both days, perhaps moderate at times from the N/NW on the South Coast on Saturday, tending light and variable Sunday. This should deliver great conditions across both coasts.

As for surf, overlapping swells should provide 3ft sets to the Mid Coast at times both Saturday and Sunday. I’m not sure on the precise timing just now (there may be a lag early Saturday) but as always each afternoon’s tidal push will probably deliver the best bang for buck.

Down south, the size upgrade means we should see fun waves building to 2-3ft at Middleton Saturday afternoon (smaller earlier) and 3ft+ Sunday, though smaller across the Chiton stretch and possibly a little overpowered at Waits and Parsons. But with good winds it’ll be well worth a look around.

Next week (Sep 18 onwards)

In addition to a small weekend size upgrade (for Victor), the models have also cooled on the prospects of a stalled LWT below the continent next week, instead swinging towards a mobile frontal passage through the Southern Ocean. 

There’s no suggestion for any major swell events through this period, but the end result is probably better anyway - it’s looking like we could have a steady supply of back-to-back swells in and around the 2ft mark (Mid) and 3-4ft (Victor) from for much of next week. 

A few fronts are however expected to cross the coast so we’ll have to fine tune the local winds in Friday’s updates. Either way, plenty of swell will be forthcoming!

See you Friday.


mitchvg's picture
mitchvg's picture
mitchvg Friday, 15 Sep 2023 at 11:16am

hey Ben how does the Yorke Peninsula forecast hold up? Is it similar to the Fleurieu in that you have two seperate forecasts for Middleton and the Mid?

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb Friday, 15 Sep 2023 at 4:46pm

Urbnsurf, Aventuur, Monument Wave Parks among surf park operators circling Adelaide