Leave it for a few days, next week looks much better

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

South Australian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Wednesday April 17th)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Tiny on the Mid from Thurs - Sun
  • Average, deteriorating conditions at Victor on Thursday as onshores freshen
  • Poor conditions Friday under southerly winds
  • Lumpy, average weekend down south as winds become light and the ocean slowly settles
  • Stacks of surf next week though the particulars are not yet clear


Large surf built across the coast on Tuesday, reaching 4-6ft along the South Coast though the Mid struggled to produce much more than a lazy 1-2ft set every so often. Light morning winds gave way to moderate southerlies throughout the day. Size persisted down south into this morning, with a similar period of light morning winds ahead of freshening onshores. The Mid Coast eased back to below surfable levels today but conditions remained clean with light winds.

Plenty of swell at Middleton this afternoon.. there just seems to be a few key ingredients missing...

(Please note: FC Notes will be variable in delivery this week as Craig is on paternity leave and Steve is covering Margs)

This week (Apr 18 - 19)

Looks like a few days of craptacular surf across the coast - not enough size for the Mid, and persistent onshores down south as a front crosses through our longitudes.

For the record, we’ll see easing size into Thursday (at Victor) ahead of a renewal into Friday, sourced from poorly aligned winds around a polar low, but it’s really not worth worrying about with moderate to fresh onshores expected spoil things considerably in the wake of the front.

There's a chance for a brief window of light winds around dawn on Thursday but I suspect it wont last long, if it occurs at all. Friday will be a write-off all day.

Leave it for another time. 

This weekend (Apr 20 - 21)

Still not expecting much this weekend, with easing S/SE winds and abating S/SW swells from whatever makes landfall on Friday. 

There won’t be any new swell in the gulf, so I’m expecting tiny conditions to persist on the Mid, with wobbly, average surf at Victor as moderate onshore winds early Saturday gradually throttle back. They’ll become light, possibly variable by Sunday, but ideally we’d need an offshore breeze to iron out the bumps - and this isn’t likely. Sea breezes will then crop up into the afternoon.

So, Sunday morning is probably your best option for a surf, with lumpy, leftover small 2-3ft surf across the Middleton to Goolwa stretch your best chance of a wave. 

Next week (April 22 onwards)

We’ve got plenty of waves on the way for next week as a strong Southern Ocean frontal sequence pushes through our swell window, generating a couple of days of solid waves for all coasts. 

However there is considerable divergence between the available model guidance right now, regarding the strength, timing and position of each low pressure system. This is creating a wide range of possible outcomes, from a strong groundswell that should favour the Mid with nice clean waves, through to a cut-off low that may bring a small local stormy to the metro beaches. 

Regardless, it’s a dynamic pattern and we’re looking at several days of waves in the gulf - let’s hone in on the specifics on Friday.